The weather in DC over the past couple of weeks has been beautiful. The cherry trees are in bloom, the daffodils are out and temperatures have soared into the 80s. All of this is a recipe for Spring Fever – diagnosed as having trouble focusing on schoolwork, being distracted, and a strong urge to be outside vs. inside hitting the books.
The trouble with catching Spring Fever is that school is still in session and it is important to really work the books to get strong grades in the last quarter or semester, depending on your school. So whether you are in elementary, middle or high school – or even if you are a parent who has been distracted by the warm temperatures or college hoops, here are some tips to help you “spring” into action and keep your eye on the ball:
1. Before sitting down to study or work, make sure you get some physical exercise first. Experts recommend that you try to get at least 60 minutes a day – so pull out the bike, your running shoes or a Frisbee and the dog and get a daily dose of Vitamin D from the beautiful sunshine. You’ll be able to sit still better after you’ve taken some time outside.
2. Start by making a list. Put down all the homework and other tasks you want to accomplish. Prioritize the list and make time estimates for how long each task will take. Make sure you do the top priority items first – not necessarily the items that take the least amount of time. If you have a big project – break it into smaller chunks. It will be easier to tackle this way.
3. Next, get rid of distractions! Find a quiet place to study and turn off other electronics. Turn off your cell phone and the television – and if using a computer to do homework, close applications like Facebook that can be tempting and take you away from your work.
4. Work on one project or task at a time and when you have it completed; enjoy the satisfaction of crossing it off your list!
5. Schedule short breaks every 20-30 minutes. It’s hard for anyone to stay focused for a long time. Reward yourself with a short break after completing 30 minutes of hard work. Working with a small clock and setting an alarm will help remind you it’s time to get up and stretch.
6. Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff! Do the best you can do – and if you don’t get everything done, put it at the top of the list the next day. You don’t have to do everything perfectly – but, be satisfied that you’ve done the best that you can.
One of the best remedies for Spring Fever is the corresponding Spring Break – so make sure you really enjoy this time off. Take time to smell the flowers and you’ll come back relaxed and refreshed and ready to make that last push to the end of the school year.