One of the biggest problems you face when studying is distractions. The people around you may be making noise or want to talk. You may receive a notification on your phone and want to know what it is. Even your own thoughts could take your attention away from what you should be focusing on. Whatever the case, there are ways to reduce distractions to improve your productivity and make the most of your study time. Here are a few strategies.
1. Turn Off Notifications on Your Phone
It can be tempting to look at your phone for just a few minutes in the middle of a study session. It’s extra difficult to avoid looking when you hear an alert. To prevent your phone from becoming a distraction, set up a study mode that will silence all your notifications and block you from opening apps unrelated to your studies.
2. Find a Suitable Place to Study
Experiment with different study locations until you find a place where you can study without becoming distracted. You may feel most comfortable at home or you may prefer to have activity around you, such as at a coffee shop. If you like company but want silence, your campus library could be ideal.
3. Use Noise-Canceling Headphones
If you have no option but to study where there are distractions, block out the sound around you with noise-canceling headphones. Some people find they’re able to concentrate best with white noise, whereas others prefer to listen to music. Figure out what works for you.
4. Keep Your Desk Clutter Free
If you’re studying at the desk in your bedroom, create an environment that helps you focus. Remove all your clutter — this means any objects you don’t need while studying. File away papers, throw out all sticky notes, and only have the notebooks, textbooks, and stationery you need at hand.
5. Create a Study Schedule
It’s easier to ensure you’re on track if you set an aim for what you want to achieve each day. Having a study schedule means you’ll assign a certain amount of time to a particular task — this could be working on a paper, preparing for a test, or completing a required reading.
Consider what time of day you’ll be able to best focus on this kind of activity and block the time on your calendar. Creating a schedule will also help you avoid forgetting something important and prevent you from focusing on the most appealing activities when you have more urgent tasks to complete.
6. Divide Large Projects into Small Tasks
Large projects can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure where to even begin. Figure out how to split projects into tasks that will take no more than about 45 minutes. After you’ve completed one task, you can take a 10-minute break before moving on to the next.
7. Give Yourself a Reward at the End of a Study Session
Once you’ve finished studying for the day, reward yourself for staying focused with a small treat. Give yourself a bigger reward when you finish an entire paper or project.
You’re much more likely to face distractions when you live on campus than if you have your own room in an apartment. For Brock University off-campus housing, you have Foundry Lofts. You’ll be able to study in your fully-furnished apartment as well as in our private and group study spaces. Plus, when you need to take a break to relax or want to reward yourself for your hard work, you can head to the movie theater, games room, or fireside lounge. Book a tour to check out all the great amenities.