Ways to Stay Focused

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It can be incredibly difficult to concentrate on something for a long period of time, especially when it comes to the more mundane and boring things, like chores, homework, or cleaning out your closet like you swear you were going to do when the weather started to change but has only become an even bigger pile of clothes.

Having a mental illness doesn’t help either, as it can play a factor in disrupting your work performance. This doesn’t just include ADHD, but anxiety and depression also have a relationship with difficulty concentrating on tasks. There are a variety of reasons, since mental illnesses all affect people differently, but things such as worrying about doing a good job and your mind struggling to even think about the assignment at hand when it’s hard to function in general are a couple of examples.

The Internet, as usual, can try to help with its endless resources. At the very least, there are apps and websites that can help block electronic distractions so you can focus on what needs to be done. While these aren’t the only ways to help with concentrating, especially since they are limited to blocking out websites and other apps, these are still options that can maybe make finishing that essay a little bit easier.

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SelfControl While it can seem a little intimidating at first (the icon is a skull, for example), SelfControl has you make a list of specific websites that you want to blacklist, such as social media websites, and once you set a time limit, you can’t access any of them until the timer runs out. It doesn’t block other websites, however, so if you need to do research or Google something, you can still access them. Don’t try and restart your computer to access the blocked sites though, because you still won’t be able to access them.

FocusWriter FocusWriter are for those who don’t need to use anything else on their computer, and just need to write. Here, you also set a timer, and your screen becomes nothing but the document (with a customizable background), so you’re forced to look at it and nothing else on your computer.

Flippd Flippd takes things to more of an extreme, as it was created to help people break any bad habits that they have with their phone. It can still be helpful on a lower level, however, since it also gives you the ability to control how much time you need to spend away from your phone and its distractions. Just like SelfControl, the main catch is that the apps you choose to block will absolutely stay blocked, even if you try to restart your phone.


Do you have any tips on how to concentrate on important tasks? What do you do to stay focused? Let us know below!

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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