Have you ever been frustrated that you can’t seem to finish that paper that you’ve been writing for so long? Or maybe you’ve been falling behind on deadlines recently?

In the digital world, perhaps one of the greatest features ever created (aside from ‘undo’) is the ability to leave multiple tabs open. This function makes it easier to copy and paste those Wikipedia one liners on your research papers and submit it as your homework – kidding.

However, great as multiple tabs may seem, keeping multiple tabs open might be the one hindering you from meeting your deadlines.

A problem of focus.

In a study conducted by Bryan College, an average millennial switch attention from platforms 27 times PER HOUR – that’s like a little more than 2 minutes per platform.

Studies suggest that multitasking makes your productivity drop by as much as 40%. This doesn’t only go for writing your research paper, but also for studying. Imagine scoring 60/100 on the exam you’re cramming for. Yikes.

Now, you might be saying: “but I’m able to do multi-tasking so well”. According to the national geographic documentary “brain games” only 2% of the population can do multi-tasking well. Either way, it’s still a good thing to focus on one single task.

With the changing times and evolving technology, how can you achieve focus?

Well, lucky for you my friend, we have a recipe for that – yes you read it right – a recipe.

  • What you’ll need:
    • A headset
    • The material you are going to write/study
    • An extra pen and a pad of paper
    • You’re smartphone
    • BONUS: prepare a playlist
  • Here’s what you’ll do:
    1. List everything that you’ll do/study and put them in order.
      • Ex. 1) study quantum physics 2) cry 3) Feed cat 4) study quantum physics without crying. 5) cry.
    2. Turn off all your notifications and leave only your music as your only source of audio.
    3. Remove all distractions: social media, gaming app, picture of your ex, fidget spinners, that bottle of beer – anything that will cause distraction.
    4. Optional or only if someone loves you: Text your clingy boyfriend/girlfriend/mom that you’ll be studying, and you’ll update them every 20 minutes (I’ll explain later why 20 minutes).
    5. Go to your music streaming app and search for “background music” and choose whatever it is you like. Remember, don’t choose anything with lyrics. (later we’ll also explain why) Also, yes, budots is acceptable.
    6. Set a countdown or an alarm for 20 minutes.
    7. Whenever you’re ready, put on your headset. Start that timer and start your task
    8. When the 20 minutes is up, take a break, rest for 5 to 10 minutes then repeat.

Okay so I’ve listed some FAQs on the method above and explained why we recommend the steps above.

  1. Why 20 minutes?
    • This is actually from a technique called “Pomodoro” (you can google it). It basically states to set a certain time to do something then rest and then repeat – so it’ doesn’t necessarily have to be 20 minutes, however..
    • Based on studies, 20 minutes is where your focus peaks, after 20 minutes your focus drops gradually. This is the best time to rest, review and after some time – repeat.
    • Some people who have built their focus can go for 40 minutes non-stop. You can train your brain to do this.
  2. Why can’t I choose my favorite KPOP song or anything with lyrics?
    • Based on studies, lyrics or words in songs can distract you even if you don’t memorize them or you are not familiar with the words.
    • Words can catch your attention and put pictures in your mind. We don’t want you answering “let’s kill this love” in one of your test questions now, would we?
  3. You said to prepare an extra pen and paper? What was that for?
    • Okay, so nobody’s perfect, there will come a time that you may be distracted or might an “aha” moment for something not related in what you’re doing.
    • For example, you might suddenly remember that your crush gave you her Instagram account – don’t stop what you’re doing to follow her, write it down and once your 20 minutes is up you can do it by then.

BONUS TIP: there is an app on playstore (yes, playstore because we’re not RKs who can buy apple) called “tide” – no, not the detergent. Yes, it’s an app.

What it does is it blocks your notification for a given amount of time (based on what you set) and then it can play any background music of your choice (it can be birds, the sound of the forest, the busy café etc). Try it out. PS: this is not a sponsored content (I wish)

We hoped you learned a thing or two from this. If you haven’t let us know why, if you have but you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask us.

One final tip: if you are looking to make yourself #SignificantlyBetter, there are a bunch of trainings and learnings that we definitely recommend for you to check out – links are below. 😊

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Online Training and Certification: https://asklexph.com/online-lean-six-sigma-yellow-belt-certification/

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Online Training and Certification: https://asklexph.com/online-lean-six-sigma-green-belt-certification/

Certified Data Analyst Online Training and Certification: https://asklexph.com/alpha-certified-data-analyst/


Meyer, D. E. & Kieras, D. E. (1997a). A computational theory of executive cognitive processes and multiple-task performance: Part 1. Basic mechanisms. Psychological Review, 104, 3-65.

Meyer, D. E. & Kieras, D. E. (1997b). A computational theory of executive cognitive processes and multiple-task performance: Part 2. Accounts of psychological refractory-period phenomena. Psychological Review, 104, 749-791.

Holub, Isaac, (2011). National Geographic Channel, Brain Games Season 1 Episode: Pay Attention, 20:15 – 20:30