So, you’ve finally sat down to study, you’ve got your revision material, neon highlighter pens, your favorite drink, and a snack nearby and you are ready to hit the books. But wait, there’s a cute cat video your friend has sent to you, you must reply to a message in your family chat group, then your email notifications come flooding in and before you know it, two hours have passed by, and you haven’t done any studying. Sound familiar?
As with many things, there is no “one size fits all” advice when it comes to avoiding distractions or to even having a successful study session but there are some things that you can do to remove the temptation to procrastinate and take your attention away from your studies. Here are ten ways that you can avoid distractions while studying.
Choosing the right study environment
Everyone learns differently. Some may have to study in complete silence, while others may work better with ambient background noise. Whatever works best for you, make sure it is a place that you have dedicated to your studies. When you give yourself a particular space to be alone to study, you are more likely to succeed and communicate better to those around you that you don’t want to be disturbed. Try not to study in a room with too many electronics or your bedroom, if you can, study in your local library or find a quiet coffee place.
Turn off your phone
The average person checks their phone 58 times a day. This means the temptation to pick up your phone and scroll on a newsfeed instead of studying is a real issue. Don’t give yourself the chance to get distracted. Switch off your phone and put it on the other side of the room when you are studying, to avoid any opportunity to get pulled in by social media or other notifications. Removing your access to the internet may feel like an impossible task but having a technology break for a couple of hours so you can revise, and focus is necessary if you want to be successful.
Be organized and take breaks
It’s tempting to work for five hours without a break and make your way through a mountain of paperwork or a stack of books, especially if you are studying multiple subjects or taking different classes. It can be stressful to juggle it all. But it’s essential that you have an organized approach to your studying, whether you like color-coded post-it notes or an app on your phone, putting your to-do list or your schedule in writing will increase your productivity to complete it. Make sure you take regular breaks to hydrate, stretch your legs and breathe (that last one is important, don’t underestimate the power of taking a few deep breaths).
Studying is hard. It takes an enormous amount of energy and concentration to do it so to make it more fun and to give yourself the motivation to complete it, decide on a personal reward that you can have or do when you are done. This can be anything from watching an episode of your favorite TV show, having your favorite chocolate bar, or spending some time with your family or friends. If you know you will get a reward after you have completed the studying you have to do, you are more likely to be motivated to do it, to begin with.
Get plenty of sleep
This may not seem like an important one, but making sure you get plenty of rest, and a minimum of eight hours of sleep at night will allow you to function at the level you need to if you want to perform academically. If you had a late night, you may find yourself more distracted and disengaged the next day when it comes to your studying time. Prioritize looking after yourself because poor sleep can affect your concentration, memory, and overall brain function.