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How To Stay On Task

How To Stay On Task

Staying on task is hard for kids and adults alike. We all struggle with the motivation and concentration to get things done. Even further than that, we all struggle to get things done efficiently. Instead of activities and errands taking days, we need to get better at accomplishing them. Faster and on time. 


How do you do that? Where does the sensation of concentration even stem from in our brain? Can you and your kids learn to focus better? So many questions.


The good news? It’s totally possible to improve your concentration. The better news? Today, we are showing you how. 

What You Need To Know

It’s normal. Everyone struggles with these problems, but luckily we know just how to fix this issue. No need to stress — everyone can improve their focus. What else do you need to know? It’s impossible and improbable to expect laser-like focus from our kids. 


If your children have a hard time staying on task and completing activities, especially tasks like homework, it’s not their fault. Their brains aren’t developed enough to stay on task as long as adults, so as you work to improve your concentration and focus, your kiddos are learning how to concentrate and focus. It’s important that we all keep in mind what we’re asking our littles to do. 


Ideas and realizations like these help bridge the gaps to our kids better and improve our patience with them. 

Where Does Our Concentration Come From?

The prefrontal cortex of our brain. Basically, this is the area of our brains located directly behind our foreheads. You know that area you rub incessantly when your kids are causing that parent rage? That’s where your focus is.


It’s almost like you’re pushing the focus button of your brain every time they start to drive you crazy. Too bad it doesn’t work that way. 


Interestingly, your prefrontal cortex is actually responsible for most of your cognitive behavior and planning. Emotions, expressions, and reactions all stem from this area in your brain. Along with this is the idea of behavior/action and reward.


This area of your brain is responsible for understanding the response to specific actions. When you do or say something and get a positive response, you do it again. So this part of your brain determines personal goals and actions. 


This is why kids struggle to be on task as long as adults. They don’t truly know the reward behavior; they’re still learning the correlation. 

How Do You Fix It?

Well, we’ll tell you. It’s steps, tricks, and little personal goals that are set and implemented daily. It’s harder to accomplish these goals and stick to them versus letting go and falling back into old habits. So with improving concentration, consistency is key. 


While these activities on their own are great, try reaching for our FocusPatch for added benefit. It is a blend of all-natural essential oils that will help keep you motivated and ready for the day. They are safe for both parents and kids and smell amazing. The best part? They go on clothes, not on skin, so they’re safe as well as effective. 

Adequate Sleep

Your brain needs a certain amount of sleep every night to ensure proper function the next day. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain isn’t ready for a new set of challenges and tasks, and thus your focus suffers. Kids need a consistent bedtime and proper sleep to get the most out of their days, especially in school. Establish a bedtime routine and stick with it. 


The same goes for adults; we still need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to unpack and get ready for the next day. So plan ahead, decide what needs to happen each night before bed, i.e., brushing teeth, washing your face, reading for 30 minutes, etc., and stick to it.


Even if you don’t have a set time every day that you need to wake up, do so anyway. Set an alarm for the same time every day, maybe an hour later on weekend mornings, and get up. 

Proper Nutrition: A Healthy Conversation

Your body needs fuel, but also healthy fuel, to function at its best. If we grow up with unhealthy food habits, it will affect more than just our cholesterol. Junk food can lead to unproductive habits and sugar crashes due to intense amounts of salt and sugar in processed foods. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables in conjunction with other balanced nutrition is key. 


Children also need a healthy understanding of food groups and the importance of nutrition. If we know that proper nutrition helps us focus, establishing this in younger minds will ensure they don’t struggle with focus later in life. With the proper diet, their brain can grow all the superpowers it will need. 

Set Small Goals

Not just for big tasks, but for everything you need to accomplish daily. Break up work and activities into small pieces and check off piece by piece. Even if you don’t necessarily make a checklist, think of each task in smaller pieces. Each small win will give you the motivation to keep going. 


Many times for adults, and especially true in children, is the lack of motivation to get certain tasks done. Things like homework or projects for work that we feel are more boring than others end up taking the most time. Why? Because we don’t want to do them.  So smaller goals help us to fight the boredom from these less “exciting” tasks. 

Eliminate Distractions

Things like turning off the TV or video games should be off during tasks. It’s crucial in these moments to have distractions eliminated, especially for less than ideal tasks. Those items that we have to get done but rarely enjoy. Those are going to require even more focus than more ordinary jobs. 


For kids, eliminating these distractions is just good practice for now and the future. As little kids, we can teach them to tune out entertainment and other means of distraction. This will ensure that as teens and adults, they are better conditioned to do so on their own. It won’t be a chore to turn off the TV at study time, just a natural step before starting. 

Take Breaks

Just like small steps will help you accomplish goals, so will small breaks during big jobs. Sometimes our brains get overloaded with all the information being processed, and tasks start to feel too big. When you get overwhelmed, take a break. Take a walk around the block, or listen to a bit of music and close your eyes. Your brain can turn off for a second and recharge.


This is important for kids to do and will probably need to happen more often than for adults. Remember that their brains can’t process as much, so more breaks will help them accomplish goals. For extra small kiddos, maybe have a small sensory project ready.


They’ll use their sense of touch for a few minutes and perk up a little in the process. After a few minutes of play, they’ll be ready to finish their big task. 


They still won’t want to clean their room, but they will be more motivated to do so. 

Exercise

Your body needs endurance, and so does your brain. But exercise is just as good for your brain as it is for your body. It will help give you a wonderful outlet for breaks and an activity to look forward to during the day. 


Our brains create endorphins when working out, and these chemical responses create positive outlooks for our brain. Working out will give you the natural motivation you need to take on the day. 

Read a Book

This is the exercise you need to work out your brain. Just like exercise gives your body endurance, reading gives your brain the cognitive endurance it needs to complete tasks. It helps your brain concentrate on something longer and makes other errands easier. With time, you’ll notice your attention span will increase for even the most menial of activities. 


Reading is super great for children. Not only will it help them expand vocabulary, but they will learn to focus for longer periods. While as adults we are learning to improve our concentration, it’s the opposite for kids. They are learning to develop their concentration. This is the best activity that is both fun and helpful for that. 


If you’re stuck on what to give your kiddos to read, ask their teachers. They will be able to give you age-appropriate reading material as well as books on their reading level. 

The Whole Family Is Ready For Anything

With these helpful tips, tricks, and our FocusPatches on your side, you and your family are ready. We are positive that our products mixed with these helpful tools will ensure better focus and concentration for everyone. 


Sources:


Prefrontal Cortex - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics


Focus on concentration | Harvard Health


The Tyranny of Being On Task | Edutopia 

Brain & Cognitive

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