Finding Focus

Dear Jitters,

            I have trouble paying attention to topics that don't interest me. Even a couple words and I will completely zone out. Sometimes the stuff is really important, like directions or dates. How to I focus more? It's really starting to affect my grades!





Dear Anonymous,

            It's easy to find the things we don't personally enjoy dull. Sometimes our brains tend to tune these things completely and subconsciously, and this lack of focus has the potential to affect many important aspects of our lives. If it's starting to hurt your grades, I would recommend talking with your parents, teachers, and/or guidance counselor about arranging for you to receive some extra help in a quiet environment that can only really be achieved outside of your normal class times. This way, you can receive more one-on-one help that is ideal for someone with focus issues. In order to improve your focus itself, try working in increments. This means performing a task, such as your homework or a chore, in intervals. Start by twenty minutes of work followed by a ten minute break, then thirty minutes, increasing until you've completed the task. This will train your mind to concentrate while allowing you to have a well deserved recess. Another very simple way of building your focus is reading. It does wonders for your mind in all areas of its existence, and it doesn't have to be tedious. Find something you enjoy, whether it's a fantasy novel or a sports magazine, and simply spend some time reading it. Do this often, and the results may surprise you.