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Library Tips

How to Stay Focused

Ideas on How to Stay Focused from Library Faculty and Staff

Angela Vega

Angela Vega
Student Assistant


I like eating healthy snacks when I'm doing homework in order to stay focused. I usually have some ice-cold water and some type of fruit sitting next to me while I'm studying and getting work done. I find that the key to staying focused is to keep that brain energized. Never study on an empty stomach!

Brinna Pam Anan

Brinna Pam Anan
Metadata Management Librarian
I create a routine/schedule that includes breaks and stick to it. I also create To Do lists and set goals for the day and week, dress up like I'm going to work, and work in a dedicated work space. Listening to music also helps.

Isela Vega

Isela Vega
Document Delivery Coordinator


I feel when you say something repetitive, it helps you focus. For example, I pray the Rosary when my mind starts to wander.

Julie Shen

Julie Shen
Business & Computer Science Librarian


I use the Pomodoro method. I set a timer for 20 minutes and work on only one thing during that time.

Marilu Salcedo

Marilu Salcedo
Reference & Instruction Assistant and
Thesis/Project Formatting Reviewer


I force myself to sit in front of my computer. I open YouTube and listen to instrumental soaking worship music, and from there I start working on my projects. I focus better at night when everything is quiet.

Paul Hottinger

Paul Hottinger
​Engineering Librarian


I have a tendency to try and do too much at the same time. I have many projects I need to complete, and think about them at once. So, to help keep me focused, I block out specific times in my calendar to do specific tasks. This forces me to concentrate on one objective at a time, set goals for that time, and plan out my work week. This helps me stay focused and on task.

Sally Romero

Sally Romero
Education Librarian

I love planners! Confession: I buy more planners than I need, just because they are so cute. I also love to write things down as do-to lists. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing out something that you’ve accomplished. I like to create two separate lists. I have a "day" do-to list as well as one that I look at with important future events. My biggest goal is to start off my to-do list with a few items and if during the day I have more time, I’ll add more things. I never add too many items because I don’t want to feel defeated if I don’t get to them.

Shonn Haren

Shonn Haren
Social Sciences Librarian


Make a list and have it right in front of me. This is the list of stuff I need to get done that day. It needs to be what is necessary, and it needs to be realistic, (I’m probably not pumping out 10 lectures in a single day for example) but having a checklist of tasks for the day, and having it in a visible place where I can consult it throughout the day and show progress helps.

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