By Sharona Sommer, Student Advisor, The Brevard Center
By this time in the semester, it may be difficult to keep ourselves focused on our goals and what we need to do to achieve them. Here are some tips to help you in your path to success.
1. Eat something! To stay focused you need to avoid feeling those hunger pangs that may distract you from the task at hand. A healthy snack will give you more energy and help your mind stay sharp.
2. Turn off! Shut the door and turn off your phone. Also be honest with yourself and decide if your mp3 player or computer will distract you or help your creative juices flow. Set aside a time block that is electronics free.
3. Have a Mantra. Put up a focus statement in a visible area to encourage you to stay focused. Examples may be: Just do it! – Nike or It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop – Confucius.
4. Use Timers. Use your computer or watch to set timers for a predetermined amount of time and concentrate on your task until the timer goes off. Then enjoy your break and get back to your work. You will have a great feeling of accomplishment if you work straight through until that timer goes off.
5. Stress Ball, or Play Dough, Anyone? Keep a stress ball or a lump of play dough nearby and squeeze it anytime your mind starts to drift. Keeping your fingers busy can help keep your mind thinking. It also helps when the boredom sets in.
6. Seeing is Believing. Envision what you hope to achieve. Imagine yourself at your goal and be proud of what a great job you have accomplished after all the hard work you have put in. Then get back to work invigorated.
7. Get Inspired! Have someone you can call when your motivation is waning. Make sure that person is a positive influence and can get you back to what you need to do. Think of that person as your personal coach to cheer you on and get you going.
8. What to do? Create a to-do list every evening before you go to bed. Cross off your accomplishments throughout the day. Having a plan for the day keeps you focused and less overwhelmed then if you just “wing it”.
9. Move It! Take a break from your work and get moving! Take a walk, do stretching exercises, or do some jumping jacks. Get your blood flowing and your mind will thank you for it.
10. Reward Yourself. Break your projects or tasks into smaller achievable parts and reward yourself once they have been completed. Rewards can include renting a favorite movie, buying yourself a latte or playing a game with one of your friends.
There are many ways to get yourself focused and the key is to find out what works for you. If you are not sure, ask your friends, advisors, parents or staff for suggestions. I am sure they will appreciate you asking and it could be quite fun in the process.
Have other ideas? Let’s see them in the comments.