Maintaining focus and motivation

There are many factors that can impact our concentration.


  • Poor/insufficient nutrition
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Psychoactive substances


  • Too loud/busy or too quiet
  • Task is too boring, too easy or too challenging


  • Stress
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Other mental health concerns

Here are some helpful tips for improving focus during class:

Increased engagement is key!

  • Ask questions of the instructor
  • Take the lead for group projects
  • Massage small fidgety objects (spinners, rocks)
  • Seek projects that are multisensory
  • Take written or typed notes during class lectures
  • Avoid sitting near direct eye sight of windows and doors

It’s important that you identify strategies that work well for you.

For example, if you like to listen to music to help increase your motivation to get a task completed, the students at the University of Nevada, Reno have compiled a Spotify playlist for you to listen to while you work.

Nevada Motivation Spotify playlist