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What advice can you give a teenager to stay focused on his goals despite of the many distractions that life has to offer?

#focus #therapy #childpsychology #social-psychology

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
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Subject: Career question for you

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9 answers


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Dexter’s Answer

Hey Yash,

I would say, the best way is to teach yourself discipline. And it's never too late to learn it.

For me, exercise was something that was traumatic, due to some horrendous parenting. But, a few years ago, I was inspired by an anime called One Punch Man. It's a bit of a spoiler, but in there, there's a hero who gained his super powers by exercising everyday. This made me think that I too could do his specific workout everyday (once I build up to it anyways), and so I began my exercising journey at the tender age of 34. I've been exercising almost everyday for 3+ years now, and I can tell you that while I'm no super hero yet, I am much healthier and stronger.

Like so, perhaps you can find people that'll inspire you. Then try to achieve the things that those people have accomplished. Surround yourself with like-minded friends who aim for similar goals, and you'll have the support network you can rely on when you get distracted by other things.

I would also like to say that without lying to yourself, if you really want something, like really, really want something, you'll do it. Without being distracted by anything else. Just try fasting for a day. After a fast, even foods that you would not have touched in years will seem like the most delicious thing ever. Try to get your mind in a state where you hunger for your goal completion. If the goal is too big or too far away to complete, then divide it up into the smallest piece you can, so that you can complete that one thing and keep making progress on the larger goal.

I think it's really cool that you asked this question, and I hope you learn the art of discipline. It'll help you your whole life. Good luck!

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Dexter
Thank you comment icon I totally agree with what you say, Discipline is the essence of life. I am trying my best to make significant changes to my lifestyle just so I can focus on my goals. Yash
Thank you comment icon You can do it Yash! :) Dexter Arver
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John’s Answer

Yash, have you ever wished you could ignore all of the distractions around you and just focus…but find that, no matter how hard you try to stay on task, you keep getting sidetracked? Here are some of my favorites…

NOURISH YOUR BODY & REFRESH YOUR BRAIN
• Try working at a time of day when you naturally have more energy. For instance, if you normally do homework later in the evening, try starting it earlier in the afternoon and see how that affects your ability to stay focused and avoid distractions.
• Try exercising before you study. Just 15-20 minutes of aerobic exercise can provide an immediate boost in executive function, which helps students avoid distractions and maintain focus on their work.
• Drink more water! Studies have shown that even being slightly dehydrated can have a significant impact on attention and focus.
• If you’re having trouble focusing while you sit, try standing or walking while you work. Some students find that they can think and focus more effectively while they’re physically active.
• Take short breaks after completing each assignment, or after 30-60 minutes of focused work. Getting up to walk around, refill your water bottle, use the bathroom, pet your dog, etc. can help reset your focus & attention.

INCREASE YOUR MOTIVATION
• Create a reward, or incentive, for yourself by planning a specific, fun activity you will do as soon as you finish your work.
• Focus on the benefits of finishing this assignment. Think about how good you will feel as soon as you have completed it, or about how much better you will do on your next test. Or, if that doesn’t work for you, try considering the negative consequences of not finishing it to see if that feels more motivating.
• Increase your accountability, by working in a place where people can see what you’re doing, or making a public commitment (to a friend, roommate, parent, sibling, etc.) about what you will accomplish in this time period.

ELIMINATE EXTERNAL DISTRACTIONS
• Turn off or silence your electronic devices. If you can’t turn them off, put them on silent and turn off all notifications. Block internet access for websites that tend to distract you with one of the great tools designed for this. If you’re writing, try putting Word in ‘Focus’ view, or writing within an app.
• If your mind is racing in 100 different directions as you sit down to work, take a few minutes before you start to write down everything that’s on your mind so you can deal with it later, after your work is completed.
• Keep a notepad (or a text file) nearby while you’re working, so you can quickly jot down any ideas that come to mind while working but are NOT related to the task you’re working on. Each time, remind yourself: that’s NOT what I’m doing right now.

Identify the physical next step you need to take in order to make progress with this work Yash, and focus on WHAT you need to do to move things forward.

Hope this was Helpful Yash
Thank you comment icon Thank You Brian. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Dexter, for your continued support. There are two types of people in this world, those who see things happen and those who make things happen. Possible is possible when we desire to make it possible. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the tips, I will definitely be following them! Yash
Thank you comment icon Your Welcome Yash. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! John Frick
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Ernest’s Answer

Create a plan and map out the trajectory - what results do you expect in 1 month? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year... etc. Having a vision laid out is half the battle. The next is your dedication to what you want. Setting up a daily schedule is an excellent way to carve out some time specifically for what you would like.

Re-evaluate your position in regards to your goal/plan as time progresses and tweak it accordingly. Are you not where you thought you were at 1 month, maybe switch some things up or give yourself a little more time. Nothing is necessarily set in stone, but the goal is to build a healthy foundation for you to work off of. Think of it abstractly as adding tools to your tool box. Every day, you start with your tool box to conquer what the world throws at you. The day progresses and you use your tools to work towards your goal. You learn things, you mess up, but the cycle continues and over time you become familiar until you're no longer an apprentice, but you're the sensei. Best of luck.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your guidance. I will try to plan my tasks as much as possible. Yash
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Sikawayi’s Answer

Hello Yash, this is a great question. I will agree with you there are a lot of things out there to distract someone your age. As far as what you can do about staying focused, what you can do is pick 3 things that you do every day do them at the same time. What this does is it makes you aware of your surrounding where you need to be and so on. After a week of focusing on your task add more time to the task until you can do it for an hour each day.
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Raegan’s Answer

Hi Yas, great question!

I would advise a teenager to keep imagining the big picture. Life has many distractions, but some are necessary parts of life. It is healthy to indulge in some distractions to help stay focused on your goal. I would also advise you to always give 100% in anything you do that way; if something were to happen, you know you tried your best. The key to staying focused is knowing your goal, why it is your goal, how to reach it, and how to get back on track if you get distracted. We are all human; we all procrastinate and get off course now and then. I'm getting ready to apply to medical school, and today is the day I stepped out of my distraction phase. We all got this!

Here is an example. Let's say it's Monday and there is a final exam the following Monday at 8 am. You have been invited to a friend's house for dinner Wednesday night, have a football game Friday night, and the new season of your favorite TV show drops on Netflix Saturday. All of these are distractions that ultimately prevent you from studying. You could set aside time every day to look for the final exam and give yourself total focus when studying. You will most likely want to binge the show on Saturday and Sunday. For every 30 minutes of the show, you can do 30 minutes of studying. So watch for 30 minutes, pause it and study for 30 min, then repeat. This way, you stay focused on your goal, whether it is to ace the final exam, raise your GPA, etc., and the distractions are more like breaks.


I hope this helps answer your question!
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Candace’s Answer

Hi Yash!

Great question! The way that I would recommend to balance out these two important parts of life is to start making use of to-do lists. But don't just put the serious stuff on the list! Include the fun parts as well, so you have something to look forward to! I like to try to include several things I'd like to accomplish, whether it's for school, work or some outside goal and then include several fun items on your to-do list as well. That way, when you have a moment to do something fun, you're not punishing yourself for it. The best way to ensure that you are going to be able to attain your goals is by allowing yourself some balance in your life.

Hope this helps!

Candace
Thank you comment icon To-Do lists are great for planning beforehand and then accomplishing those tasks. I will surely be doing that. Thanks for the tip! Yash
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Jason’s Answer

Imagine an extremely successful version of yourself. You are professional and dignified. You are at the top of your field. You make good money and live life the way you want to. You work hard, but you have the money to play hard as well. You can vacation wherever you want, you can relax knowing your house is completely paid off, your car is paid off, etc. (Obviously tailor this to whatever brings you most joy)

Now imagine you are living this successful life, and suddenly you are transported back in time. And that's where you are now. You are your past self. You have the capability to become that successful person again. And you have the capability to just sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day. You will need to put in the time and effort to become that person again. Every dollar you could have spent on eating out at a nice restaurant, you save for your future education or business or whatever you want to pursue. And then once you become your future self, you can eat at fancy restaurants whenever you want. Every hour you spend studying and researching is progress. The time you put in now will turn into free time in the future. If you struggle and work hard now, you will have more time in the future to pursue what makes you happy.

Would you rather have an hour of chill time now, or 50 hours of free time in the future? 100 dollars now, or a million in the future? Invest in yourself, whether that's time or money or both.

Think to yourself, is it so bad to work hard while you're young, to enjoy life when you're older? While you have the rest of your life ahead of you? Or would you rather be mediocre and live an unfulfilled life. You owe it to your future self, to be the best version of yourself.
Thank you comment icon That is an entirely new perspective! It requires working on but I'm determined to do what it takes to be successful in life. Thanks for the advice! Yash
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Michael’s Answer

First thing anyone has to do before setting out to accomplish any goal is to understand self! Take about fifteen minutes a day for a week sitting alone quietly and focus on what where and who you are! Make peace with what it is you want to do what your likes and dislikes are and what your fears are! If you fear any particular person, study that person to see what their strengths or weaknesses are! Decide after serious consideration if you can go about your daily activities with this person around you! There is no law that says you cannot walk alone or follow your dreams without the assistance or interference from others. Once you have mastered this. You are ready to take adult steps into the world and create the best of you! Remember you were born alone and you can go about your business alone.
Thank you comment icon I will surely be doing that. Thanks a lot for the advice, I really appreciate it! Yash
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Ernest’s Answer

Create a plan and map out the trajectory - what results do you expect in 1 month? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year... etc. Having a vision laid out is half the battle. The next is your dedication to what you want. Setting up a daily schedule is an excellent way to carve out some time specifically for what you would like.

Re-evaluate your position in regards to your goal/plan as time progresses and tweak it accordingly. Are you not where you thought you were at 1 month, maybe switch some things up or give yourself a little more time. Nothing is necessarily set in stone, but the goal is to build a healthy foundation for you to work off of. Think of it abstractly as adding tools to your tool box. Every day, you start with your tool box to conquer what the world throws at you. The day progresses and you use your tools to work towards your goal. You learn things, you mess up, but the cycle continues and over time you become familiar until you're no longer an apprentice, but you're the sensei. Best of luck.
Thank you comment icon I will be doing that, I really appreciate the tips! Yash
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