Many secondary school students are finding it increasingly difficult for them to focus on their revision. This comes as no surprise considering the amount of distractions available to them in this day and age, they have their WhatsApp notifications, Instagram posts and even mobile games etcetera. One common point about these distractions that make them so enticing is the instant gratification students get when using them. This is in stark contrast to the long and arduous process of exam preparation. So what exactly is focus, focus is paying your full and undivided attention to the completion of a single task. Read on to find out some tips on how to stay focus and the need for focus.
1. Why do we need focus?
Many students prefer to multitask, they think that they would be able to accomplish more if they divide their attention on many tasks at once. Unfortunately this is a misconception. Multitasking prevents you from being focused and it actually makes you more unproductive and inefficient. Multitasking also have a tendency to cause you to feel overwhelmed as you have to divide your attention on many tasks at once. Focusing on one task at a time would actually make things more manageable as your mind would not be distracted, leading to improved performances. Focused minds are also more aware and would know the single best action to take at any point in time and even if you make the wrong decision, it will still be better than the stagnation caused by the inability of a distracted mind in making good decisions. Finally focus helps to ensure that you are making constant and consistent progress in one area at a time.
2. Focus on the process not the outcome
One important piece of advice for secondary school students is to focus on the process of accomplishing a task rather than the outcome. Instead of being fixated on how you are going to fare for an exam, what are the things you are unsure of and not confident in or what other people will think of your results, focus your attention on your preparation and completing the paper. Process rather than outcome is the key to achieving good results. Focusing on the outcomes which you can control is actually a distraction in itself as it diverts your attention away from what you are supposed to be doing. Concentrate on the important part which is actually accomplishing the task itself and the outcome will more often than not, be in your favor.
3. Removing distractions
The main way you can help yourself focus better is to first find out what are your main distractions. Is it the bed in your room, your friends chatting with you or your social media accounts? Once you find out what distracts you, find or create the ideal environment, it could be your room, the library, a café, basically any place that enables you to complete your work. Create a productive ambience by playing some music or burning some scented candles if it helps. More importantly, turn off the data or Wi-Fi on your phone. This is the most effective way to remove the temptation of using your phone and prevents you from being sidetracked and procrastinating. Set milestones throughout the day and reward yourself by taking a quick nap, using your phone again after completing each one. This helps you to focus by giving you an incentive to look forward to and helps you to stay refreshed and not become burnt out or exhausted too quickly.
As a secondary school student preparing for the ‘O’ Levels, it is important that you start early by developing the habit of being focused as it helps you be at your most productive and ensures that your preparation is effective. Being able to focus is a critical skill to master as you embark on higher education in the near future where both your workload and responsibilities increases. Focus will also enable you achieve better results than when you divide your attention and multitask!