Tips on Staying Focused When You're Naturally Scatter-Brained

Morning classes, long days, caffeine crashes; it can be really difficult to stay focused in class. As college students its really hard to keep our lives together and that can affect us in school. These are things that help me do my best in school and in my everyday life.

Always be cleaning

I’m well aware that when I get busy, my room turns into a messy disaster. Being surrounded by a mess always makes the fog in my head feel worse. Taking the time to clean can actually be very stress-relieving; I turn on some music, my T.V., or an audiobook and start cleaning, as my space gets cleaner I start to feel a lot more calm and it becomes easier to focus. It’s unrealistic to expect to always have a clean room, but that just means when it gets messy, I get to declutter and destress. It’s always nice to come home to a clean, relaxing space. A messy room always makes me feel more stressed and overwhelmed.

Make your bed everyday

This is a trick my dad taught me that I didn’t fully embrace until college. There’s something so wonderful about climbing into a clean and made bed every night. I love throw pillows and soft blankets and having a bed that looks aesthetically pleasing when it’s made encourages me to put it back together every morning. Having that routine makes a big difference in how I feel throughout the day, less foggy and more organized. It’s like how they say that putting on lipstick or a nice outfit makes you feel more put together (even if you’re not), it’s like getting my bed ready to embrace me at the end of the day makes me feel more ready to tackle the things in between.

Drink water

I know this is something we hear constantly, but it really does make a difference! I definitely don’t drink the recommended amount of water daily, but I have found when I’m sitting in lecture and my head keeps dipping from exhaustion, taking a few drinks of cold water helps wake me up and focus. For me, it has to be cold and it has to be water because hot drinks make me feel more relaxed and tired and sugary drinks make me feel sluggish. Caffeine can make you crash halfway through the day, so instead of pouring another cup and potentially not sleeping through the night, keep drinking water to get through the rest of your day.

Posture

When I slouch it gets easy to zone out or fall asleep, so when I start feeling tired in class I sit up straight and try not to let my back rest against the chair. I also try to keep my notebook an arms length away from me so I’m not hunched over the table scribbling my notes. It helps to not cross your legs as well; it can offset the balance of your hips and cause more pain and it can cut off circulation to your legs. Extra perk: posture also helps a lot with back pain, something I personally deal with regularly.

Keep your hands busy

I’m a fidgeter. Taking notes gives me something to do so I can pay attention better, but some of my classes are discussion based and don’t involve note-taking. Sometimes I have to read long articles on my computer and I start to get bored. Sometimes I’m just watching a movie and can’t stop bouncing my leg because I have nothing to occupy my hands. Whenever I’m feeling antsy or unfocused I start knitting. I love crafting so I get to do something creative, plus it’s something I can do without really looking at it so it’s great when I’m reading and need something to keep me focused and awake. I have found that when my hands are moving I absorb information a lot better and I can remember things more easily.

All of these tricks have made me a better student. They are small things that make a difference in my work and mental health throughout the day. Everyone is different and have their own ways of staying focused, but if you’re struggling to find your tricks hopefully trying mine will help you find your way to better focus and state of mind.