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Hi hello my ISFP buds!! I'm a third-year university student, who is being progressively hindered by my poor time management and inability to focus. When the pressure's on and submissions are quickly looming, that's enough to get me going, but I'm finding that alone is just not cutting it anymore, and I'm starting to miss goals or perform under my own standard because of it.

I know that time management/the ability to focus is not inherently a personality-driven ability, but I thought it couldn't hurt to see how people similar to me do things, ya know? What kind of strategies do you have in place to help you stay on task?
 

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Hi there! :) When I was in college (or even high school for that matter), I was partially motivated by the idea that, if I get everything done sooner rather than later, I'll be able to have more uninterrupted quality time doing something I enjoy after it's finished. I would reward myself with something once I made my goal as well, like an episode from a tv show I like, playing video games, making a random craft or getting to bake cookies or something. :p That gave me something to look forward to and helped me get it done faster.

Also, music helps me focus a lot. It has to be the right kind of music though, because if I were doing something more complicated like calculus or listening to music with lyrics while reading, it can be very counter-productive. But in general, music that has a good beat but isn't super wild and crazy helps me be weirdly productive. I even listen to music in the office while I work at my cube! I find that when it's totally silent, sometimes it's too easy to space off and daydream.

I am very kinesthetic too, so whether I'm listening to music or not, I will probably be tapping my feet, turning my chair, swinging an arm etc. as I do stuff, because that also strangely helps me focus.

Out of curiosity, what are you studying?
 

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Mmmm yeah I really need to find a solid music playlist. Everything I have at the moment is far too distracting, but I can be very sporadic in what I pay attention to.

Also, I study Communication Design! Put simply, it's the design of anything that aims to communicate a message, so that extends into branding, logo design, publication, web design, etc etc. Delightfully broad, but I'm having a swell time.
 

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I got distracted so easily at home (TV, books, music, whatever) that I found it best to leave my flat and go to someplace where I had no choice but to study. But not the library or anyplace too quiet. A coffee shop or the student lounge worked best for me.

I found I was more focused if I did some deep breathing or mindfulness before starting. It quieted my mind down. I also set little intervals for my studying. I would study for an hour and then took a break for a while, then had another study session.

Good luck! :)
 

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Hi hello my ISFP buds!! I'm a third-year university student, who is being progressively hindered by my poor time management and inability to focus. When the pressure's on and submissions are quickly looming, that's enough to get me going, but I'm finding that alone is just not cutting it anymore, and I'm starting to miss goals or perform under my own standard because of it.

I know that time management/the ability to focus is not inherently a personality-driven ability, but I thought it couldn't hurt to see how people similar to me do things, ya know? What kind of strategies do you have in place to help you stay on task?
People get distracted because 1) they don't like what they're doing 2) there are other things occupying their mind 3) they were never taught the art of self-discipline (yes, you can and should educate your children on how to immerse fully in whatever they're doing).

If it's 1) then ask yourself why is it that you dislike it? is there anything you can do about it? The answer to the former question will be probably no, so get your Stoic juices up and get to work: think, rethink and meditate on all the bad things that will happen if you don't finish the task. Anxiety can be productive sometimes.

If it's 2) then make a list of the things occupying your mind and classify them like this:

xxxxxxxxx| important | not important |
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urgent |xxxxxxxxx|xxxxxxxxxxxx|
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not urgent |xxxxxxxxx|xxxxxxxxxxxx|
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Whatever is not urgent and not important should be done first. Kill the root of procrastination before it blossoms into a beautiful bouquet of laziness! Only then you can start doing what is urgent and important (which I guess is studying).

If it's 3) then you need help. You need to throw yourself to someone organized and dutiful like a starving leech and make your earnest effort to learn from them what you didn't in high school.

Also...

Be honest with yourself: what are you doing that is getting you out of focus?

Once you've identified that, you need to stop doing whatever it is you're doing wrong. It sounds simple, yet also it requires a lot of will. I don't really think music (in the broad sense) is the answer to focus, it can actually be distracting. Though classical music, and in that sense, music without lyrics can put you at ease. You just need to find the ones that work for you, though it will take lots of experimenting. Generally classical music is great for studying, and I've found some tunes by Aphex Twin to be good at it as well. Also, going back to the honesty thing, be realistic as well. Are you going to sites non-related to the task? Too much facebook? Then I got the perfect recipe for concentration:

1.Smack yourself. Hard. You deserve it.
2.Download some plugin for your browser which allows you to block the pages you usually use to procrastinate.
3.Become a hermit. Don't let anyone or anything distract you in your work. Artists and scientists, etc. do this. If you really like your work.. eh.. if you really want to finish the task you need to be serious about it.

That's it for today! I really wish you the best of lucks!
 
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