Almost everyone has procrastinated before. Studying involves absorbing large volumes of content that is often, quite frankly, dry and boring as hell. When you’re getting into study mode, suddenly everything is distracting – your phone, what’s on TV, your bed, the people around you, the ceiling, everything. We’re going to walk you the top five common distractions that you have to get rid of to preserve your studying mood as much as possible.
1) Studying in bed
Studying in your bedroom is often a bad idea. Your bed is right there, and is something you associate with relaxation, exhaustion and sleep. Although some people can overcome this mental association, for a lot of people it really affects their mood and their level of focus. This can lead to inadvisable naps and a lack of productivity.
2) Electronics and Social Media
This is an obvious one but one of the worst distractions. In the digital age, there are a million things to do on your phone, computer, tablets and consoles, and a million people to communicate with. The internet offers a plethora of distraction such as Netflix, Facebook, Instagram etc. It’s pretty hard to extricate yourself from electronics, because a lot of people use their computers to study, and bring their phone everywhere.
If this is a serious issue, there are several ways to cut yourself off from these distractions. The first step to take is to delete every app that is potentially distracting. While you’re studying, you can download and use productivity apps on your laptop like StayFocused, SelfControl and FocusBooster to block distracting websites for a specified period of time. If you have a study buddy, you can also hold each other accountable by holding onto each other’s phones.
3) Being at home
It’s impossible for some people to study at home, especially if they don’t have a sufficiently private space. Like previously stated in the bedroom section, home carries with it associations of comfort and relaxation, and also has an accessible range of snacks and time-wasting activities. Many people are also distracted by their families, who might not be aware that studying moods are a delicate thing. To force yourself to get into a serious mind set, and cut yourself off from distraction, the best thing to do is to study in a public space, like a school or local library. If you want to force yourself to be extremely serious about studying, the State library is also a good option, and one of the quietest places ever.
4) Your friends
Having a friend to study with, bounce ideas off and ask for help is super important, and prevents you from being miserable during your studying period. But due to your familiarity, friends can instantly derail all your goals. Having someone there with you might a tempting way to waste time and have fun instead. The only way to solve this problem is through a Very Adult personal judgement call – do you feel like your study buddy is the right friend to study with? Or are they just enabling your bad behaviour?
5) Your body
It’s extremely vital that you take breaks, get a solid amount of sleep and take care of yourself. Studying in 30 minute to 1 hour chunks with regular breaks will help you retain your knowledge a lot better than studying for huge blocks of time until your brain turns to mush. Fatigue and extreme boredom will only make it harder for you to focus on content. Hydration (drink water all the time!) and brief exercises like squats, jumping jacks and mild forms of cardio might get your energy up and increase your focus.
Of course, everyone is different and you might not be distracted by these things, or be distracted by things that are totally different to the items on this list. But, no matter what your poison is, it’s important to identify these distractions and nip them in the bud, so you can study efficiently as possible.