Tips for staying focused in college

Staying focused in college can be hard depending on your motivation. For many people returning to college can be a big step in of itself and staying motivated can be a problem. Even for those who are just starting the college experience, college work might be very discouraging and staying motivated or worse focused can be a problem. Here are some tips to help combat that and keep you focused for your 2 to 10 years of college (of course depending on your major).

The first step to staying focused is proper time management. Needless to say, this is easier said than done and most naturally you might be thinking that you manage your time wisely, but you never know until you actually count all the wasted seconds and minutes. Those five and ten minute breaks do add up and when you have a test coming up and you can’t seem to focus, you might be thinking that you are spending a lot of time actually studying when you’re not. This is why a schedule is important. Develop a schedule and keep it either on your phone, in a planner, PDA, desk, computer, wherever and stick to it.

Another suggestion is to pace yourself and have a regular studying time. This ties in with the first suggestion as once you are on a schedule, more likely than not, you will have specific times for studying. The reason for this is it allows you to retain more information and you don’t have to worry about cramming for an exam.

Do not stay up late idling. Many students idle their time and then spend the entire night studying for a test or doing homework. You’re only ruining your body and guaranteeing that you get a worse grade than you could have. Instead, go to bed early, no later than 10pm, and wake up early, about 3am-4am, and study than. Not only will you retain more information, you will get your work done a lot faster because the brain is well rested and ready to learn.

Take a Facebook sabbatical. One of the biggest timewasters among college students is Facebook. Having that webpage open to your Facebook profile while you try and write you’re English or Psychology paper is a bad idea. If you must, deactivate your account to prevent you from idling time. Don’t worry, your 900 friends will understand, and if they don’t they probably were not your friends in the first place.

Partying and school work do not mix. If you know you have a test coming up on Monday, don’t spend Saturday night partying. Most naturally you’ll wake up midday or early afternoon Sunday with a headache and little to no time to prepare. Instead, go to the movies or something else, get to bed at a reasonable time (before 12am) and spend your Sunday studying.

Do not underestimate your work. Even if your professor tells you the quiz, assignment or test will be easy, make sure that you spend ample time studying for it. What may not be hard to him/her might be extremely hard for you; after all, most naturally they are more experienced at it than you are.

Join a study group. A study group is only as effective as its members are, so don’t expect to put in nothing and get out something. However, if done right, they can be highly effective. If you cannot find a study group, create one, come up with ideas to make it effective and of course, make sure the time is being spent studying and not talking about the last nights football game or tomorrow night’s party.

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