We all suffer from distractions, and college students are no exception. According to a recent study, students are distracted for at least 5 out of every 15 minutes during their study sessions, and the most common distractions are texting, social networks like Twitter and Facebook, instant messengers, emails, YouTube. In addition, another study revealed that even a 3-second interruption can double the number of mistakes students make in their assignments and has a negative impact on their grades.
Distractions lead to procrastination and can prevent you from getting most of your study sessions. As a result, you will have to cram at the last minute to finish your work or find out if somebody can write your essay in order to meet deadlines for their submission. Fortunately, there are effective strategies that can help you stay focused on what you need to do to achieve your goals and keep yourself distraction-free. Follow these easy tips to boost your productivity.
Make a To-Do List to Get Organized
College students have assignments in multiple classes with different deadlines, and juggling all of them can be extremely stressful. While working on one project, you may easily forget about another one. What is the way out? Make a proper schedule and include all the assignments you have to complete with their deadlines. A schedule will help you stay organized and manage all your time effectively. You can write your to-do list by hand on a piece of paper or keep a digital calendar. It’s better to schedule a specific time for every assignment you have to complete. Plan to work on challenging tasks in the morning because it’s easier to cope with distractions when you are not very tired.
Turn Off All Notifications
You are unlikely to be able to focus on studying if you get constant notifications about emails, messages, and pop-ups from chats. Turn off your phone or put it to silent mode and close all unnecessary tabs in your computer browser. If you need to search for information online, keep only one tab open. Another way to fight online distractions is to block apps and websites, using which you just waste your precious study time.
Find Your Perfect Study Space
You should find the right place for studying and the best environment for efficient work can be different for different students because our study styles and habits differ. But you’d better study in the same place every day to make it a routine. Depending on the type of atmosphere you prefer, it can be a bed in your dorm room, a kitchen table, or the public library. Some people can work efficiently only in an absolutely quiet place while others don’t mind little background noise. You may try several different spaces and see how productive you are in each place.
Organize Your Work Space
You are unlikely to stay productive, if you need to constantly look for pens, pieces of paper, your notes, and textbooks or if your desk is covered with piles of books and stacks of paper. Think about what you have to do and gather all the stuff you need to do it. And clean your desk of unnecessary things to avoid clutter. Keep only the essentials. That will help you stay organized and increase your motivation to work.
Using noise-canceling headphones can be a good idea when you need to work in a noisy environment. You can also listen to music without lyrics to tune out distracting noise. The good idea is to listen to instrumental classical music because it can help you improve your concentration.
Break Big Projects into Pieces
Plan to work on lengthy projects in short chunks, for example, about an hour and take regular breaks (10-15 minutes). Starting a huge project is rather stressful, but you’ll keep yourself motivated in you break it into smaller tasks. Having a short rest will help you retain information better and boost your overall productivity.
When your study session is over, and you have accomplished everything you have planned to do, you should reward yourself and do something you really enjoy. For example, if you finish your challenging paper without distractions, you may watch your favorite TV show, play video games or go out with your friends. In this way, you’ll encourage yourself to work productively and avoid distractions.