In the Internet Age of today, we often find that it’s rather difficult to stay focused. We go about our days, tending to responsibilities, maintaining relationships and concentrating on furthering our minds. However, at the end of the day, we often wonder where we may have gone wrong in the midst of it all: Was there more to be done? Did I take sufficient notes in my classes? When was that project due, again?
Staying focused on any given task in the moment proves difficult for our constantly connected selves. Our phones take priority, keeping us in tune with the whereabouts of our friends (as well as our “acquaintances”) and the events of the world. While working or in class, we have our eyes fixated on our computer screens, whether we’re typing away or stuck in the dark hole that is the Internet.
How can we find focus with such consuming technology all around us? Here are a few ways to be more attentive:
First and foremost, let’s disconnect, people! When we’re in class, if the Internet is not required, don’t connect to the WiFi – it’s a simple as that! Focus on the task at hand or the lecture being taught and watch the detail of your notes significantly improve. Also while in class, or even while having conversation, put the phone away! There is no necessity for your cell phone while having a conversation with another individual or while trying to learn in the classroom.
Be a sponge.
When having conversation, soak up everything the person is saying. Test yourself; see how well you actually listen. Being a good listener is an admirable and respected quality to portray. No only will this improve your own skills as a conversationalist, it will also keep you more in tune with what the person is saying; thus, you learn more.
Make eye contact.
Also while in conversation or while learning in the classroom, make eye contact with whoever is speaking. While making eye contact is common courtesy, it also ensures to the speaker and to yourself that your attention is focused solely on him or her. When you make eye contact, you simply cannot pay mind to any outside factors.
During lectures, it will improve your attentiveness and learning ability to ask several questions. Don’t understand something? Don’t be afraid to inquire! You should be focused on furthering your learning during your time spent in the classroom, not on social media or any other distracting factors.
Set small, short-term goals.
Whether you’re working or completing weekly assignments, when you set small, short-term goals for yourself, you are more likely to complete said tasks. For example, while studying, implore yourself to run through your stack of flashcards at least three times within the next 45 minutes. Or, while at work, you might set a goal for yourself to complete that time sensitive task by 11am. When you prepare ahead of time, your chances of productivity greatly increase.