3 Steps to Help Refocus this Semester

Now that winter break is wrapping up, it’s time to refocus and get back into studying mode. As difficult as it may be, it needs to be done. Therefore, I thought I’d do my best to help you during your struggle. However, I must confess that this post is also mostly written with the purpose of preparing myself for the semester ahead and attempting to bring my motivation back after a winter break during which I forgot all about school.

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  1. Get Organized. If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know I am all about an organized life. If my life is not organized, I cannot function. Even if I am away from home but am aware that I left my bed undone, my mind will have a difficult time focusing on studying. Therefore, my first tip to you is to organize the crap out of your life (literally and figuratively). That doesn’t just mean cleaning and purging areas of your life, but also creating systems and schedules that keep you on track. Even when you’re not motivated, you may not want to skip a task just because you don’t want to break the cycle of the system/schedule you have created. It will bring you great pride to know that you are building that muscle of willpower as you stick to the plan you’ve created.
  2. Get Out. If you’re like me, you may be someone who is less productive when studying at home. If you’re not like me, you may be someone who is less productive studying in public spaces. Get your favorite drink in hand (non-alcoholic, I can guarantee an alcoholic drink won’t help in this case no matter how much of a favorite it is) and get real with yourself. Throughout your schooling years, what study area have you found to be the least productive for you? Whatever it is, get out of there. Find a space that inspires and motivates you. Spend more study time there, even if it is a museum. You may want to switch your study spot every few weeks though if you start to get tired of that spot.
  3. Get Focused. If you’re being honest with yourself, I think we can both agree that you can’t focus on more than one thing. You think you’re a great multitasker? I hate to break to you, but you’re not. You think you’re so great at working on several items at a time or even only two items at a time? You’re really not. All you’re doing is working on several items one at a time and switching between them very quickly. If you were multitasking, you’d have four hands and writing two essays simultaneously. Therefore, there’s no such thing as multitasking. So stop lying to yourself and focus on one item. Once you’ve completed the first item, move onto the next item. This will ensure that your thinking process flows smoothly and doesn’t get interrupted, causing you to do better work without having to switch from one thought process to the next. You can read more about the myth of multitasking here.

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Just kidding, don’t get sucked into it.

Happy studying, my fellow tortured classmates!
-Alena Y.