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"What was I doing again?"

Each week we speak to our students on how they're tracking with their goals. It's often we hear things like "I start with good intentions, but I can't seem to stay focused for very long".

Don't worry, we're all guilty of it. Facebook and Instagram feeds. A growing list of emails. The kids might be pulling at your trouser leg demanding to be fed. It's so easy to stop what we are doing (especially when the task is difficult) to devote our attention to the very thing distracting us.

Upon speaking to other members of the OCA team, it's was clear they felt the same way! They might start one project, work on it for a little bit, then lose focus and try and do something else. Then the cycle repeats itself. 

Whether its exhaustion, distractions, or lack of motivation, our inability to focus on a task digs a hole in our productivity, causing our anxiety meter to go up and jeopardises our chance at completing our goal.

You don't have to go to extreme measures to stay focused! A Stop Procrastinating study spoke to 3,000 students on the most effective study techniques, and this was the results!

52% set aside regular time to study with deadlines and study goals

That old adage, "if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" rings true in this case. According to the study, students found that by setting aside a regular time, they were able to focus better, concentrate for effectively, absorb information easily, and get more done in less time. 

Among the learning techniques, students found most useful to help them study successfully, 48% said they made lists of tasks they wanted to accomplish when studying, 54% put off pleasurable events until work is completed, and 47% reviewed knowledge they missed in an essay.

67% agreed that unfocused studying resulted in boredom and lower productivity

Studying for the sake of studying can leave you questioning why you enrolled in the first place, and may take you longer to graduate. So, how do you curb boredom before it sets in? It can all come down to a simple writing task.
"The act of writing down goals is more powerful than people think" - according to Jordan Peterson, researcher and teacher of psychology at the University of Toronto. His “goal setting” theory, in particular, showed that writing down concrete, specific goals and strategies can help people overcome both mental and psychical hurdles and achieve their desired result. He tested this theory on gender and ethnic minorities students at the university and found that this simple writing task helped close the achievement gap and saw a higher majority of students graduate. 

What improves concentration? 

According to the respondents:

  • Meditation: Helps the mind to relax and provided clarity on what tasks should be best focused on
  • Coffee breaks: Were helpful when students needed a quick time out from study
  • Sleep: A good nights rest promoted better cognitive functioning
  • Music: Listening to uplifting music put students in a better frame of mind and they were more motivated to get started
  • Eating well: Eating a well-balanced diet, high in vegetables and low in sugar helped to aid concentration
  • Exercise: Regular exercise helped students to refresh the mind and improve confidence and concentration
  • Visualisation: Imagining what they wanted to achieve by creating a vision board made their goals feel reachable
  • Blocking the internet: Turning off the wifi, blocking certain websites or putting their phone in a different room prevented distraction

Ready for a change? 

If you're looking at changing career paths or want to start something new, a qualification through Online Courses Australia is the first step towards your new journey. Check out our range of courses now! 

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