When you need to get down to reading or study, sometimes you may find that you’re ‘in the zone’ and other times your mind is wandering all over the place.  Lots of things can make it hard to settle your mind and focus when you most need to.


Here are 5 top tips to help you focus at school:

  1. Calm your mind If you are feeling very anxious or stressed about something at school or home then this can make it hard to focus on work.   Check out our mental health information here.
  2. Get enough sleep Being short of sleep will make it very hard to focus your mind.   Read our pages about sleep if that’s an issue for you.
  3. Give yourself breaks Structure your time into periods of intense work where you cut out all distractions – like social media – and then reward yourself with breaks.  One way you can do this is through Pomodoro working  – named after the Italian tomato shaped egg timer used by its inventor.  You uses a timer to mark 25 minute work periods followed by 5 minute breaks.   Reward yourself with a longer break after a few pomodoros. 
  4. Motivate yourself and make it interesting Everyone struggles to concentrate on something that they find boring, or if there is no reward for doing it.  If there’s something you are finding hard to engage with, think about whether there is a way you can make it more exciting by studying it in a different way, or how you can reward yourself for achieving a goal – maybe with a small treat, break or doing something you enjoy.
  5. If you have ADHD… Young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder find it extra difficult to keep their thoughts on something for long periods of time without their mind drifting off.   That’s because the chemicals (neurotransmitters) which send messages around the brain don’t fire as well as they do for ‘neurotypical’ people. People with ADHD find it hard to control what they pay attention to.

If you have ADHD, using the strategies above will be even more important. For more information about ADHD visit the Scottish ADHD Coalition website  or Young Minds.