If you have spent much time with 2nd grade boys, you’ll know that productivity and focus are not things they excel in naturally. My son is in the 2nd grade; I know them well. (Note: I know girls exhibit these traits too, it just seems really pronounced in 2nd grade boys)
My son is constantly distracted and he’ll just zone out half way through a conversation if something shiny catches his eye. I volunteered in his class today and once again noted that many of his male classmates share the same inability to maintain focus.
I was working with two of the super easily distracted boys. My “job” was to get them to re-write their rough draft into a final draft. It sounded like an easy enough task. How hard is writing? After 5 minutes, one of the boys had 1 (ONE!) word written. I implemented a strategy.
It was simple. Have you heard Parkinson’s Law? “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” If you have 8 hours to complete a task, it’ll take 8 hours. Conversely, you’ll be amazed what can happen if you only have 1 hour to do the same amount of work.
For the 2nd grade boys, I gave them limits. You have 10 minutes to get that whole page written. They, of course, thought I was insane. I knew they could do it with focus and they did. I was proud of them and they were proud of themselves.
If you’re having problems focusing on the work at hand, try implementing some deadlines. To maintain focus, you need to have achievable milestones at regular intervals.