Many people struggle to concentrate on tasks when they are distracted, and this is especially so for students facing challenges with focus when completing academic related work. It is no secret that high school and college students find it tough to stay on track with tasks that demand prolonged attention, such as writing papers or long math assignments. Research indicates that students typically lose focus after 3-5 minutes of studying. This lack of focus can lead to spending more time on work than actually needed, push back bedtimes, and overall reduce physical and academic performance.

While technology can enhance learning, it also creates more distractions in our lives. For instance, studies show that texting and using social media, while also studying, leads to lower GPAs. However, technology is not the only culprit when it comes to creating distractions. A myriad of factors contribute to focus issues, including internal thoughts, task complexity, low motivation, and a lack of urgency. Furthermore, for an individual with ADHD, such factors are exasperated. 

Despite living in a world full of distractions, there are practical solutions to minimize them and enhance focus. Some of these solutions include adjusting study times to an individual’s peak energy levels, incorporating exercise, eliminating external interruptions (such as turning off the tv or phone), and using positive self talk to manage internal dialogue. Keep in mind all of these efforts take time and patience in order to make a habit out of them!

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