How to Stay Focused (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ

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    00:01 You know those people who can go to the library and study for, like, 12 hours straight and be able to maintain focus the entire time? Those people are not normal.

    00:09 And if you are, if you're one of them, you're totally fine.

    00:12 I'm sure everything is great.

    00:13 And if you are not, you are not alone.

    00:16 Let's look at how people who are not magical unicorns, maybe like you, can get through this and stay focused.

    00:24 Because our brains are not, most of our brains are not about that business of honing in on something for 12 hours, and it's okay.

    00:31 Staying focused is really hard.

    00:33 Let's just acknowledge that right out of the gate.

    00:36 Especially when there are about a million other things that you would probably rather be doing or when your to-do list is just getting away from you, and you are so overwhelmed by how much you have to do that it feels overwhelming to just pick the one thing that you need to focus on next and do it...

    00:49 In which case you can go back to the section where we talked about planners, right, where you can regroup, adjust, figure out what's going to work within your time frame and go forth. You got this.

    00:59 You can do it. And I'm right there with you.

    01:01 Honestly, I promise, like we talked about, there are many realistic things that you can do to feel accomplished, like being able to check things off of a list, making sure all your tasks are done each day.

    01:13 Those are difficult to nail down, but when you do, so worth it, it's magic.

    01:17 And so, so good for your motivation, honestly .

    01:19 Making epic to-do lists that are so big that you don't even know where to start, that's a super huge killer of focus and motivation.

    01:27 So, we want little wins.

    01:29 Scale down, even if they appear less impressive.

    01:32 Those small wins, I promise you, will snowball and they can really help you feel like you are actually accomplishing things when you get to mark the last thing off of your day, and you're, like, "Oh my gosh, I did everything." The second helpful thing for focus is something called the Pomodoro technique.

    01:47 So this isn't going to work for everyone, but I found it incredibly helpful and this is my course. So it's in here.

    01:52 Essentially, this is a time blocking strategy.

    01:56 I believe the full thing is technically 2 hours, but you can use this exact same idea with, whatever, however much time you have.

    02:03 I wouldn't go over 2 hours without taking a pretty substantial break, though, because your brain literally just needs to chill for a minute and do nothing.

    02:09 So how does this technique actually work? Basically what it's doing is, it's switching off between studying and resting.

    02:16 Studying for 25 minutes and then doing something relaxing or just getting up and moving for five.

    02:20 And then you repeat for 2 hours or whatever the time limit is that you have.

    02:25 And during those 5 minutes, I really do want you to go and get out of your chair, go grab something, go get a drink, go to the bathroom, take your dog out.

    02:32 Something that just brings you a little bit of joy or like physical comfort.

    02:37 And this part might sound weird, but I think like watching a YouTube video on in the background of someone doing the Pomodoro technique is a really helpful way for you to get in the groove. There are thousands of videos of people who create nice ambiance, music, background music, like, they have candles, it's very nice, all the things, and they will do it all for you.

    02:55 It also times it for you, which removes for me the barrier mentally of having to set the timer and find the music and get the vibe.

    03:03 You can just Google whatever Pomodoro technique and the vibe that you want and immediately mentally zone out.

    03:09 Let them do the work for you, and it goes by almost faster because someone else is also like weirdly, virtually hanging out with you.

    03:16 And when you finish a Pomodoro session, reward yourself, enjoy some guilt free time to watch a show, grab a coffee with a friend, mindlessly scroll on your phone, whatever you need.

    03:25 You earned it. You did the work, you crossed all the things off.

    03:28 And now, honestly, give yourself a break.

    03:32 The third thing that is pretty huge for staying focused is hide your phone.

    03:38 Really, like, whenever you want to get anything done, just hide your phone or turn off all of the notifications.

    03:44 I have zero self-control though, and I am also very lazy, so this nice combination allows me to.

    03:51 .. If I put my phone in a different room, that would then require getting up and walking to that room.

    03:56 And it's a really good way for me to resist the urge from feeling the need to do so because lazy, and then I don't fall into the hole of endlessly scrolling mid-study session. Hide the dopamine machine for a little while, and you will be astonished at what you can get done.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture How to Stay Focused (RN) by Elizabeth Russ is from the course Didactic Classes Tips (RN).

    Author of lecture How to Stay Focused (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ

    Elizabeth Russ

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