‘Yikes! I get distracted easily while studying, is that your mantra? Do not worry, you are not alone.
Students often find themselves wandering into space once it is study or homework time, it has happened to everyone but staying in space is where the problem lies. For some students, especially remote learners, balancing life activities and utilizing time efficiently poses a challenge.
Do not worry as I have some tips that helped me stay focused during study time as a remote learner. If it can work for me, I am sure if you successfully implement them they would do the same for you.
Do Not Create Distractions
I know you and I are not the only students who feel the urge to arrange our rooms or clothes whenever it is time to study, am I right?
Be it as a student who has homework or a remote learner, many students are guilty of creating distractions – to avoid this, you can count the numbers up to 10 whenever you feel you are getting distracted, this is one way to gather your thoughts back to studying.
You know you want to study from 4 pm to 6 pm, you should not wait until 5:45 pm before you start cleaning your room and putting your clothes in the right place. To avoid creating distractions ensure your room or study area is neat – so you do not feel the urge to clean up during study time. Also, if your study table or area is a mess – full of empty mugs, pieces of paper, or wrappers of sweets, ensure you clear them out before your study time.
You know you need the points you get on the assignment for better grades or you need to study that study material, so, clean your room or study area before study or homework time to reduce the chances of getting distracted.
Cut Down Distractions
Without the typical classroom setting, studying as a remote learner can be a bit challenging. Not only should you stop creating distractions, but you need to also cut down distractions.
Anything can pose as a distraction – texting, television, social media, phone calls, and sometimes family. I am not saying you should cut down on family instead let them know that there are boundaries. The family mostly makes up for the most distractions for students and many students do not know how to tell family members off.
You should let your family members know that you intend to do exactly what you created a study time for, and that is to study. Run the errands your parents list out for you, listen to your siblings tell you how funny their new music teacher is, and chat with your best friend on the trending news in school but do all these before the time allotted for studying so it does not spill into your study time.
For some students, being in a totally quiet room can be distracting, while, staying in a noisy room is hellish. You have to know which one works for you to reduce distractions. If you are the total silent reading type, put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ or ‘Studying Right Now’ sign on your door to ensure that no form of noise or distractions get to you as everyone knows that you are busy studying at the moment.
On the other hand, if you are the noise is a required type of reader, you can play songs on a minimal level while using a headphone. This would ensure the room is not 100% quiet and you would be able to focus on studying.
Have A Study Spot
For some of us who share a room with another sibling and/or do not like the idea of studying or doing homework in our room, this strategy will work well for you.
Look for a spot at home that is devoid of movement, noise, or whatever external distractions you can think of. Let your family know you intend to use the area as your study spot, and then set it up. Try to make the spot as comfortable as possible to your liking of course and make it a rule to use that area for studying only, this gives an atom of importance to the spot and would force your family to respect the area and leave you be when you study.
Having a timetable or being routinized has saved many students from lagging, it can do the same for you. Stay organized by creating a timetable for learning. You can get applications like; ClickUp, Todoist, Any.do to mention a few on the Play Store to help you prioritize and note down the list of things to do and topics to cover.
Create a timetable and paste it around the house, let it be a spectacle for everyone to see, and make sure you follow the timetable. When family members see your dedication and commitment to studying, they would serve as a reminder. They would start sending you errands way before your study time and serve as natural bodyguards for you while you study, you would start to hear things like, ‘Junior, do not go there, your sister is studying!’.
Stay routinized and stay focused.
Press The Silence Icon
Being in the technology age has its good and bad sides. One of the bad sides is that technology can be distracting.
Let us look at Mary:
Mary is a remote learner who has allotted 2 hours and 30 minutes every day to study and finish up her assignments. As she sits down to get started, ‘doink! doink!’ her phone sends in a notification.
Mary decides to check the notification out and ends up; creating memories with pictures on Instagram, getting updated with the latest trends on Twitter, and connecting with old friends viz Facebook. Voila! 1 hour and 30 minutes have gone out of the time Mary allocated for studying.
Mary now starts to blame the subject for being hard as she has made no progress academically while forgetting she is the cause of her issues.
Do you want to be like Mary or like Mr. Focus who hits the silence icon before he settles in to study?
Smartphones are so cool that you can set certain phone calls to override the silent mode, if you know you are expecting an important call or you want certain family members to reach you – set it that their call can override the silent mode. If putting it on silent mode is not enough for you, you can tap the ‘Do Not Disturb’ icon or hand the phone over to a family member who will give you back after your study time is over.
Do not let the incessant doink or phone calls be a source of distraction for you and hinder your study time from being productive.
Snack & Take Short Breaks
Do not wait for your brain to shut down before you tap out from studying. It is advised that break periods be added to the timetable or to-do list, if not it can lead to internal distractions
A good stretch and nice snacks can perform wonders in the body. You do not want your brain to start telling you that 2 multiplied by 4 is 12 before you know you are hungry or you need a break. No matter how short the break is, the time away from studying is important.
You can request that your mum or dad make you a light meal or get you snacks to bite on as you study. Doing this will help drive away the internal distraction called hunger.
During your short breaks, you can walk around the house to stretch your muscles. Also, you can check on your phone in case you have messages or calls you need to either reply to or call back. Do not exceed the time allocated for breaks, if not you might get distracted and spend longer time with the phone or even stop studying altogether.
Get Quality Sleep
Students who want to finish up their homework on an exhausted brain either perform poorly on the assignment or doze off in between. Parents should encourage their children to sleep or take a nap before proceeding with their assignments to avoid this.
Parents or family members can help by regulating how much phone time the child gets or collecting the child’s phone at a certain time every day, this would ensure that the child wakes up energized the next day.
On the other hand, remote learners need to rest well because they are dealing with more than just academics – they are trying to balance life with academics. This cannot be accomplished on an exhausted brain or body, improve your time for sleeping by going to bed early and removing all late-night distractions that can cause you to sleep late. Rest well so you do not get cranky in the morning, and tamper with your timetable or to-do list.
In conclusion, these tips can only serve as a guide to reducing distractions but the person that can fully accomplish this is you.
So, have the right mindset to study. It is challenging enough to be a remote learner, but it would be tragic if you are that remote learner who never does well on tests or is always behind in deadlines.
Be intentional about not being distracted during study time and success would be yours.