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  • 10/4/2009

Organize, Focus, Get It Done (Part2)

kid doing his homwork assigment

Protect Your Environment

Clean air, clean water . . . clean workspace? Yes. The first two make for a healthy planet. The last one makes healthy work habits. It's best to have a desk or table that you use every time you do homework. If you associate that environment with work, you can actually start to focus faster. (That's why doing homework in bed isn't such a great idea. You associate that environment with sleeping, not learning!)

Keep your work area well stocked with pens, pencils, notebooks, and textbooks — anything you'll need to do your assignments. If you use the kitchen table or another space that isn't yours all the time, consider creating a ‘workbox’ to hold paper, pens, books, and other supplies so you don't have to hunt around for them after the table's cleared. That way, you can grab the box and voila! Instant workspace.

Wherever you work, try to make sure you won't be distracted. Turn off TVs, cell phones, the Internet, and any instant messaging device.

Think you can watch television and read your science book? Think again. You're less likely to remember the information you read when some of your attention is on something else. If you have loud siblings or family members, gently ask them to go elsewhere. If they won't go or simmer down, find a quieter place.

Stay Focused at Home

Once you've created the right homework environment, you have to stay focused, stick with it, and get the job done. Did you get stuck? Do you need a break for a minute? Take it away from your work desk. Get yourself a glass of water or a take a short walk (but come right back!). Don't turn on the TV or start reading email — those tasks are likely to suck you in. Keep your eyes on the prize: a finished assignment.

To keep your mind focused, talk yourself through the work. Ask yourself, ‘What do I need to do now?’ and then answer yourself.

Maybe you'll answer, ‘OK, I need to do the next math problem. Let's see . . . I'm up to number 5. I'll start by reading the problem to myself.’ Then go ahead and do that. Ask yourself: ‘What do I do next?’ Then answer yourself again: ‘OK, I need to find out what half of 46 is.’ Now what? ‘OK, so I write down 46 and I divide by 2,’ then do that.

You get the idea. Talk yourself through what you're trying to do, step by step, just like you're the teacher. This really helps you to keep your mind on the job and stay focused. Don't give up! You're getting there. (Remember to tell yourself that, too!)

You might be wondering, ‘But how can I stay focused when I'm cleaning up my room or doing some other chore my parent asked me to do?’ To stay focused on any job, talk yourself through it the same way. If you're cleaning your room, ask yourself, ‘What did my Mom ask me to do?’ Answer: ‘Oh, yeah, clean my room.’ Ask yourself, ‘Where should I start?’ Your possible answer: ‘I guess I'll pick up all my clothes from the floor.’ Then go ahead and do it.

Now — let's say that under the jeans you've just picked up, you discover that CD you've been looking all over for. You decide to play it, and before you know it, you're singing away with your pretend microphone. Still focused? Oops — you got distracted! Ask yourself, ‘Wait — what am I supposed to be doing right now?’ Answer — ‘Oh, yeah, picking up my clothes.’ Then get back on the job.

After all the clothes are picked up, ask yourself, ‘What should I do next?’ Possible answer, ‘I'll make my bed.’ Then do that. Keep talking yourself through the whole job until the room is clean. Notice the progress you're making and tell yourself, ‘I'm doing great. My mom will be happy (and maybe surprised!).’

kids room

Source: kidshealth.org

Other links:

Organize, Focus, Get It Done (Part1)

Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries (part1)

Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries (part2)

Being Safe in the Kitchen ( part1)

Being Safe in the Kitchen (part2)

Ten Things to Do During Summer Break

Problems with Legs and Feet

It’s Time to Play (Part1)

It’s Time to Play (Part2)

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