The information age is incredible. Never before has it been possible to be in the middle of a Facebook conversation on your mobile while watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones on TV and studying on your laptop at the same time. Sounds fun, right? Here’s the problem: sometimes you just really need to study if you don’t want to fail that upcoming exam. When there are a million other things you could be doing without much effort, it becomes hard to really buckle down and get to work. So below we’ve compiled 5 of our top tricks to help you study while avoiding distraction.
1. Put Away Facebook
What, no Facebook? How else could we find out what our friends are doing at 2AM? Don’t worry, the world isn’t going to end. Sign out of Facebook on your mobile, on your laptop, or on any other device that may tempt and distract you. We know Facebook can be the #1 distractor for a lot of people. Don’t let that person be you. Are you a big tweeter, too? Instagram? That’s right, log out of Twitter too. And Instagram. And any other social media tools that you use to escape from the studying you know you need to be doing.
2. Sit Down Somewhere Comfortable
First of all, you’re going to need to be able to sit down for more than 5 minutes. We know it can be hard – especially when there are so many other things you’d rather be doing. But if you can nice and comfortable in a nice room, this will be easier. Is your apartment just not cutting it? Maybe you’re better suited to a library environment where you can be around other people trying to do the same thing. Find your “sweet spot” as far as study location goes and take advantage of it. Also, as far as location goes, make sure you are working in a bright enough environment so that you can see without issue. We’d like to think this goes without saying, but if things are too dark you’re more likely to become irritable quicker and stop studying. We don’t want that.
3. Eliminate Background Noise
Studies have demonstrated that you can study most effectively without background noise. This means no music, no white noise, nothing. Might be boring, but you’ll learn more in less time. And if you’ve got roommates being loud, change your environment to somewhere that they won’t be able to distract or annoy you. It will pay off, we promise.
4. Mark Up Your Reading Materials
Don’t be afraid to whip the highlighters out and highlight important things to remember. Never buy a highlighter? Use a pen and underline important points as you go. This can help you to retain some of the most important points you’ll need to know, and by doing this you’ll become more absorbed in the material you’re studying, and thus, less likely to be prone to distraction. It’s win-win really!
5. Create A To-Do List
OK. We’ve made the point that you’ve probably got a million things to do and think about. But you want to pass this exam. One thing that can really help you narrow your focus is a to-do list. We suggest noting all of the areas in your topic that you need to revisit. Studying psychology but can’t remember much about Freud? Note it in your to-do list. This way when you start studying you’ll know exactly where to start, instead of aimlessly looking for that next thing to revise.