Writing coursework is similar to many complex tasks in real life. If you have to do something that can be done in a single moment of time, you only have to start and do it. But when your goals cannot be started and finished on the same day, many people have problems planning and getting things done. Here are some tips for achieving greater concentration when writing coursework which will also be effective in adult life.
1. Find an Appropriate place for Work
The first two tips are dedicated to preparations. You should find a comfortable place to work. If you sit in a crowded noisy place or in a living room at your home, you cannot concentrate on your work because there are too many people distracting you. Your attention dissipates and you are constantly losing your focus and then you have to spend time to remember where you left off. Instead, you can find a quiet and comfortable place without noise from other people which would give a greater level of concentration.
2. Switch the Digital Distractors off
Another type of distractor is your smartphone and other gadgets. In today’s world, we are constantly online, and a notification about a new message, comment, like or email may come at any moment.
Moreover, our brain operates in a way that tries to avoid excessive mental effort and energy consumption. Analyzing and writing is a highly energy-consuming process compared to passive consumption of information such as surfing the web, flipping through social media feeds, or watching movies. Therefore, our brain is trying to switch from harder cognitive work to a much easier one.
To avoid these distractions, you should switch off all gadget notifications. You can also use special software and services such as Isolator, Calendly, or Anti-Social. They do not allow you to use social media and other distracting websites during the time you established for work.
Another strategy to increase concentration on the current work is to previously prioritize the tasks. If you have, say, 5 tasks to do you should range them according to their importance and urgency. After that, you should start doing the most important and pressing one which, in our case, will be writing coursework. This means that you are doing only this task and are not distracted from other ones.
Multitasking is not a winning strategy as you will likely start several tasks but will hardly finish any of them. You should also understand why writing coursework is the most important thing right now. If so, other tasks will seem less important to you so that you can concentrate on your work.
4. Try to get interested in what you are doing
An important thing is the motivation behind what you are doing. If you are writing coursework only because you have to and you cannot postpone writing it anymore, it is bad news. Your brain will always be finding more interesting things to do which will not allow you to concentrate.
However, if you get really interested in your work your motivation to concentrate will increase a lot. You should formulate how your coursework will help you in your future learning or profession, or you should try to see what new information or skills you are receiving from this work. When you make your brain interested in this work, it will stop being distracted by extraneous things and will be completely absorbed in writing the coursework.
5. Compose a schedule for work
A significant obstacle in doing large things is that you may not see a final result of your work and thus you will be less motivated to do it. Therefore, it is useful to slice your work into pieces, that is to make a schedule of the entire task. When you make a schedule, the only thing you should be worried about is whether you complete today’s task.
Also, determine a time period for completing every step of a schedule. You may spend all your time writing a required piece of coursework so that you will have no time for other things. But if you have a schedule you will motivate yourself that you have to complete this piece by a certain hour.
This will structure your time and allow you to do other things besides your study. Make sure that you take breaks to let your brain have a rest since it was scientifically proven that working with frequent short breaks is more efficient and less exhausting compared to long periods of work without breaks.
6. Quantify the goals
In addition to planning time, you should quantify your goals, that is determine what result you want to see by the end of a day. Which task is more precise for a day – “To write a coursework for 3 hours” or “To write 500 words, or section 1.3., for 3 hours”? You will be marked not for the time you spent but for the completed assignment, so it is important to split the entire task into smaller pieces and align them with time.
As a computer, our brain operates clear and quantified measures of work. If you do not establish them, your productivity of work will be much lower. If you have clear goals for the result you want to obtain, you will be motivated to concentrate on the current task in order to complete a required volume of work in time.
7. Catch the flow
The things mentioned above are not easy to apply in real life. However, if you are able to get rid of distractors, get interested in what you are doing, structure your work, and determine tangible and measurable goals your productivity will soar to the heavens. You will catch the flow or inspiration, – a state in which you are completely focused on doing your task. Try to catch this state and when you catch it, do not even think about doing anything else. Being inspired, you can do many times more compared to routine work.