Finding Ways to Stay on Task This Spring

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Do you ever find yourself procrastinating or having a hard time staying on task? If so, you’re not the only one! With summer around the corner, I find myself especially lost in my thoughts and waiting until the last minute to finish my work. April and May tend to be the busiest and most stressful months for college students with finals, projects, papers, etc. due all in the span of a few weeks. The weather starts getting nicer and people start spending more time outdoors, making it difficult to focus on schoolwork and classes. As a stressed-out college student, myself, I have found some useful tips to help myself stay on task and make sure my work is completed before I soak up some rays and go for a walk outside.

  1. Make a To-Do List!
  • In the beginning of each week, I use the Stickies app on my Mac to write down all the things I have to complete for the week coming up. This list is displayed on my desktop, so I am able to see it every time I open my laptop. I write my upcoming assignments in the order in which they are due and write the due dates in bold that way I’m always on top of it. I also love the satisfaction I get from crossing something off my to-do list. I feel accomplished and ready to tackle my next task​

    2. Remove All Distractions!

  • This includes your cell phone! I know it can be difficult for some people, but oftentimes your cell phone can be the most distracting thing when it comes to completing your work. I typically will turn my phone on do not disturb and tuck it away until I have finished the task I’m working on​   

    3. Isolate Yourself!

  • This can be hard for me at times because I love being around my friends and roommates whenever I can. However, with the pandemic still prevalent, I’ve realized how beneficial isolation can be at times, especially when I need to complete a task for school or even work. Isolating yourself when you need to finish your work can help prevent interruptions and distractions. It can be as easy as closing the door to your room!

    4. Listen to Music!

  • Listening to music is oftentimes the best medicine for college students. For me personally, I get so caught up into what I’m listening too, my worries and stress disappear in those few minutes. Putting headphones in and tuning out the rest of the world, can isolate you from any surrounding interruptions or distractions. Depending on what you’re listening to and the task you are working on, the right music can get those creative juices flowing in your brain and make the task a lot easier to handle and finish. P.S.- classical music is great for studying!! 

5. Practice Mindfulness and Take Breaks!

  • School is hard and can be physically draining on the mind and body. It’s so important to practice mindfulness, especially during stressful times. Oftentimes when I don’t accomplish the goals or finish the tasks, I’ve set for myself, my anxiety kicks in and suddenly I’m lost in my thoughts. Recently, I’ve realized how important it is to set aside time in my day to practice mindfulness and check-in and ask myself how I’m doing. I’ve found that stopping what I’m doing and taking a deep breath not only helps me to get back on track but relaxes my body and mind and keeps me calm and focused throughout my day. When I find myself getting distracted and thinking about other things going on in my life, I realize that it’s time to give myself a break and remove myself from my work area. I usually will take a walk or listen to music for a couple minutes to clear my mind and refocus my attention back to my schoolwork.

Being a student is difficult, especially in today’s circumstances, it’s okay to get distracted every once in a while, just as long as you are able to get back on task and finish the things you’ve set aside for yourself to do. Be proud of yourselves, being a student in a pandemic isn’t easy, but you’ve made it this far, which means there’s nothing that can hold you back from accomplishing your hopes and dreams. Remember only 29 more days until school is out, you can do it!