Before the days of smartphones (if you’re even old enough to remember life pre-smartphone), staying focused was hard enough, but adding in the need to constantly check social media and “FOMO,” the dreaded fear of missing out, has made focusing near impossible. It’s easy to let distractions pull us from important tasks that, let’s face it, no one wants to do, like studying for finals or getting that project done by your deadline, but using the right tools can help you stay focused and get the job done. Add these distraction-killing tools to your belt and you’ll be able to stay focused in no time:
Make a To-Do list
Making a to-do list can help you both prioritize and allocate your time, giving you a game plan to tackle whatever it is you’d rather not be doing. Use an app, like Evernote, which allows you to create project lists, take notes, share documents with your study group in a group notebook, and access them all from any device, to keep everything you need for your task in one place.
Block Out Distractions
Noise cancelling headphones are a great way to block out distracting outside noises and keep focused. Manufacturers like Sony carry a wide variety of options for noise cancelling headphones, sure to meet your sound blocking needs and price point.
Get Help Resisting the Call of Social Media
If the call of social media has you checking your phone every five minutes, it’s time to take drastic measures. No, not delete your accounts, that’s just crazy. Instead, download a social media and app blocker, like Freedom, to keep yourself from checking social media, or any website trying to keep you from staying on task, on your phone or computer.
Find the Right Chair
Back pain caused by sitting in a chair for hours on end can be a major distraction. Finding the right chair for your desk can help keep you comfortable and prevent back pain from gnawing at you. Switching to an ergonomic chair can provide much needed support and alleviate the discomfort felt from sitting for extended periods of time. When looking for an ergonomic chair, you’ll want to find one that has multiple adjustable points, including chair height, recline-ability, and adjustable arm rests.
Train Your Brain to Focus
Try as we might, our minds may just wander, making it hard to focus on important things, like tomorrow’s final. Try training your brain to stay focused before you start studying with the Muse headband. The Muse headband reads brain activity, giving users direct and real-time feedback on brain activity as they meditate, “rewiring” your brain through focused attention-based training to help you keep your mind from wandering.
Pick the Right Lighting
Studying in florescent light or, on the other end of the spectrum, dim light can make cause eyestrain and impair our ability to focus. Lights that mimic natural daylight, or full spectrum light bulbs, are like the Goldilocks of light bulbs, not too bright and not too dim, but just right. Plus, if it looks like daylight in your room, you just might fool your brain into thinking it’s not too late to be burning the midnight oil.
Create a Peaceful Environment
Last but not least, create a calm and peaceful environment to help get you in the right mindset to focus, by simply eliminating outside distractions. Turn off the TV, leave your smartphone in a drawer, turn on some nature sounds, and light some lavender candles to create a serene setting for your mind to stay focused.
Staying focus requires, well, focus. Hopefully, with these tools you’ll be able to block out life’s distractions and ace that final or make that deadline. Good luck and may your focus stay strong and never waiver to social media!