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    25 Useful Things You Might Want If You Have Trouble Staying Focused

    If only we could turn back time and get those noise-cancelling headphones sooner.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. This spinning door sign that sticks to your dorm room door, bedroom door, or even office door to keep potential visitors (read: annoying roommates, distracting younger siblings, or chatty coworkers) out when you really just wanna get some work done.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I work in an office with a typical door, that apparently some staff viewed as a revolving door. When I flip this sign to the "Do Not Disturb" tag I am able to get work completed and even a little quiet time! This is a perfectly configured item. With the clear mounting discs, I was able to adhere it at eye level to the inside of my door window, where I can easily flip the sign as I move in and out of my office. People can tell at a glance whether or not I am available, and my revolving door has disappeared. Other colleagues have coveted this sign, so much so that one ordered their own and I ordered two more as gifts. THE BEST PIECE OF OFFICE EQUIPMENT I OWN!" —Linda L. Palmer

    Get it from Amazon for $10.95 (available in two colors).

    2. A pair of noise-canceling headphones so you can actually hear yourself think about your math homework over your roommate's Spotify playlist.

    A reviewer showing the black headphones folded in a case
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "If you’re looking for headphones that will drown out the world and let you focus on your music or whatever you have playing, this is what you want. No fuss. Once Bluetooth is set up, it’s a breeze. The call quality is great, too." —Lyka

    Get it from Amazon for $299.99+ (available in three colors).

    3. Or a pair of passive noise-isolating headphones because they'll still drown out the sound of your sibling's yelling without breaking the bank.

    A model with the headphones on
    Amazon

    "Noise-isolating" means they sit tightly (but gently and comfortably!) around your ears to help physically block out surrounding sounds, but don't use technology to negate the noise.

    Promising review: "I wear these at work all the time to be able to focus with people talking around me. The headphones are easy to use, very comfortable to wear for hours at a time and hold a charge like I wish my iPhone would! All in all, I've been using these for a month or more and haven't had a bit of trouble. Worth the money and then some!" —SDR

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in eight colors).

    4. Or even some foam earplugs for when you need just 10 more minutes of absolute freakin' silence to get through the last chapter in your book.

    The green foam earplugs in a small clear case
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I have a noisy job (working on fighter aircraft, which oftentimes have their engines and various noisy bits running), and I ride a motorcycle. I pop a pair of these in on the way to work to block wind noise and then keep them handy for the rest of the day because honestly, they block sound better than the foamies that my work center hands out. These earplugs are, without exaggeration, the singular reason I'm not going to be deaf by the time I'm 40." —Brad

    "These are the best earplugs for students. I usually need to focus and be in my zone whether I am sleeping or studying. These saved my life from hearing annoying and irritating peoples' voices." —QueenA

    Get it from Amazon for $2.98+ (available in packs of 10, 50, 55, and 203).

    Want to know more? Check out These $6 Earplugs Actually Changed The Way I Sleep.

    5. A Passion Planner to help you stay on track to achieve your personal and professional goals because merely saying you want to launch your side business for extra income this year isn't enough — you need to create actionable steps toward it.

    The planner with a pink cover
    instagram.com

    I finally took the plunge and bought myself a Passion Planner for the new year. I got the dated yearly planner because I didn't want to have to spend too much time just setting up my planner. The planner's strategy for helping you identify and plan for goals is interesting and actually forced me to realize that some goals that I think are out of reach are actually goals that I can accomplish within the next few months. It's also great for scheduling out my days — I love decorating and filling in the calendars, and I also really like the monthly reflections at the very end of every month. It's an expensive planner but I think it's worth buying because it really helps you get organized and visualize your goals.

    Get it from Passion Planner for $21+ (originally $30+; available as an academic planner, a daily planner, an undated yearly calendar, and a dated yearly calendar. Each is available in 3+ colors/designs).

    6. Or this to-do list notepad so you can organize any must-do tasks at the start of every day — especially if your mind tends to be a frazzled mess in the mornings and you can barely stay awake long enough to remember how to brush your teeth.

    The notepad with lines for writing tasks for monday-friday and next week
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is perfect for me! I love having a checklist of items to complete to help me focus, and this one is just perfectly simple and organized. I like the added 'next week' section so that I can plan ahead. If you're like me and need a checklist to feel accomplished and get tasks done, then this is definitely for you as well." —Reann Ford

    Get it from Amazon for $8.

    7. An essential oil diffuser because it'll help you clear your mind and pay attention to the task at hand by creating a calm, relaxing (and wonderful smelling) environment.

    The small, teardrop-shaped diffuser on a table emitting steam
    Amazon

    I originally got this diffuser for my mom as a birthday gift, but it's become a family favorite. I like plugging it in the living room and having the essential oils steam through the air while I work. It definitely helps relax my mind and makes me feel calmer. It's a nice little way to help me get in the zone for tackling tasks.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99 (available in three colors).

    8. And, a set of essential oils to pair perfectly with your brand new, awesome diffuser!! You just might find that you get more work done when your house smells like lavender. 🤷🏽‍♀️

    A pack of six small bottles of essential oils
    Amazon

    I bought these essential oils alongside the diffuser. I had never purchased essential oils before, and I was a liiiittle overwhelmed by all the options, but I'm glad I picked this set. Since I knew these would be used in our house, I wanted a set of scents that weren't too overpowering since some people in my family have sensitive noses, and these fit the bill! The orange scent is everyone's favorite — it's nice and citrus-y and immediately brightens my mood. I usually add three to four drops in our diffuser, but you can add more or less depending on how strong you want the scent to be.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (scents include lemongrass, peppermint, orange, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree).

    9. This cellphone jail box (with an actual lock!!!) for anyone who literally needs Instagram pried out of their hands in order for them to sit down and get work done.

    A box with bars around it and a lock and two cell phones inside
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is a great product for when you want to get away from your phone for a while. We use it mostly during supper so no one can use their phone at the table. The only thing that could be better is if it were metal. Overall, it is easy to assemble, decent quality, and very useful." —carter w

    Get it from Urban Outfitters for $9.95.

    10. A white noise machine so you can turn down the volume on distractions and power through your English essay undisturbed.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love love this! I'm in grad school and ended up with very loud neighbors, and this noise machine saved my life!! I honestly cannot imagine how I would have made it through this year without it. I was having a hard time sleeping, studying, and writing, because my neighbors had different schedules, and I kept being woken up/disturbed by them talking, partying, coming and going, their TVs/stereos, etc. From the reviews of noise machines, it sounded like this might work (and I liked that there were many sound options), but I was skeptical that it would be able to cover loud noises while not be annoying to me. TOTALLY works and I sometimes forget it's on in the morning because I'm so used to it now. I found a white noise sound like the cabin hum/hiss in an airplane — very soothing." —Eden

    Get it from Amazon for $30.65 (available in two styles and two colors).

    11. This spinner ring for moments when an overwhelmed mind is hindering you from staying attentive and working to the best of your abilities.

    A reviewer showing the ring around their finger in gold
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I got this ring because I have a terrible habit of pinching and picking at my skin or tapping when I get anxious. It’s been going on for at least the last 20 years and I have to say, ever since I put it on I’ve been able to think deeply without feeling too overwhelmed. The spinning is smooth and it feels high quality. Even if this were to wear out, I know for a fact that I would order again." —Alexandra Mugford

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99+ (available in sizes 4–11 and in nine colors).

    12. An elephant desk organizer that'll help you stay tidy by giving a home to those stray pens and pencils cluttering your workspace. Besides, a clear desk = a clear mind = more work getting done!! It's simple math, really.

    An elephant-shaped organizer with pencil coming out the top and a space by the trunk for holding up a phone
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This little guy is super cute. Also easy to assemble and sturdy. There are no unpleasant surprises here, it's exactly what it looks like in the pictures. My desk is now a happier and brighter place at work." —Merry

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in six designs).

    13. Or, little desk shelves to take care of the little things you don't know how to organize so you can spend more time attuned to your work. Again, math.

    The shelves on top of a desk organizing two rows of books, a planter, and magazines
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I love this! My desk was so messy and unorganized. I mainly used it to get ready but needed an office space so I found this awesome organizer and now I can get ready and have room for work or study." —Synergy

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in four colors).

    14. A seat cushion if you get so uncomfortable while sitting down at your desk that all you can think about is how much your butt and back hurt.

    A reviewer showing the cushion in black on the seat of a desk chair
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "On a long and uncomfortable flight to Hawaii, I managed to mess my back and tail bone really bad. Nothing seemed to help. I considered getting one of those doughnuts cushions for people with 'hemorrhoid problems' but was too embarrassed to go to Walgreens looking for one. That’s how I ended up here, looking for some relief. This stuff is magical, like sitting on the back of a unicorn while coming down a rainbow. I sat down on it and my pressure points felt relieved. I was even able to drive out of state the next day with NO PROBLEM. It has outstanding quality and doesn’t just squish down when you sit on it. BUY IT! The cover is also removable and washable." —RaquelC

    Get it from Amazon for $32.95+ (available in five colors).

    15. Orrrrrr, a foldable standing desk you'll pat yourself on the back for buying when you get bored and restless from sitting down for way too long.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I bought this because I wanted the option to convert my desk to a standing desk while also having a sitting option available. Any convertible standing desk option was way more money than I wanted to spend, but then I found this. For the price, I was willing to give it a shot and I'm glad I did. It's easy to adjust and folds away when I want to sit. It feels flimsy, but as I was unwilling to pay the big bucks for a truly convertible standing desk option, I am not complaining. It's saving my back and neck and for the price, I'm very happy. Also, I carried it from my office to the library (I'm a grad student) and at least five people asked me about it. It seems a lot of people want a standing desk option! And that's another positive: while it's not SUPER portable, it does fold up and can be moved around pretty easily. I walk a lot so I wouldn't care to move it from home to office too often, but a short trip across campus from my office is totally doable." —SFL

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99+ (available in three sizes and three colors).

    16. This fleece throw because anyone who gets cold easily knows the struggle of trying to focus when your brain is literally shutting down because it's so dang chilly.

    The throw in yellow draped over an armchair
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I remember back when I first bought this blanket in 2015, this item barely had a few dozen reviews. So happy to see the vast amount of growth that this product received. I’ve had mine for three years and all I can say is that this blanket stands the test of time. It still has the same ultra soft velvety texture. The navy color hasn’t faded and the high-quality stitching holds up well with no loose seams. It’s a light blanket, but has kept me warm through thick and thin. Whenever I wash my comforter I’d temporarily substitute it with this blanket and even in cold winter nights when my room got below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, this blanket still kept me warm. Whether you need an extra throw blanket or something you can use daily, I’d highly recommend picking this up." —HandsON

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in four sizes and 20+ colors).

    17. Or, a powerful desk fan to cool yourself off if your sweat glands sometimes work a little overtime and distract you from the long list of tasks your manager sent in.

    A small black fan on a nightstand
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Let me start off by saying this: Before this fan I was sweating enough to get us out of the California drought. With this fan now I am cool as a cucumber. I have not drippity-dropped a single sweat drop in my room ever since I plopped this puppy on my desk." —Anthony

    Get it from Amazon for $14.94 (available to ship on November 14, but you can still order it now).

    18. This monitor-mounted clip that literally puts your important tasks right in front of your face. It's perfect for people who literally need their reminders staring them down all day.

    A monitor with a clipboard that juts out from the side to hold up a paper
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This simple item has made my life easier. It is extremely easy to install and to use. It has increased my productivity in the office when needing to refer to a hard document. When not in use, you can easily hide it behind your screen. It has two options to hold paper: one that you can just stick in and the other to clip on multiple documents. Another must-have 3M product!" —Elee the Lawyer

    Get it from Amazon for $10.98.

    19. A desk lamp with five different color modes and seven brightness levels to give you the perfect ambiance needed in order to race through your lengthy to-do list.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "This is the perfect light to buy as a student or young professional with a home office. You can choose the intensity of the light and the colors make your work so much easier and help you focus better. It is very important to find good lighting and this product definitely offers some of the best quality I have ever seen. Plus, the fact that it offers different light colors also means that more people from your family or office can use it since each of them might have different preferences!" —Laura

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in four colors/finishes).

    20. This bullet journal starter set so you can practice organizing your life in a unique way that works just for you, and promote focus and attention in a way that's less daunting than picking up bullet journaling completely from scratch.

    Amazon

    The set comes with one journal, 15 Fineliner pens, five reusable stencils, six sticker sheets, six Washi tape sets, and one black gel pen.

    Promising review: "This is my first bullet journal and I cannot begin to explain how great this product is, the journal itself feels amazing and the pages are thick too so I won’t worry about the pen bleeding thru. When I would buy other journals I wouldn’t know where to begin but with this I know what I want to do! For the price, it’s unbelievable what you get!" —Alysha Foster

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in six colors).

    And here's a handy bullet journal guide to answer any lingering questions you may have — including WTF a bullet journal even is.

    21. A copy of Manage Your Day-To-Day — it's packed with with techniques and ideas to inspire you to lead a more productive daily life.

    The book cover
    Amazon

    Promising reviews: "I read this book in one sitting. It was so well put together and you couldn't ask for a better group of collaborators! I recommend this to anyone trying better manage their creative lives!" —Anonymous

    "A very good read. I appreciate the advice it gives. This information is presented to a creative mind audience, but it could be applied to non-creative people as well. I think it was a short and concise read that I have recommended to all of my friends and coworkers." —Anonymous

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99 (available as a Kindle book, audiobook, paperback, and CD), Barnes and Noble for $14.95 (available as paperback and Audio CD versions), and Bookshop for $13.75 (to support local bookstores; available in paperback and CD versions).

    22. The Fitbit Alta because it'll really get you moving when you look at your wrist and see how much time you've been wasting scrolling through Instagram instead of studying for tomorrow's exam.

    A model wearing the slim watch in black
    Amazon

    I initially ordered this Fitbit because I wanted a durable watch and the ability to track my steps sounded like a bonus, but after using this daily for the last year and a half, my Fitbit has become key to keeping me on track. With just a tap on the screen, I can check the time and see new text messages that need responses. It keeps me on the go in a timely manner, and helps me recognize when I'm actually wasting my own time.

    Get it from Amazon for $120+ (available in two sizes and in four colors).

    23. An adorable, itty-bitty penguin stress ball you can keep on your desk or in your bag for when you just need a little something to fidget with so you can focus better.

    Tiny penguins with transparent bellies showing tiny balls inside
    Amazon

    Promising review: "These I've found are multi-purpose. I use it for stress relief and my niece uses it as a squishy toy. They're soft yet durable and adorable to look at. I was concerned about it getting dirty but I was able to clean it with a sanitizing wipe easily. Plus side?! I got three in a box so I have it in multiple locations; one at home and one at work!" —Lisa Jaramillo

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    24. An aromatherapy migraine stick because when you have a killer headache, there's literally no way you'll get any work done.

    Katy Herman / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "I have noticed throughout my workday I will begin to get the dreaded afternoon headache. One where Advil can help, but isn’t a guarantee, and I normally hate waiting for it to kick in. This migraine stick is my new go-to. The second I feel a headache coming on, I just roll this on and within seconds I feel it working. Within a minute or so I feel fine again. I have also noticed it give a little boost of energy as well. I have also used it when I feel a full-blown migraine coming on. All I can say is it really works. There is still some lingering pain, but this has worked better than anything else I have used." —Corinne Beck

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    Still not convinced that you need this in your life? My colleague Katy, who gets frequent headaches, wrote a full review on the migraine stick.

    25. And some caffeinated chocolate bars (that are equivalent to a cup of coffee, BTW) for that much-needed pick-me-up when you're yawning and falling asleep during your team meetings.

    A graphic showing one bar of chocolate equating to one cup of coffee
    Amazon

    Promising review: "These are yummy and definitely help keep you going. I sometimes work till the early hours and have my kids to get up and off to school. I don't like coffee or energy drinks as they seem harsh on my stomach, but these taste great and no tummy issues." —Mom of 6

    Get a pack of 12 from Amazon for $19.99 (available as a pack of 72 and in caramel, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and peanut butter).

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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