Avoiding Online Distractions
College life would be so much better if all that pesky school work wasn’t in the way. But it’s not going anywhere, and spending hours checking Facebook and watching YouTube videos every 5 minutes isn’t going to help you utilize your study time either. Remember, if you don’t study properly, you won’t pass your exams. And if you don’t pass your exams, you won’t ever graduate. The key is to get rid all your distractions and just get the job done. But where do you start?
The first thing to do is to get rid of ‘real-time’ communication. What does this mean exactly? This means shutting off all applications that could possibly disrupt your focus or calls for immediate attention, such as instant messaging, e-mail alerts, RSS alerts, Skype, and Facebook chat. In other words, anything that says, “Hey, stop studying and focus on me instead.” Yes, this also includes turning off your cell phone. It might be hard, but you need to truly focus. Sending or responding to just one text can lead you on a tangent and before you know it, you will have spent 20 minutes talking about the hottest party happening Friday night instead of prepping for your test. You’ll have a better time at the party knowing you aced the exam the previous day because you utilized all your study time than if you failed the exam because you were distracted by texting. In other words, turn off the phone.
Another way to avoid online distractions is to change your location. Studying at home or a dorm can sometimes be too problematic for students. In addition to the Internet, they have access to television, radio and friends coming in and out of their rooms. It’s best to study someplace where everyone has a common goal, like a library. It’s a quiet environment and most library computers only grant you access to book and article searches, so you can’t be distracted by useless websites. If you just can’t change locations, you can eliminate online distractions temporarily. Whether you decide to turn off your modem or disable your Wi-Fi signal, remember that you can disconnect from the Internet if need be.
While staying focused during study time is crucial, it’s also important to know that breaks are an essential part of the studyingprocess. You still need to eat, move around and ease your mind, after all. During these break times, by all means treat yourself and check your e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook. Just don’t let the breaks last too long.