How to find the ability to concentrate and stay focused?
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives already for a year, and many of us have noticed concentrating becoming harder and harder. Being able to concentrate can be very difficult for all of us but especially it can be hard for students. We at Mightifier think that every child deserves a learning environment that is silent enough and feels safe to be able to concentrate on learning new skills. Here are our tips for teachers and parents to help the students concentrate better.
Calm and silent environment
If there is a lot of noise or things happening around, it can be very difficult to concentrate. Both in school but also at home when doing homework, the possibility of a quiet place is important. Sometimes even if there is no noise around you at the moment when you need to focus, if you have had a day with much hustle and bustle around you, it can be very difficult to calm your body down and concentrate. That is why it is important to keep the level of noise inside a certain range in video calls with students.
Don’t let the noise and hassle get too high but still remember that these are children, and they are supposed to have lots to say and lots of questions. When there is a balance, it will be a lot easier to get students to be completely quiet and focused as well. You can also advise your students to wear earplugs or headphones when studying at home if there’s noise around them.
Empathy towards yourself
Concentration is not always easy. Emotional state, general mood, level of vitality and environmental factors can have a huge effect on our ability to be able to stay focused. It’s only normal that it can feel more difficult these times. The same problem can occur when facing strong positive emotions. When being super excited and enthusiastic about an upcoming event or get happy news, staying focused on a school task can feel extremely difficult.
This is why being empathetic not only to people around you but also towards yourself is very important. You cannot always expect yourself to be capable of concentrating and by getting frustrated at yourself you will only make it worse. Same way, if a child is very restless someday, there is no reason to make it a bigger deal than it is. Some days staying focused is just easier than others.
All of us are different learners and that is why different ways to practice concentration also work a bit differently for everyone. However, this tip is worth trying out. Concentrating for a long time can be very challenging for students because their ability to self-regulate and control their impulses has not been developed fully yet. Therefore having a specific amount of time per task might help. This can be made visible for the student with a timer that they can see and that is easy enough for them to understand even if they do not understand the clock yet. This way the students will learn that when the timer is on, it means you need to try and concentrate, stay quiet and work on their task. Once the timer gives an alarm, they will get more instructions and something else to do. That way the time they are expected to concentrate does not get too long.
In addition, if you have not seen our amazing video about concentration, done together with WikiHow, go and check it out! You can watch this video together and then discuss it with your students with the help of the following questions:
- What was the video about?
- Why was it difficult for Brave Bird to focus?
- How did Bird manage to focus after some difficulties?
- Have you had difficulties focusing?
- How have you managed to find your ability to focus even if it has felt difficult?
Lastly, here’s our list of tips to do during your day to focus better:
– Take a walk outside, even around the house is good!
– Dance around or stretch on your break
– Drink enough water
– Eat a healthy snack
– Plan a call with a friend for the end of the workday!