Diminishing Attention: Tips for Getting Work Done Before Attention Runs Out
High school can be a whirlwind of projects, assignments, readings, science experiments, and even a presentation or two. And that doesn’t include the other stuff our students do outside of school: work part-time, attend practice for sports, participate in extracurriculars, babysit siblings or cousins, and of course spend time with friends and family. With the demands of coursework, projects, and looming deadlines (and that’s just here at school), effective time management becomes crucial. Students’ attention only lasts so long, so we need to be strategic about utilizing it!
But here’s the catch: not all hours of the day are created equal.
Students often find their attention waning as the day progresses. So, how can high school students navigate this ebb and flow of focus to maximize their productivity? Let’s explore some strategies that can help students prioritize their work effectively.
1. Identify Their Peak Productivity Hours
Understanding their daily rhythm can make a significant difference in how efficiently they tackle tasks. Take note of when they seem most alert and focused during the day, or ask them when they do. For some, it might be early morning, while others may find their peak productivity in the afternoon or evening.
Once they’ve identified their prime time for attention, they should schedule their most demanding and critical tasks during those hours. Here at EYC Academy, students might advocate for having their tougher classes scheduled during those peak times when they have the most attention to give.
2. Break Down Larger Tasks
When faced with a large, complex project, students should break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This not only makes the workload seem less overwhelming but also allows them to tackle each step with more focus and efficiency. Set specific, achievable goals for each day and see that huge project get wrestled under their control in no time!
If they need help, they should ask a teacher at EYC Academy. We have resources to help them break down big assignments into smaller parts and figure out a schedule for getting that project done a little at a time. Then they don’t have to spend an entire day’s worth of attention on a huge project and feel like they have to ignore everything else.
3. Delegate and Collaborate
Students don’t have to do it all alone. They can collaborate with their classmates if they are working on group projects and divide tasks to leverage each other’s strengths. Or if they have a lot of schoolwork coming up, maybe they can explain to their parents the expectations they are under and all the work they have already done to manage it! Then their parents can help them with another task at home they need to do. We want them to ask others for help!
Seeking assistance from teachers, classmates, or tutors when they encounter challenges can help them with their learning process and all the work they need to give their attention to.
Students only have so much attention to give during the day. So they need to be strategic about it. If they can, it would be great to get their class schedule organized so that they can work on their hardest course at the time when they have the most concentration and attention. And they shouldn’t forget to break down large projects or assignments into smaller steps, so they can divide up the work over time. Finally, they should ask others for help when they need it! Their teachers, friends, and family can help them give priority to the things that are in most need of their attention.