Tips for Staying Focused in Community College


Life as a student in community college can become stressful and overwhelming. However, there are some things that you can do to help stay focused while trying to balance school, work, and home life. Utilize these tips to help you to stay motivated to complete the many responsibilities of being a student attending community college.

Focus & Motivation

It can be very difficult to stay focused while in college. Many college students are at an age when they are coming into adulthood and frivolity may take precedence. However, if you are serious about your future, then you should cultivate motivation and make sure that you are meeting all of your responsibilities. At the same time, many students at community colleges are also working, some even full time. The responsibilities of life in general can make it difficult to stay fully focused while attending community college, but certainly not impossible. If the motivation is in place, focus follows.

Make a Daily Planner and Stay Organized

The best way to stay focused and on top of your responsibilities is to practice good time management. There are many ways to do this, but two of the most important things you can do to manage time are to have a set schedule and to stay organized. Having a daily planner is a great way to stay on top of your responsibilities. Make small goals for each day that are easily attainable. This will help to prevent you from falling behind. Having smaller and more manageable goals will help to keep your motivation levels up as well.

If you stay on schedule you can remain stress-free with a good GPA.

Staying organized will also help you to stay focused. When your environment is in shambles, your mind tends to mirror this type of environment. Keep your school books and supplies in specified areas. If you work, keep your desk orderly so that you can function at work without having to scramble for needed items. It is also a great idea to keep your home clean and organized so that you can accomplish tasks as needed without rushing around to find the items you require. All of this will help you to stay focused on the task at hand and be better able to accomplish your goals.

Minimize Distractions

It can be very easy to get distracted from your responsibilities, especially in this day and age. There is a plethora of distractions that can hinder your ability to focus and perform at school. Not only do we find these distractions at home, but with mobile devices, these diversions can become an issue in the classroom. In order to minimize things that will distract you, focus on your daily planner and have a plan set for time to complete your responsibilities. Turn that phone off when it is time to read or study and definitely turn it off while in class. Having your phone on in class can not only distract you from learning, but it is also disrespectful to your professors who dedicate their lives to enriching your education. It can also become a waste of the time and money that you are spending to get a degree.

Remove distractions to stay focused.

Use your daily planner to set specific times for these distractions. Give yourself free time to watch your favorite shows and binge out on Netflix. If you are correctly utilizing your calendar, then you will have plenty of free time to distract yourself from the stressors of daily life in the classroom and at work.

Stay Balanced

If you want to keep your motivation levels up and be better able to focus, you must find balance in your life. Know your limits and don't overwhelm yourself with too many responsibilities. If you overload your schedule, you will find it very hard to remain focused and to complete the many tasks that are required of working students. As mentioned above, find the time for the things you love. Giving your mind a much needed break will help you to get back on track once it is time to focus.

It is also OK to schedule breaks during your study time. It is actually recommended by many scholars. If you set aside two hours in the evening for reading and homework, give yourself a fifteen minute break after the first hour. This will help to give your mind a breather from an overload of information. It can also help you to come up with solutions to problems that you may be having with homework or studies.

Balance in work and play is essential to staying focused in school.

Another part of staying balanced is to give yourself new and exciting challenges. This can help to shift your brain into go-mode and keep you on your toes. See if there is any extra work you can do for classes that you may be struggling with. Find an extracurricular activity that will challenge you and help you to step outside of your normal life boundaries. Another option is to spend more time on campus and spend time in the library. Being around other hard-working students can help you to feel more motivated to stay focused.

Get Help

There can be many reasons why it may be hard for you to focus in school. It may be as simple as poor time management or too many responsibilities; it could be something much deeper. Examine your daily life and if you feel you should be able to handle your daily tasks, then it may be time to see if there is something else going on that is preventing you from being able to focus. Speak with your doctor or a mental health professional if you have serious, chronic issues with focus.

By Kyle Aken
November 2016
college succeeding in community college

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