Trouble Concentrating? Same…

By Emma from Team AVCAT

Having a little trouble focusing on your uni work at home? I definitely was, until I read some great tips by Professor Ghassan Hage.

Prof Hage suggested we divide up the day into time slots. I’ve chosen to do one-hour time slots.

Every morning I assign a task to a time-slot and keep a diary of how my day went. One-hour time-slots work for me, but something else might work better for you and the tasks you need to achieve.

Prof. Hage says, ‘You should slot your day depending on what you know about yourself and create shorter ones with shorter tasks that suit the current moment.’

If you are researching for an essay you might like to divide your tasks up into micro tasks. If you need to read a journal article you might like to divide it in half and use one time-slot per half. Try dividing an essay writing into tiny sections, assigning one hour to write the first draft of your introduction, or half an hour for editing your references.

Prof. Hage says the purpose of this diary ‘should never be to make yourself guilty’ ‘but to construct a tool which allows you to reflect and get a realistic sense what achieve in a day’s work.’

I try and stick to the time-slots. I don’t always manage it, but it helps to have a structure to go back to after I get distracted. It’s important not to lie in your diary, be kind to yourself, and do the best that you can in these strange circumstances.

If you’ve got any tips for studying and getting your uni work done from home email us at, we’d love to hear from you.

Here’s an excerpt from my work diary

Jk – this is Frida Kahlo’s journal

This is my actual work diary:

9:30-10:30: team meeting, presented idea for communications survey and made a note of upcoming deadlines

10:30-11:00: read emails and had a cup of tea, hung out with my cat

11:00-12:00: read pages 1-20 of government report and made notes

12:00-1:00: Researched three different ways to send texts from a database, made notes then wrote notes up into an email to send to Lilia. Organised a time to chat with Lilia and compare our research tomorrow.

1:00: lunch break – made a sandwich and talked to a friend on Zoom

2:00-2:30: scholarships team video meeting, shared notes on government report

2:30-3:00: made notes on traffic analytics from website and social channels to report to CEO and the Board

3:00-3:30 work fail, distractedly scrolled through social media for a while, checked the news, did quizzes on Buzzfeed (I’m in Ravenclaw) then quick walk around the block.

3:30-4:30: refocused, made a coffee, ate an apple, wrote and edited posts for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Drafted 300 words for upload to the website tomorrow.

4:30-5:00: Distracted again, played with my cat, found perfect music to play in background, replied to new emails. Read the minutes from this morning’s meeting and made notes for tomorrow’s team meeting.

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