With your phone constantly dinging and your Playstation always in arms reach do you sometimes find it hard to actually sit down and stay focused while studying?

If you’re really honest with yourself, even if you sit down to work for 4 hours you can sometimes only get about an hour of proper study done.

Alex had the exact same struggle: “My problem throughout highschool was predominantly procrastination and time management. I just couldn’t focus. I get distracted by technology, the internet and that kind of stuff”

Alex has a passion for cars, he even writes articles for popular site caradvice.com!

While this is a great hobby, sometimes it could get in the way of his HSC success. So how exactly did he kick procrastination in the butt and increase his focus by the end of Year 12?

It just took 3 simple tips!

Tip #1: Illuminate Your HSC Path
Tip #2: Get an Accountability Buddy 
Tip #3: Use Some Software

  • Alex is an Art of Smart Pathfinder student who graduated in 2020
  • He attended St Andrews Cathedral School
  • He plans to study Automative Engineering at University

Tip #1: Illuminate Your HSC Path

“At the beginning of my HSC, there wasn’t really much of a study plan at all.”

The problem with having no set timetable is that you can get lost very easily. If you don’t have set goals or tasks you can easily get demotivated and avoid work with other distractions.

In the Pathfinder Program, Alex’s mentor Viran showed him how to organise his time into an effective timetable.

“I had a big whiteboard that I would use as a calendar. I would mark out things like major assessments, practice papers or any other stuff I needed to get done.”

At the bottom of his whiteboard, Alex would list larger more wide-scope points in the HSC, as well as the tasks he needed to complete day by day.

What this did was give Alex ACCOUNTABILITY. Knowing that he had daily tasks as well as upcoming due dates and having it in such a visible position was a great way to keep himself on track and aware of what he needed to do to succeed.

Without a study plan, you’re basically wandering through Year 12 in the dark with no idea how much or what you need to study.

Alex’s Pathfinder mentor helped him build a tailored study plan that suited him, but you can build your own in 10 steps with this guide.

Tip #2: Get an Accountability Buddy

Sometimes, the HSC is something that you just can’t tackle alone. Having an accountability buddy to keep you on-track can really enhance your focus.

For Alex, this was recruiting the attention of his Pathfider mentor and his parents.

Having a large whiteboard listing all of his tasks and goals helped greatly as his parents always knew what he had on his plate no matter what time of the year.

They would ask him questions like: “How are you going for the exam this week? Do you need another session with a tutor?”

Additionally, Alex’s mentor had an in-depth knowledge of the different hallmarks throughout the HSC year. They had weekly sessions and this allowed Alex’s mentor to point him in the right direction.

This prevented Alex’s mind from wandering as he had support and reminders of what he wanted to accomplish.

Do you need an accountability buddy? It can be literally anyone who’s willing. Just provide a tutor, mentor, parent or friend with your goals, tasks or upcoming due dates.

Having another pair of eyes for accountability can be the make or break for staying focused!

Find it hard to work with other students? Learn how to make group study work in this video.

Tip #3: Use Some Software

Alex’s main problem with focus was pesky websites that constantly sucked in his attention.

“Luckily in the Pathfinder Program one of our mentors introduced me to an application that locks you out of certain websites.”

“I’d use it for a lot of the car websites that I found I couldn’t stay away from. The whole process requires a bit of honesty, but if you do it right it works really well.”

Want to implement this tip yourself? There’s a great variety of apps like StayFocusd and Freedom that you can utilise to control your internet usage and keep focused on your studies.

Check out the pros and cons of a range of different website blockers here.

Struggle with staying focused while studying?

A bunch of these tips and tricks came from a Pathfinder Mentor. Get a mentor like Alex’s to help you develop a personalised study plan in The Pathfinder Program!

Learn more or get started with an inspirational Pathfinder Mentor and get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Facebook!