While it's important to focus on classwork and get good grades, school is loaded with distractions. From cell phones to social cliques, it's easy sometimes to forget the primary reason for being there: to learn. Whether the distractions are caused by social activities or something more serious, such as a health condition or problems at home, it's possible to get back on track.
Concentration problems often result from an unhealthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods and exercising regularly are part of a healthy lifestyle. A Danish study published in 2013, "Mass Experiment 2012," found that students who walked or biked to school have an easier time concentrating because they enjoy the benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Even small adjustments to your heath routine can improve your ability to concentrate.
Quit Social Media
Schools have different rules regarding cell phones, and some are stricter than others. If you sneak peeks at your text messages in class or spend your computer lab time updating your Facebook page or cyberstalking your crush, you're diverting time and energy away from your studies, which will affect your grades. Turn off your cell phone in class and avoid social media distractions that consume valuable time you should spend on classroom activities that require full concentration.
Problems at Home
Sometimes personal problems can interfere with the ability to concentrate in school. Whether it's a divorce, an illness in the family or another personal or family problem causing the distraction, consider talking about it with a trusted adult, such as the school guidance counselor or psychologist or someone in your church. These professionals are skilled in advising students how to manage stress, and even just talking about problems can be therapeutic. They can also point you in the direction of other resources.
If necessary, get a doctor's opinion about the reasons for your inability to concentrate. Some medical conditions like attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, depression and anxiety can make it hard to stay focused in school. These conditions can be treated with medication or other interventions, and treatment can lead to better grades and a better quality of life.
Exercises for Concentration
Think of mental focus as a muscle that can be strengthened. Some parents have found that having their kids spend 10 minutes a day simply focusing on their breathing helps them improve their focus in other areas. Another mindfulness technique involves concentrating on your toes and wiggling them whenever you feel your attention drift. Simply spending long periods absorbed in one task, like knitting or reading a book, is good practice for staying focused in school.
- Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images