Putting an end to procrastination and sitting down to finally study takes some effort, but if you are easily swayed by the lure of Facebook, Twitter, your cell phone, and other distractions, then deciding to finally take up the books is only half the battle. It’s easy to find diversions when you’re trying to study, but it isn’t as easy to avoid them. Here are some tips for keeping yourself on a good studying track, without giving into the temptation of distraction.
Find a quiet space. Studying in a space where there is a lot of noise and activity will make it difficult to absorb what you are trying to learn, especially with advanced topics like Educational Psychology or Industrial Engineering. This includes trying to study at a Starbucks or even your dining room if everyone is home from work and milling about the house. If you move location to somewhere quiet, you will be more likely to focus on your work, rather than on what is taking place around you. Leaving your bedroom and working in an entirely new space can be beneficial as well. Try the library — you have no choice but to be quiet there.
Close your tabs. If you’re using your computer to study, or even if your computer is just nearby, closing your computer windows or tabs can make a huge difference in helping you to focus. It’s easy to stray from your mechanical engineering paper if you have tabs open. Social networking websites like Twitter, which provides a counter in the tab to let you know how many tweets are piling up while you are doing other things, are particularly distracting. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is true when it comes to such websites, so closing tabs is a good step toward avoiding getting off task. And if you can move away from the computer as a whole, then it’ll be even easier to focus on studying.
Inform others. If you’re trying to study, you can help eliminate distractions by letting your roommates, friends, siblings, and even your parents know that you need some time to focus — alone. It’s easy to give into diversions when other people are taking your attention away from the study material. By removing other people as a distracting force, you can help yourself avoid encountering the temptation to close your books in favor of conversation. If other people just can’t seem to keep from bothering you, turning off your phone, shutting your door, and even putting some physical distance between yourself and others can help you stay on the right path.
Take breaks. Once you’ve made some progress with studying, it’s important to take breaks. Doing so will give your mind a chance to relax before returning to the books. This will keep your mind fresh, and will also help you to focus once you start studying again. Just don’t get too carried away. A good five-minute break after 30 minutes of studying, or 10-minute break after an hour of studying should be more than enough to reinvigorate your mind.