I've been struggling recently with concentrating on my work so yesterday I tried something new...turning off the internet. Shock horror! And funnily enough, it actually worked!!! :D I managed to do my Classics essay in under 2 hours because of that! But to work properly, I always have to be comfortable. In college today, we were talking about this and I've come up with a few ideas to figure out my best working conditions.
So here we go; Jess's ultimate working tips!
- Turn off the internet/social networking sites. If you still have to use the internet, try to do as much work at school where you can't access any distracting websites, I've only just realised this, but they're blocked for a reason. If you can't do work at school, restrain yourself from going on Facebook; set yourself a time period that you will work in without going off topic, and if you do this, give yourself a little break to check your timeline! Or get your parents to block social networking sites until you've finished the work! It can be annoying at the beginning but it's actually very useful!
- Clear your workspace of any distractions. Trust me, when you're procrastinating, ANYTHING can distract you. Make sure you only have what you need around you. Have anything that will motivate you to work around, just make sure you don't have fun things around! It'll help in the long run!
- Make sure you're relaxed and your head is clear. Trying to work when you're stressed and distracted by other thoughts is possibly one of the hardest things to do like, ever. If you need to, just watch a bit of TV or read before you start work. Just get relaxed and motivated to work, focus on it and concentrate.
- Get a drink and snacks to keep you going throughout the work period. Make sure you keep hydrated when you're working or your mind will drift and you won't concentrate or work to you fullest potential. Set yourself mini goals and when you complete one, have a little snack! Be it sweets or a biscuit or an apple, anything you enjoy and will want to work towards! It's actually quite a good way to stay on track of work because you actually want to work to get the treat at the end of the section you're doing!
- Wear something comfortable. Tight or annoying clothes will stop you focussing on your work fully. I always change in to my lounge trousers/jogging bottoms when I do work at my desk because they're super soft, warm and baggy so I can sit any way I want to without them being tight and awkward. My thoughts are basically the slobbier the better! Baggy and comfortable is the best thing because you don't have awkward buttons or zips digging in to your sides or tummy when you're working!
- Make a plan/to do list. For the last week or so, I've been making to do lists for each day. It makes it easy to organise and see what needs to be done each day, plus it gives you an extra bit of satisfaction when you cross something off! If you have to write an essay, make a plan. Honestly, over the last week or so, I've been set 3 essays and every time I've written an essay plan for it. It makes it easier to decide what to write as you can set out your main points, write out the quotes you want to use so you don't have to search for them (MASSIVE time saver!) and you can also move points around before you start writing it so it makes more sense! So much simpler! If you've never done it, try it. It will make such a difference to the amount of time you spend writing essays. It also allows you to basically write your essay in note form, get it checked by the teacher and only have to add in a few extra words to make it in to proper sentences! It doesn't have to be super detailed, but it also doesn't have to be sparse and barely any use at all! Writing out your main points, the quotes and the basic outline to the analysis makes essays so much easier. But remember, you don't have to stick fully to the plan, so if you come up with an awesome idea, don't forget to add it in!
- Give yourself little, manageable targets to work towards. If you set tasks for you to do, it can make it easier to organise your revision/work. Cutting a mountain of work in to bite size chunks will help massively. Maybe you have a huge essay to do or a lot of research? Say that you'll write 2 paragraphs/points and then have a break, or find out 5 pieces of information then get a snack? YOu can tailor it to you, it's your work!
- Finally, DO WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU. If you already have a good way of working, ignore me and carry on! If you don't and like me, you get severely distracted a lot of the time, take note and try a few of these ideas out! They won't all work for everyone, some will work better and others will fail miserably. But if you don't try, you'll never know what works and what doesn't!
|My perfect work set: Gingerbread latte, a few sweets and an essay plan!|
|Baggy lounge trousers and my cute dog slippers; how adorable are they?!|