Resources › For Students and Parents 6 Reasons You're Having Problems Concentrating Share Flipboard Email Print Westend61/Getty Images For Students and Parents Homework Help Learning Styles & Skills Homework Tips Study Methods Time Management Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Business School Law School Distance Learning View More By Grace Fleming Education Expert M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia B.A., History, Armstrong State University Grace Fleming, M.Ed., is a senior academic advisor at Georgia Southern University, where she helps students improve their academic performance and develop good study skills. our editorial process Grace Fleming Updated February 22, 2019 There are many reasons why your mind might wander. Some of the most common factors are non-medical and can be treated by making small changes in your routine. 1. Fatigue Fatigue from sleep deprivation is the most common cause of an inability to concentrate on one topic for a long time. Many studies have shown that people are not getting enough sleep, and sleep deprivation have serious physical, emotional, and cognitive effects. The first step in attempting to solve your concentration problem is finding a way to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. This isn't easy to do. We have busy lives and develop habits that make it difficult to get to sleep early enough. However, if you have a severe concentration problem, you may need to make some sacrifices to find a solution. Try getting plenty of sleep and see if you get results. 2. Anxiety Anxiety can cause the inability to concentrate too. Are you worried about something? If so, you might need to isolate your source of anxiety and confront it head-on. We deal with many pressures from our peers, and this social force can become quite damaging in extremes. Are you dealing with pressure? If so, it may be time to change your life to eliminate some of the stressors. Is your schedule too heavy? Are you involved in a toxic friendship? Is something else bothering you? If you are dealing with some pressure that might lead you down a dangerous path, it might be time to get a second opinion from someone. You can talk to a parent, a doctor, a guidance counselor, a co-worker, or a teacher. Depending on the situation, your emergency contact might be different. Find people you trust and let them know that you're dealing with anxiety and would like some support. 3. Excitement Excitement is related to anxiety, but a little more fun! There are lots of things that come along from time to time that grab our attention and make us daydream. This can be a big problem when we've got to pay attention to something! Make the conscious decision to set aside your daydreams until after class. 4. Love A big distraction is a physical attraction or being in love. Are you having a difficult time concentrating because you can't get someone out of your head? If so, you need to find a way to discipline yourself. It is sometimes helpful to establish healthy routines in your habits by setting up parameters both inside and outside your head. Outwardly, you can establish a physical space and a concentration time. Inwardly, you can set rules about thoughts that are and are not permissible during concentration time. 5. Diet and Caffeine Your diet and, for those who drink coffee, consumption of caffeine, are other potential problems when it comes to concentration. Your body is just like a machine in some ways. Just like an automobile, a body needs clean fuel to keep it running well. Different people are affected in different ways from foods and chemicals-and sometimes those effects can be unexpected. For example, it may surprise you to know that some studies have linked low-fat diet with symptoms of depression! And depression can affect your concentration. Caffeine is another potential trouble-maker when it comes to diet and moods. Caffeine consumption can cause insomnia, headaches, dizziness, and nervousness. These symptoms are sure to affect your concentration. 6. Boredom Boredom is another big culprit when it comes to staying focused on your studies. Boredom stems from doing something that lacks meaning and motivation. What can you do? Every time you prepare to enter a study environment, take a moment for a reality check. What do you need to accomplish? Why? Concentrate on a goal for the next hour and think of a way to reward yourself for reaching that goal.