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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » I need to focus!!!

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Author Topic: I need to focus!!!
Etch
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Member # 182

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So recently I have been swamped with homework more so then usual. I have always had a problem with actually doing my homework though. I could sit there and stare at a homeowork assignment for an hour because i simply cannot force myself to do it. I need to bring my grades up because i already have had to make classes up because of either failing them or screw ups from when i transfered from my old school.

So my question is, do you guys have any tips on ways to get focused on homework? People have different methods and i would like to see if any of them might help me. (btw, i dont have ADD and even if i did my mother would refuse to let me be tested or use ritalin)Thanks guys.


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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Sure.

Go to the unemployment office early in the morning some day and take a look at the lines. Then ask how many people in line have their high school diploma.

Try and look suprised when they answer.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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Kechara
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As far as the here-and-now, though, I have a few suggestions. I used to have a lot of trouble getting my homeworkd done. (I still have some trouble, but a lot less.) It falls into two major catagories: the homework that I'm a perfectionist on and the homework that is boring and that I have troble starting in the first place. If it's boring and ridiculously easy I'll do it while sitting with a bunch of friends chatting- for some reason I'm actualy able to do that and get it done in about the time it woudl take for me to do it if I were alone, because I constantly start daydreaming if I'm bored (I *do* have ADD, BTW). if it's something I actualy have to concentrate on a little bit but is still boring, I make sure there's little distractions that I'm in control of. The first problem tends to be the hardest; I'll do *just* the first problem, then do something else (check my email, go get a snack... *anything*!). then I'll do a few more, then another 1 minute break. The trick is to always do at *least* one problem in between breaks and have a very short limit on the breaks. It might take a bit longer, but the work gets done.
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KittenGoddess
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Kechara has some really good ideas there, try some of those. I had the same kind of problem when I came to college (which is about 100x worse than when you have that problem in high school cause you have more work, and it's harder!) because I never had to study in high school, so I had never learned how to study. And beyond taking those same kind of little breaks, what I've found really helps me is getting a tutor and going to all the help sessions and office hours I can possibly find the time to attend. Sometimes I look at an assignment and my brain starts going a mile a minute thinking "Oh my gosh, I can't do this, I don't even know where to start, there's just so much to do, I can't do this, I'm going to fail, they're going to kick me out, I'll never get a job, I'm going to have to become a prostitute...I just can't do this!!!" or something similar to that. And then my brain shuts down and I can't do anything. So getting someone else who can help me see the task as do-able, and give me someplace to start helps alot. Just remember that there's no shame in admitting that you can't do it, and asking for help. That's a lesson I had to learn the hard way!

~KittenGoddess

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"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell."
~Joan Crawford

[This message has been edited by KittenGoddess (edited 01-23-2001).]


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Eclipse
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Now, this is only appropriate for a very small minority of people, especially by mid-highschool, but a lot of people don't realize that it's even a possibility, and I have known it to work... have you considered not going to school? I was self-taught ages 10 - 17, I graduated from a school for "home-schooled" people, and I'm now in college (a small honors college, where I'm doing quite well). Also I've found that many, if not most, colleges (if you intend to go to college) do not attach the same sort of stigma to GEDs vs. highschool diplomas that teenagers do. I don't think there's any shame in leaving a bad or unworkable situation (and that's what highschool is for many people) IF you have a clear constructive plan for what to do instead, and preferably, the support of your family.

Such things aside, KittenGoddess is right, never be afraid or embarassed to ask for help. I often am, and it's caused me more trouble than the rest of my bad study habits combined! Talk to your teachers as much as possible. Later if you go to college, talk to your professors as much as possible. Even if they always seem busy (and they will). Try not to make excuses, but always speak up when you're having problems. It's embarassing, but it's better than crashing and burning. Also make use of writing centers, counselors, teaching assistants... anyone who's there to help, even if you think you're the only student doing it (you're not).

Try making a schedule. Sometimes it's easier to get started if your goal is something like "I'll work on this math homework for 20 minutes, and then take a break," instead of "I really should finish all my math homework." The latter might seem impossible, and then you'll just put it off. On the other hand, if you find yourself setting a twenty minute timer and then just staring at the paper, you've got to be honest with yourself and admit that that's not working, or that you won't start the timer until you're *really* working. Go ahead and take breaks--you'll work better if you do. Just make sure that the breaks have clear limits, and that they're breaks between actual work.

Sometimes music really helps me. Sometimes it makes it impossible for me to write. I usually prefer to study alone, but sometimes having other people to work with helps a lot (especially reviewing before tests or going over vocabulary or discussing theory). Sometimes I do things neatly in advance. Sometimes my best motivation is last minute panic. The only constant is that I'm motivated by an internal drive and obsessive perfectionism, but if you're not, you'll find other things to motivate you (and you should probably count yourself lucky).


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Etch
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Yeah, ok so i am working on a speech right now (about the energy crisis cuz now they are threatening rolling blackouts in oregon too!!! UGH) I am gonna try that break thing. The prob is actually going back to the work and doing it. But now i have something else working against me. SLEEPINESS. But i have to write this speech or I am dead tomarrow.

My mom wont let me get a GED unless i have straight A's to begin with. That has never happened with me, or my brother.. so for now that is not an option.

By the the way Miz. S ... you are one funny lady.


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Ella
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I've just started this year (my first in uni) to actually do my readings so I have a little tip for that. Instead of just reading the book - actively read it. By that I mean highlite or take notes from. I found before I did that I'd just skim it to get it done, but now I actually retain information. As to the getting work done in the first place, set aside some time and schedule it. Write out your schedule and check things off as you finish them. You'll feel good when you finish things on your list and that'll make you happy that you worked.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Just a note: GEDs are generally not of an equivalent value to actually graduating, though they are supposed to be. I have to disagree, there, Eclipse -- I've seen way too many dissapointed people and heard way too many employers and teachers on the matter. Employers do NOT give it the same weight, and neither do colleges or other forms of post-high school study.

Finish your education, and do the best that you can. Public school doesn't work for all people (I know I tried it for a year and was bored senseless and not amused by how easy it was to get A's while paying no attention whatsoever), and if for whatever reason, it isn't for you, look at alternatives, but be sure they really ARE decent alternatives.

And be sure you're just not shortchanging yourself -- you owe it to you -- no one else -- to give it all you've got.

Have some coffee (I know, I'm such a caffiene pusher, it's my big vice, what can I say?). And get the heck away from these boards. We love ya to death, Etch, but don't let this be yet another distraction.

We're rooting for you, doll. hang in there.

(And believe me, if you spent every day writing about the comedy of errors that is the global bedroom at large, you'd be pretty funny, too!)

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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