September 18th, 2008 Jamie
I always meant to be productive during finals week. Really. I scheduled, I planned, and then when it came down to it, I suddenly gave in to this incredible urge to write 6 blog posts and thoroughly clean my room. After all, cleaning my room was important, right?
A truly useful study hour (or week) means a lot of will power-and if you don’t have a lot, you have to make things a little easier on yourself. Here are my top distraction factors of college life, and how to tackle them. Be warned-these are REALLY easy, and REALLY obvious. The hard part is following through!
- Problem: Studying is Boring. Compared to the party down the hall, the new Will game your roommate is playing, and all those DVDs stacked over your desk, studying is BORING.
Solution: Change Venues. You know what makes studying seem more interesting? A silent school library. You’ll start studying just to escape the monotony of all that QUIET! So go somewhere quiet and subdued so you can focus in on your study material-and make sure you don’t enable yourself with other distractions like…
- Problem: The Internet. Talk about the biggest distraction ever. Aside from surfing, you have email, IM, MySpace/Facebook/etc., blogs (to write or read), YouTube, and millions of online games to distract you.
Solution: Um… Turn Off the Internet. *GASP* Can you imagine being cut off from the net?!? It really is the easiest way to avoid distractions though–even if you put up an away message, you’re still going to be tempted to check people’s profile messages, scan through Facebook, and check your email every minute or so. So if you have wireless, turn off your card. If you’re plugged in, pull the Ethernet cable. You can do it!
- Problem: Sleepiness. If only you hadn’t stayed up all night watching Simpson’s reruns with your BFF! Maybe then you could focus on your OChem instead of cat napping face-down on one of the library computer keyboards!
Solution: Sleep & Learning to Stay Awake (without Coffee). So, first and easiest solution, is to get a good night’s rest before you start studying. If it’s too late for that, then learn the secrets to staying awake while you’re studying (you can see more tips here, too). Remember, caffeine is a bad way to go because your body can get dependent on it.
- Problem: Cell Phones. Maybe you’re ignoring calls, but just one more text message wouldn’t hurt, right…?
Solution: Again… Turn it Off. Sometimes the temptation is too strong-your crush is calling, your roommate is texting, you just want to download one more ringtone… So turn your phone off. I know it feels like severing a limb, but at least you can turn it back on when studying is over.
- Problem: Hunger. How are you supposed to study when your stomach is growling?
Solution: Snacks & Food Breaks. College students are notorious for NOT eating during study time, but this is a BAD idea. Your brain needs fuel if you want it to work. If you’re in for the long haul, you have a couple of options. First, bring (healthy!) snacks like granola, nuts, fruit, etc. (cheese puffs aren’t going to give you the energy you need). Second, take a break and head over to the caf for a meal. That’s the time to turn on your cell, meet up with a friend, or pull out the Sudoku for a little break from study time.
- Problem: Music. Some people study better with music on, others just start lip-synching, head-bobbing, or buying more music on iTunes.
Solution: Leave Your Headphones at Home. On purpose. When you head off to your quite study zone, you’re going to find yourself very unpopular if you try to listen to music without those babies-which is the perfect motivation to leave your tunes off.
Didn’t I say these were ridiculously easy? Think you can do it?
Entry Filed under: academics