No matter how hard one tries, sets goals, and promises to be focused while studying, it is very easy to get distracted when one sits down to study. Every students plans to give their study time the best shot; the idea is to remain efficient and productive, but it is only natural for your mind to wander away or for something else to catch your fancy. Unlike in older times, distractive forces today are deeply embedded and hard to resist owing to the rise of social media and the internet. It is easy to digress from scrolling course material to browsing Instagram reels and Tik Tok videos within seconds.
Let us start by understanding the reasons for distraction. Why do students get distracted? From the age group of children pursuing primary education to those in high school, distraction has its ways of deviating children (and even adults) from their plans.
Learners primarily get distracted for the following reasons.
- The strong urge to check social media crops up ever so often.
- Getting text and WhatsApp notifications or calls while studying.
- Getting random thoughts prevents students from consolidating focus.
- Bad planning and not making a priority list of topics to study. This confuses the mind of the students when they sit down to study.
- The constant need to drink, eat or get up while studying.
Both internal and external sources cause distraction, which can be overcome by better planning, increased focus, and self-control.
Here are the top five ways for you as a student to avoid distractions while studying.
1. Don’t let your phone win
Be it the country’s national board, the American curriculum, or the IB PYP curriculum, they all require students to access study material and videos online – therefore, keeping the phone and laptop away may not be a feasible choice. To tackle this, students can turn off the Wi-Fi and mobile data option for gaming and social media apps that cause a distraction while studying. Since apps won’t be able to refresh themselves, even if students invariably open the app, there will be no new updates to see, thereby strengthening self-control. The ideal way would be to delete these social media apps as they only provide entertainment value. If that is hard, try muting notifications and keeping the phone silent while studying.
2. Get rid of random thoughts
It is very easy to zone out while studying, and it is even easier to get distracted by your thoughts while performing a task that requires concentration, such as studying. The thought could be as random as – a memory from a trip you took three years ago or where your brand-new white shirt it. It is natural for random thoughts to crop up in your brain as soon as you start writing or reading. Experts suggest that writing down your thoughts in such a situation is advisable. Writing it convinces the brain that the topic will not be forgotten, and now that you have written it, you can get back to it post studying. This strategy takes care of the thought momentarily, allowing you to focus on your studies. You can even meditate for a couple of minutes before sitting down to study for better focus.
3. Make a priority-wise study schedule
Don’t allow yourself any opportunity to get distracted. It is common that the minute you sit down with one subject, you realize something more important is pending in another. At the end of it, you have focused on neither of the topics. Always plan the study topic, chapter, or subject beforehand to achieve your goals during the allotted study time. Don’t waste time making this decision on the spot while seated at your study table, as half your time will be spent procrastinating.
4. Set a suitable study environment
The environment is central to providing the required motivation to study. A good study environment is the best trigger for you to focus and study. A conducive study environment keeps you going even when there is a strong urge to get distracted. Do not pick a comfortable place like your couch or bed to study in; sit on your study table so the position you are in alerts your mind to study. Make sure the area is well-lit and only keep those books you need to study from – these little tips automatically tune the mind to prepare for studying.
A clean and well-organized table is a great motivator to study. Overall, your study area needs to motivate and energize you to study and stay focused.
5. Refrain from multitasking
When studying, focus solely on that; do not attempt multitasking, as that is a recipe for disaster. The more you multitask, the more opportunities you have to get distracted. Do not eat while studying, do not listen to music while studying, and do not plan other things in your mind. All these activities shift the focus from your study topic, interrupting the flow of deep understanding. It would be best if you gave studying your all.