What Helps Me Stay Focused and Be Productive


With being an (almost) full-time college student (again), working part-time, looking for a new job, blogging, and trying to have any amount of downtime a day so I don’t lose my mind – it’s been a balancing act, to say the least. This means that I’m relearning to use my time as wisely as I possibly can. It helps that I genuinely love everything I do, but some days I just don’t want to be spending 10 hours working on an assignment. I wanted to share an updated look at what has helped me stay focused and be productive recently, and hopefully, it will help you too!

It’s all about discipline

One thing that changed the way I work is learning that it really is all about self-discipline and not just feeling motivated. Sure, being motivated and inspired does help, but those things come just as quickly as they go. It really just comes down to having self-discipline and committing to doing the work. I used to wait till I felt motivated, but now I (try to) just bit the bullet and get the work done.

Ambiance sound videos

This may sound really weird just by the name of it, but hear me out. The one thing I can’t do while working is listening to music. It always distracts me too much. But, I have recently found the best thing that lets me drown out the noise around me while still being able to focus. It’s these ambiance sound videos that make you feel like you are in a different place for a bit. Think anything from being in a cozy library to working with rain hitting the window. They are usually a few hours long, which is perfect for sitting down and getting work done. There are so many on YouTube that you can choose from, but here are a few of my favorites:

Rain & thunderstorm sounds with a crackling fireplace

Library Sounds | Study Ambience

Studying in Hogwarts ASMR Ambience

Library room ASMR Ambience

Rain on window – crackling fire and misty atmosphere (my favorite one)

Ancient library Room – Relaxing Thunder and Rain Sounds

Having a planner

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts talking about productivity, you know how much I love a planner so I won’t talk too much about it. But honestly, my life would be a mess if I didn’t have a place to write down what tasks I want to do each day. My rule though: it’s okay not to complete everything.

Going for walks to clear my mind

When everything gets a bit too much, going for a walk always does the job.

28 responses to “What Helps Me Stay Focused and Be Productive”

  1. Patricia says:

    I always push myself to do what I need to get done. If I wait to feel motivated I wouldn’t do much at all some days. Self-discipline is definitely key! I also like the idea of ambiance sound videos! I’ve never tried that but I think I will! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nina says:

    Great tips dear! Nice post!
    Have a wonderful day! xx

    La ilusión de Nina –

  3. Grace says:

    going for walks and a planner – these have helped me as well when I was a student to clear my mind and get focused on what’s important. I love these tips! x
    have a relaxing day, Kara!

  4. Aditi says:

    Such an amazing post dear! Thanks for the tips. I need to get a planner real soon!
    Adi xx |

  5. I completely agree with you about self discipline. It is kay when motivation level going down. Like you, I also can’t focus with music when I learning. I didn’t listen this sounds but I would definitely check them. Thank you for sharing.

    New Post –

  6. Lily says:

    Will definitely be coming back to this post with exams coming up -discipline is defo key! Super helpful 🙂 love the photos!

    Lily Loves |

  7. Jeanne says:

    I love using my planner as well! And yes, discipline is so important.

  8. Radi says:

    I also love playing these serene video sounds of rain, waves or acoustic guitar. They help me lots to relax!

  9. Jyoti says:

    Staying focused is truly the key to success. Music and reading books helps me a lot in staying focused. Wonderful Post! Have a great day!

  10. Simone says:

    Loving good music too to relax and of course also to go outside for a walk. Breathing in fresh air does so good!

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

  11. These are great tips for staying focused. I need to check out this videos on YouTube because I get distracted by most music as well. Thanks for sharing Kara!

  12. Kinga says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us <3

  13. Angie says:

    I feel like this post came at a very appropriate time Kara haha! I have all these ambitious plans, but I tend to lose focus easily so it’s a struggle completing them.

    From my experience, I found these piano covers of disney songs that I listened to, and they just helped relax my brain and focus on studying etc. I definitely want to change my lifestyle a bit more, where I can include more quiet moments for reflection / journalling / finishing my work and being productive!

    Thank you for sharing these tips, I’ll definitely be incorporating a few them as best as I can. 🙂

  14. It was really interesting! Thank you for writing such wonderful posts and useful tips!

  15. jasna says:

    Self discipline and having a planner are so important, I cant live without mine babe 🙂 xx

  16. Quinn says:

    The ambient noise is SUCH a good idea! I’m the same way – music distracts me too much and I wind up not getting too much done (well). I can’t believe I’ve never thought of the sounds before – genius. I do like the Low-Fi Beats playlist on Spotify while I paint though. You might like it for blog editing! Hang in there, Kara. Even though life is busy, definitely take some extra hours for yourself. Yoga, tea, and even a night out with friends!


  17. These a great tips to staying focused, I can relate too as I am currently trying to juggle moving to a new country, trying to make the boys feel at home as well as blogging and trying to keep up with everything that it entails. I also like to listen to music as that helps for me.


  18. I feel like I’ve been lacking discipline lately, thank you for these tips!

  19. The Evolista says:

    These tips are so perfect and always needed. I just updated my blogging calendar and I need to check out the ambiance videos. That sounds perfect for blog writing. I usually put on tv that I kind of listen to but don’t care about watching. It definitely keeps my stress lower when I’m doing things I don’t want to do.

    xx Jenifer

  20. Margot says:

    Such amazing tips.
    I never thought about having a walk when I’m not productive but I’m sure it would of help me to clear my mind
    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Ashley says:

    We are so alike- I’ll often tell myself, “Just DO it, and you’ll feel better” rather than waiting to get motivated. Often, the act of getting a few things ticked off the list brings the motivation.

    Also- I can’t listen to music either when I’m trying to write! Ambient sounds/music are perfect; I have a whole playlist on Spotify that I put on when I’m working!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  22. Jules says:

    Good suggestions dear! Thanks for sharing!!

  23. Ivana Split says:

    Discipline is often the key to staying focused and productive. Great tips.

  24. I am such a planner and crazy about to-do lists, so love this post!

  25. Hello Kara
    Studying, working and blogging takes a lot, a lot of discipline and staying focused !! You are a strong woman Kara and as you are still young and keep that focus I admire you for your maturity !!

  26. Jessica says:

    Wonderful tips you have here dear. Love how organized your room looks.

    Jessica |

  27. Kathrin says:

    These are such wonderful ways to be productive! Thanks for sharing these. Going for a walk always helps me as well.

    Ekaterina | Polar Bear Style

  28. Anna says:

    Such great tips, and what a cozy place!

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