Focus is an important ingredient in your success.
The more focus you have, the less you’ll need of everything else.
If you’re focused then you don’t need to study as long. You don’t need to work as hard. You don’t need to worry as much. You don’t need to eat as well and you don’t even need to sleep as much. (But sleeping and eating well can seriously help.)
Focus is your superpower. When you can laser focus on something, it’s almost like you can telepathically control it. If you can laser focus on information then you can virtually drag it right into your brain.
Focus is a fickle superpower that can feel like a handicap. OooOOooo something shiny…
It’s seriously like those superhero training academy movies where a young person discovers a super power and they don’t have much or any control over it. But by going to their superhero schools or trainings they can gain control over it.
I’m here to be the first to tell you…
Welcome To The Smart Student Superhero Training Academy
I’ll be your instructor helping you hone in on your superpower of staying laser focused in a way that makes things you want happen.
When you want to learn, you can laser focus on something to learn it.
When you want to do something, you can laser focus on it to do it.
When you want to say something correctly, you can laser focus on it and the words will flow out like your first morning whizz… Relaxing… I know…
Wonderfully informative a metaphor, right?
Focus can give you good things but it’s a superpower that you’ll need to use carefully.
One second your laser focused energy might be burning a whole through your textbook while you learn at untold rates of efficiency…
The next second you’re using that laser focus to stare at the hindquarters of the attractive someone sitting a couple seats in front of you with that same focused intensity…
You’ll need to keep an eye on that power.
That power is what lets you get caught up doing something fun for hours and hours while you procrastinate studying. It’s also that thing that MAKES you get caught up doing something fun for hours instead of ever studying… Oh boy…
That’s not what you want, right?
You want the power to control your laser focus superpower and that’s what this lesson is going to be all about.
Get ready… strap in…
And seriously… try to stay focused at least long enough to get through this. 😛
How To Completely Fail To Focus On Something
There is one sure-fire way to screw up focusing on what you want to focus on. I’m teaching this strategy to help you…
Stop doing this:
“Try” to focus on something.
You know when you’re sitting with your textbook and you catch yourself zoning out instead of studying. Then… you have the wise idea… “you know what, I should try to focus back on my…”
Sure… it might work for a moment but in 30 seconds you’re going to be back to daydreaming while your textbook longs for the look you give it when you actually care what it says. (Don’t make your textbook sad.)
“Trying” to focus is usually a waste of energy. The human brain isn’t a computer. We can’t maximize the window to cover the whole screen in our brain. We can’t close out of the dozen extra browser tabs. We can’t turn off our IMs.
The brain focuses automatically. It’s closing its own browser tabs automatically. Its window is always maximized. It doesn’t turn of its IMs because those are the things that help you hear approaching tigers in the bushes. (Did you just hear something?)
Trying to focus isn’t the goal.
The goal should be to create an environment conducive to focus –
You know… like closing browser tabs you don’t need. Putting your phone on silent (or god forbid, turning it off!) Throwing everything you don’t need on the floor and using your desk for only 1 thing at a time. Shut off the music. (Check the bushes for tigers in advance.)
That’s an environment designed to make focus automatic.
Now that you’ve created a focused environment – instead of trying to focus –
Try to do what you need to do.
When you’re using an active study strategy like flashcards (or any active recall strategy,) this is all that you need to do.
When you’re using a passive study strategy like reading, it’s a little bit harder. But… you’re reading Smart Student Secrets… so just don’t do that. There are ways you can improve your passive focus but that’s complicated. It’s easier to just use active strategies.
Instead of chasing focus – let it chase you.
But I Can’t Control The Environment
Sometimes you won’t be able to control the environment. One of the worst places to try and learn to focus is in the classroom.
And focus in the classroom will take some getting used to.
But it can happen.
And the best approach to dealing with these environments that you can’t control comes down to a strategy I call the Focus Fallback Strategy.
The Focus Fallback Strategy
I don’t have time to dig into every detail related to The Focus Fallback Strategy but you can read all about it in the Smart Student Secrets books.
The Focus Fallback Strategy is the acceptance that, at times, you won’t be able to focus on what you want to focus on. Your superpower may have it’s own kryptonite and when that happens… this is your backup plan.
Whenever your brain isn’t allowing you to focus on something, look for the next best thing you can focus on.
When your teacher is saying boring information, maybe you could focus on writing notes about what the teacher is saying (but try to keep those notes interesting. Make them silly, strange, dirty, or something you enjoy thinking about but related to the topic.)
When you can’t do either of those, maybe you could focus on the strange way that your teacher is talking, or let yourself daydream about the things your teacher is saying, or just count the number of times the teacher uses the word, “uh…”
The best case scenario is you focus on the information you’re trying to learn but when your superpower is hitting its kryptonite, you want to fallback to your backup strategy.
The books should help you dig into that a little bit deeper but this should get you started.
Train this superpower and it will actually feel like a superpower.
This is an absolutely essential read for anyone on this blog.
I’m about 4 hours away from something big.
The story began a decade ago when I first started to share my study strategies with other students.
I had figured out the Holy Grail of academic optimization strategies – and every intermediate step to get to it. Using this strategy, I pulled a nearly 4.0 GPA while running a double course load in college – and once I started sharing it.
Droves of them.
And then teachers noticed.
Most of the teachers that were looking out for their student’s best interest got what I was saying and supported the cause. Others… well… not everyone has the student’s best interest at heart.
Early on (even before Smart Student Secrets,) I started writing for average students.
I knew… I was NEVER one of the “smart kids”. I was mediocre at best. And I knew, if these strategies worked for me then they could work for just about anybody. And that’s who I wanted to connect with.
But… There was a problem…
I built an audience giving these strategies away. Sure…
And I’d get messages from them. And we’d talk. And I’d hear their stories.
I’d hear from A+ students that cut their study time by 90%.
I’d hear from B students that took their grades up to A’s.
I’d hear from teachers that were sharing my strategies with their students.
I’d hear from older students how these strategies changed their life.
I love it. I love introducing these strategies that changed my life to other people.
But there was always this… but…
What about the C students?
What about the D students?
What about the students that are currently failing?
Sure… Some would reach out.. but…
They never followed through… They’d take a small step. They’d sign up. They’d learn some killer strategies. Seeing right there how powerful they were going to be…
And then… life kicks in. They lose sight of their goals.
And it’s gone.
Student’s came to this site to improve their life. They see the possibilities. But then… they move on.
In about 4 hours, I’m going to be introducing something – an email subscriber exclusive – that can help change that.
It’s going to make more Smart Students than at any other time in this site’s history.
If you’re ready to take your academic game to the next level – if you want to see it for yourself.
Write your email in the box. Check the confirmation you want emails. Confirm your email. And see for yourself.