This is certainly a broad topic, as distractions are everywhere. Not only that, but everybody gets distracted by different things. That is one of the reasons studying can be so difficult and frustrating – random aspects of the world are always catching our attention. Especially if you are one with a shorter attention span, staying focused through your studies is no easy process. Here are some great approaches to studying in college that you may want to check out as well.
Regardless of where we study, the surrounding environment is going to detract us from our work in one way or another. But there are a few distractions that we can control, and they are obvious ones. Ways of shutting them off are simple and effective – however, gathering up the discipline to go through with these processes may be difficult. Some of it involves breaking away from things we are addicted to and/or dependent on, and some of it involves preventing procrastination habits. When it comes to both areas, it may be tough – yet, in the end, this method could truly turn your study sessions around in a wholly positive way.
If you don’t need the internet, disconnect it: The internet is probably the number one distraction for most people, so this should be easy to recognize. Whether or not it’s easy to do, however, is a different story. We all like to say that we won’t get on Facebook, we won’t check Twitter, we won’t check on our favorite YouTube channel, etc. But let’s face it: we’re only human, and checking on these things is usually inevitable. In your mind, you may even preface it with “I’m just going to look once and then get right back to my work,” but it typically ends up lasting longer than one look, right? Therefore, the safest method here would be to either disconnect your internet temporarily at home, or go somewhere without free wi-fi. The latter may be safer, since you could easily reconnect your internet at home. It may be painful, but it’ll allow you to study much more efficiently. Don’t worry, you’ll survive.
Silence your cell phone and put it away: This is pretty similar to the internet disconnection. With your phone by your side, your eyes and hands usually can’t help but gravitate toward it. When it goes off, your thoughts will be taken elsewhere, for who knows how long? If you put it away and silence it, the distraction simply won’t be there. Of course, we all know this is about as easy as getting away from the internet –but it’s just something you’ll have to do. Sometimes, turning the phone off altogether may work better than simply silencing it, because that makes it a lot harder to check your messages. You can adjust these rules accordingly to your personal level of dependency.
Stay away from T.V.’s: This should be pretty self-explanatory. Although you may view the local news or a funny reality show as some needed background noise, it is usually going to end up being more than that. Once any bit of dialogue steals your attention, your mind will get drawn into the program – usually unintentionally. Even if your attention is only taken for a couple of minutes at a time, those minutes amount to a lot by the end of your session. It would be pretty frustrating knowing your studying lasted an hour longer than it needed to only because that screen caught your eye every ten minutes. Sometimes you don’t even realize how often those T.V. icons are distracting you.
Don’t carry headphones with you: Some people really work well with a little background music, and that’s okay. But if having the music on for background noise is for the same reason you had the T.V. on for background noise, think twice before you load up your songs. Be honest with yourself and figure out if music takes away your study focus. If it does, take your work outside your home and do not bring headphones. Clearly, you can’t outwardly play your music in a library or study lounge for everyone else to hear, so a lack of headphones leaves you stuck. However, that initial frustration will be pushed aside for consistently attentive studying. You’d be amazed at how much quicker you can get through material without song lyrics swimming through your head.
Stock up all necessary supplies by your side: If your pen runs out of ink, you have to get up and get a new one. If you get thirsty, you’ll need to go get a bottle of water. If you’re cold, you will be forced to go search for a sweater. We may secretly like when these events occur because they give us reasons to get away from our study area, even if just for a minute. But that minute easily turns into more minutes, because once you’re off, it’s hard to get back to business. If you anticipate all of these possible mishaps and keep necessary items near you, however, you will have no reason to leave your study space until you are finished. Here is a great list of 5 random items that can help you study that you may want to take a look at as well.
No one said studying was going to be easy, but you have the ability to create the perfect world for it. Allow yourself this world free of distractions – you deserve to achieve the results you desire. And remember: all of these fun distractions will be there waiting for you once you are done. You may also want to take a look at these tips on how to find your study space as well.