7 Tips On How to Stay Focused on Your Academic Goals
It's a new school year and you are catching up with friends after the long summer.
Exam season is around the corner and you should consider setting academic goals.
Keeping your head straight in a world full of distraction may feel like its nearly impossible, but it CAN be done. No one should be made to decide between watching Game of Thrones and studying for your finals, but school success is so important for your future.
There may be other factors which cause students to lose interest in studies especially international students. Usually, students do not create clear goals and rewards pathway and tend to fall victim of distractions.
And let's be honest, who really wants to study when you could be at a party?
As a result, low exam scores and repeating subjects become an all too familiar routine. Here are a few tips to assist you in achieving your academic goals.
1. Say Goodbye to Distractions
It's very tempting to share notes with your friend during class or doodle on your notepad. You will soon realize that not concentrating in class might be your biggest mistake. No matter how much you try to cram your textbooks, you will not be able to understand the concept if you do not listen to your teacher.
Always sit up the front. Knowing that your teacher has his eyes on you gives you less opportunity to fool around in class.
Always engage in topic conversation and ask questions. You'll learn more than just sitting there, but it will also keep your brain engaged and awake.
Studying in a group is fun. Make sure you choose your study buddies wisely because they could be the maker or breaker of your study success. It's all too easy to get caught in a conversation about your favorite TV programme.
2. Technology: Both a Help and a Hinderance Towards Your Academic Goals
Ah...technology! A blessing and a burden wrapped into one tiny cell phone.
There is a place for technology in every student's life. It can help you plan your deadlines, sync calendars with friends and keep in touch with your family if you go to school outside of town.
Unfortunately, it can also provide access to endless YouTube videos of funny cats, or your Facebook account.
To avoid the distraction of technology, adopt the old school technique of handwriting your class notes. It helps with learning and knowledge retention, in comparison to typing away on your laptop.
If you couldn't imagine a life without technology, then consider Trello for project and deadline management. Microsoft OneNote works like an old fashioned notebook with dividers and will keep all your notes organized in one place.
3. Narrow Down Your Goals
Having too many educational goals can also be a hindrance, same goes with goals that are unachievable.
Set yourself S.M.A.R.T. goals to avoid being overwhelmed and increase productivity.
Have a look at an academic scholarship and embed it into your longterm goals.
4. Learn a Time Management Technique
For staying focused on goals, learn how to manage your time effectively. Without it, you may get lost in the labyrinth of parties, Netflix and classes.
The best way is to pick a quadrant time management system. You need to divide your daily activities into four separate quadrants according to their urgency and importance. This way you can leave out the things you do not need to do urgently.
Another thing you can do is to plan your day to day around your class schedule. Map out your academic goals on a piece of paper and follow it blindly. This method will let you develop the habit of always planning ahead. You can also plan your career path, and map out each step you need to achieve to reach your dream job!
5. Comfortable Environment Is a Big No
Never study in an environment where you feel comfortable as your attention will drift to other places. Hello, eyelids!
Avoid making your bed your study spot. Students can sometimes live nocturnally, and trying to get in those all-important z's may seem like a struggle. If you aren't sleeping properly, try following a sleep hygiene routine. This includes not studying or working in your bedroom.
Buy a study table and chair to study from. Keep all of the lights in the room turned on for a late night study session. This way you will not even think about closing your eyes. Have a cup of coffee or tea before opening a book. Caffeine is your friend.
6. Exercise and Meditate
Might seem like a luxury in your busy schedule but exercise and meditation will clear your head and keep your body healthy. With such a hectic schedule, chances are high that you will get exhausted mentally and will not be able to concentrate on your classes.
Exercise and meditation will not only keep your body fit but will also improve your mental health. Jog for an hour around campus or visit the gym for yoga classes. Here are some discounted health plans so you don’t have to worry about money if you get sick.
7. Motivate Yourself
Always vision the result of your hard work. This way you will be able to keep yourself on the right path. Envision yourself sitting in a CEO seat or publishing your own book. Watch videos by TED Talks on YouTube. Inspirational talkers can do a world of wonders when you're feeling swamped with school or work.
The Bottom Line: Avoid Distractions
Concentration and hard work are essential for achieving your academic goals.
Many students think they have to give up absolutely everything in order to pass school when they graduate. However, sometimes you do need to take a break. Go for a walk or have lunch with friends if you are finding school a bit overwhelming.
By following the methods mentioned above, you will be able to get exemplary grades throughout school whilst keeping yourself sane and enjoying the best years of your life! You will have time for other activities if you plan out your day and stick to a routine.
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