Surviving College Life discusses the trouble of distractions:
– I always meant to be productive during finals week. Really. I scheduled, I planned, and then when it came down to it, I suddenly gave in to this incredible urge to write 6 blog posts and thoroughly clean my room. After all, cleaning my room was important, right?
– A truly useful study hour (or week) means a lot of will power-and if you don’t have a lot, you have to make things a little easier on yourself.
Distractions are definitely a big problem if they impact your study habits on a big scale. To overcome them, you have to have self-discipline and enough motivation to stick to your study plan.
Some common distractions
Surviving College Life goes on to detail perhaps the biggest study distractions in college:
– Problem: The Internet. Aside from surfing, you have email, IM, MySpace/Facebook/etc., blogs (to write or read), YouTube, and millions of online games to distract you.
Solution: Turn Off the Internet. GASP Can you imagine being cut off from the net?!? So if you have wireless, turn off your card. If you’re plugged in, pull the Ethernet cable. You can do it!
This is perhaps the best solution, but the problem is students often use the Internet for research or for completing assignments. In this case, you may want to consider setting up a site blocker for when you are studying. Surviving College Life blog continues:
– Problem: Sleepiness.
Solution: Sleep & Learning to Stay Awake (without Coffee). So, first and easiest solution, is to get a good night’s rest before you start studying. Remember, caffeine is a bad way to go because your body can get dependent on it.
– Problem: Cell Phones.
Solution: Again… Turn it Off. Sometimes the temptation is too strong-your crush is calling, your roommate is texting, you just want to download one more ringtone… So turn your phone off.
– Problem: Hunger. How are you supposed to study when your stomach is growling?
Solution: Snacks & Food Breaks. College students are notorious for NOT eating during study time, but this is a BAD idea. Your brain needs fuel if you want it to work.
– Problem: Music. Some people study better with music on, others just start lip-synching, head-bobbing, or buying more music on iTunes.
Solution: Leave Your Headphones at Home. On purpose. When you head off to your quiet study zone, you’re going to find yourself very unpopular if you try to listen to music without those babies-which is the perfect motivation to leave your tunes off.
By following these tips, you’re sure to enjoy a distraction-less study zone.
Two of the greatest distractions of all
Our team warns students of two of the biggest distractions of all:
– Television. This old-school distraction is more tempting than ever, now that there’s zillions of channels. Fortunately, you can reduce the temptation of television by recording your favorite shows and watching when you have time. If you don’t have TiVo or a similar DVR device, buy yourself a VCR (or dig one out of your parent’s attic).
– MMORPGs and Other Video Games. Games provide a healthy break from the realities of college life, but only if you use them in moderation. Will they turn you into a homicidal maniac, as the TV news would have you believe? No, probably not. Are they potentially addictive and a huge source of procrastination? Of course. If you’re going to play, try imposing a time limit on yourself, and stay away from games during finals.
TV and video games can be addicting, and staying away from them during study sessions require a lot of inner strength. But with enough practice, you’ll learn how to curb the urge to watch TV or play video games in the middle of a study session.