5 Boosts that Will Improve Focus and Productivity at School
Today, we all have many demands on our time. At home, you have family, friends, and maybe even work still vying for your attention. At work, you have your personal life, coworkers, technology, and general stuff snapping fingers in hopes of gaining your attention. But you don’t have to live like that. There are small and simple changes you can start implementing that will make significant differences to your focus and productivity at home and particularly during home school.
- Use a Schedule
Do your best to create a schedule, especially for your home school time, that will give you a clear plan of your day and what is expected. This will allow you to move from one task to the next without having to stop and decide what to do next. Also, keep in mind that schedules are not the end-all-be-all, sometimes things change.
- Make a Clean Workspace
Be it your kitchen counter while you are cooking dinner or your school room area, keeping a clean and tidy workspace will help clear the mental clutter as well. There will be fewer distractions and you and your children won’t waste time cleaning . If there is continual clutter, figure out why. Do you need all that? Can you give some things away? Can you file some things? Do you need a tub for each child in which to keep their books? Figure out a system that works for you. A clean area is more inviting to get work done.
- Put Blinders On
This means all the blinders. Turn your phone on silent, stop notifications, and keep unnecessary tabs closed on your computer. Technology is fantastic, but it can also serve as a major distraction throughout the day. Stay focused on homeschool. Take into consideration how much time you spend clicking and scrolling needlessly and how it keeps you from working with your children or getting necessary housework done.
- Let Others Know That Home School is in Session
Let others know that you are serious about home-schooling and that just because you are home, you are not available 24/7 for a chat. Do what you need to do to minimize distractions from other human beings. Basically, your attitude must be, “I’m happy to help but not until later,” or “I’m sorry, I don’t have the time, our home school schedule comes first.” You must give family and friends some clues about your schedule. Particularly if you are homeschooling, let them know that during certain hours you are not available to chat. You have to set limits on how much other people can take of your time.
Friends with no children or or who have children in public school must be informed about your commitment. You have to put your children first.
- Know Your Habits
We all have habits that dictate when we are most and least productive. Pay attention to yours and use them to your advantage. Figure out how to use your strengths, and the strengths of your children, to make a more harmonious home school flow. If one child likes to read, have him or her read to a smaller child. If one likes to sharpen pencils, use that to advantage. Use all strengths, big and small, of the whole family, to get the work done. Home schooling is a family affair. Plus, know when your most productive times are for planning what you need to do. Know yourself..when to plan..when to work…when to take a break.
Finding your work groove can be challenging; however, taking the time to make small steps in the right direction will allow you to create a workday that is productive and meaningful.
4 Habits to Help You Focus Better
Focusing comes in different forms for everyone. Keep reading for four tips that can help you find your focus.
- Have a Daily Plan
You should wake up every morning with a plan of what your day will look like. It is good to start thinking about this the night before and make some preparation if you need to. This doesn’t have to be a detailed schedule that outlines every minute. But having a plan in place will eliminate small decisions that can get you off track. Having a plan will also give you a clear goal for how your day should progress and end. Take time every evening to write out (not just in your head) the plan for the next day. It can include what you will have for breakfast and lunch. You may have to prep some things for the next day’s home school session. Do what you need to in your situation to make things easier for you. Every household is different.
- Moment of Enjoyment
Every day take at least a small amount of time to do something you really enjoy. Maybe give yourself a short break after school just to rest and recharge. Enjoy a few minutes simply resting, or having an afternoon cup of tea. Have a short exercise break. Having that moment of enjoyment will give you a respite from all the to-do’s that fill your day and give you time to reset and prepare for what comes next.
Sometimes just taking a moment to do something different will give you a rest even though you might still be “working” in someone else’s eyes. Simply because it is a different kind of work you can get a few minutes of enjoyment and rest from what you were doing.
- Be Persistent
If a task isn’t coming easily to you, feel free to walk away for a few minutes or even a day. Maybe you’ve been trying to set up a field trip and it just isn’t flowing. Be persistant overall and don’t give up. But see if there is a better way to do it. Sometimes when things don’t flow right away we need to step back and see if there is a message to pay attention to. Overall though, don’t allow yourself to bounce from unfinished task to unfinished task. It is best to bring a task to completion before moving on. In the long run, you will save time and energy. Don’t avoid difficult work. If tasks are half-done, ask yourself “why”? Are they commitments you have made that you really have no incentive to finish? As you find your core purpose, and arrange your tasks around that, it will eliminate extraneous tasks.
- Have a Day Off
“There’s no rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need it” is a familiar turn of phrase that praises the busy. But we all know that it isn’t the truth. We all need a day off to rest, reset, and recuperate. We also need time with our families and friends to fill our cups and remind us why the hard days are worth it. When God created the world he made six days for work and one for rest.
4 Brain Boosts for Better Focus
To function successfully in the world today, you need to be focused. But this can be difficult. Distractions, brain fog, and too much jitter-causing caffeine, can make getting through the day a struggle. Below you will find four easy ways to cut through the fog and gain better focus for your busy and meaningful days.
1. Lower Your Stress
Stress is hard on a body, both physically and mentally. Every time your body experiences stress it produces and secretes stress hormones, giving your body the signal to fight or take flight. Lowering your stress will reduce the number of stress hormones your body produces and allow you to think clearly, responding to situations instead of reacting. Lowering your stress levels may mean saying “no” more often, asking for helping, or delegating tasks to others either at work or at home.
2. Cut Out Food Intolerances
Some foods, especially when consumed in excessive amounts, have been proved to affect brain function negatively. You do not have to give up these foods completely, but you can try cutting back or attempt an elimination diet. If you think a food may be causing you trouble, try living a day without it. See how you feel. Then test another food on another day. Food intolerances can also be an added strain on your brain function. These intolerances, similar to allergies, can cause reactions within the body that make it hard to focus. Foods to consider cutting back on can include pre-cooked meats, artificial sweeteners, bacon (especially the heavily preserved kind found in the supermarket), alcohol, and cheese/dairy. Remember, you do not have to cut out any of these foods completely, but you may want to consider how much you are consuming.
This applies to your children as well. Food definitely affects the behavior of children. Too much sugar is not good for their health or their attention span.
It may interest you to know that it has been discovered that there are different body types and each one does better on a different diet. This explains why some people do well on foods other people cannot tolerate.
Here are a couple of books that discuss the topic.
3. Increase Key Nutrients
Amp up your intake of nutrients that help your body and brain function best. Your body needs calories from fat, protein, and carbs to work properly. You may also want to consider if you are consuming enough magnesium, B vitamins, and choline.
4. Get Your Zzz’s
Getting enough quality sleep might just be one of the most significant contributors to having better focus during the day. Your body needs sleep to recuperate and clear out everything from the previous day. This includes liver function, cortisol (a stress hormone) regulation, and muscle repair. Basically, if you aren’t sleeping enough or well enough, your body can’t function at its top condition. There is a debate as to whether EMFs from electronic devices affect sleep. Try keeping yours out of the room where you rest and see what happens. Also try to keep a standard routine and bedtime and you will grow into a better sleep habit.
Of course, your children need good sleep as well. Set a regular bed time and regular routine for going to bed.
Having a clear and focused mind can seem like a tall order, one that you can’t possibly stack up to. But that isn’t the case. Take small and simple steps toward clearing the fog and cobwebs, and toward a brain that is ready for whatever the day brings.
A Short Review of Goal Setting
If you plan on home schooling, you need to set a goal for the outcome of what you want at the end of the child’s (children’s) years in your home school system. What do you want that to look like? Of course, you need the basics. But you also have a wide bearth of potential in what you teach your child or children. Do you want them to also learn: music, art, foreign languages, a trade, Constitutional history, Christian history and so much more.
The possibilities are endless, to use a well-worn phrase. But it is true. There are so many options because of online learning you can taylor what is taught to gifts and talents that you notice, as a parent, in your child. You also have the ability to teach them patriotic values and religious/moral values, the lack of which we have recently seen in the public streets as children brought up in the school system and educated in marxist-oriented higher educational school have looted, rioted, burned cities and torn down statues. You have the ability to teach your child (children) otherwise. So consider your goals carefully.
Goal setting involves the creation of a systematic action plan aimed at motivating and guiding a group or individual toward a desired goal. Goal setting has been used for a variety of purposes including career advancement, personal development, organizational development, and business development. Goal setting has also been used in education and training programs for organizations and groups. Goal-setting can also be based on SMART criteria, which are described below.
The main purpose of goal setting is to provide a clear and concise goal that enables people to work towards the intended result. The goal should be easy to understand and measurable. It should encourage the person to take a definite course of action and, if followed, would bring desired results. Goal setting may be based on an identified outcome or it can involve the use of the phrase, “a set of actions that will lead to”to reach a definite result.”
Goal Setting is an essential step in attaining personal, professional, or organizational goals. It helps us to focus our efforts on specific goals and enables us to achieve our aims and values. It is also instrumental in motivating people to use appropriate skills and resources for reaching our set goals. Goals must be defined and clearly detailed so that they become part of our lives and we are motivated to do our best.
Goal setting has to include activities and methods to evaluate the success of the efforts of the program. Goal-setting is the key to achieving the purpose and expectations of the plan. It must include evaluation tools like performance measurement systems, benchmarking systems, and project control systems.
There are various home-schooling systems and curriculums to choose from. You can find one that has tests and benchmarking systems that you want for your child. As is often mentioned on this blog, participation in a local home-schooling organization may give you resources and access to other like-minded individuals who may have useful experience and knowledge to share.
The main goal of goal setting is to set and achieve specific targets, as well as attain targets that are within reasonable levels of attainable, and to monitor progress toward those targets. The success of the plan depends on the implementation of a system that controls the resources and ensures effective monitoring and evaluation of the process. The plan must be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the environment.
Goal-setting is a major element of management and personal-development literature. Goal-setting can have many forms, depending on the objectives that are to be achieved.
Goal-setting is a critical element of homeschooling, where the objectives of educating your children is met through planning your long and short term objectives at the beginning and then followed through with training and nurturing of you children.