Managing Distractions

Doing classes at home comes with a whole new set of distractions making it even easier to get off course when studying. With so many things around to capture our attention, how do we stay on track and not lose focus?

The most common distractions we face are:   

  • Social media notifications 

  • Family and housemates  

  • Background noise  

  • Pets  

  • Housework and other errands  

And the list seems to go on and on. You may find yourself asking why we even get distracted. Why would our minds try to sabotage our productivity? 

Why do we get distracted?  

1. A lack of goals: Without long and short-term goals, whether that be academic or otherwise, it can be hard to stay on task and make progress in our studies. 

2. The need to socialise: On average, people socialise for 6 hours a day. The movement of classes online has decreased the ease with which we were once able to socialise.

3. Worrying about the future: As university students, it is natural to worry about the future. However, excessive worrying about your academic life can be counter-productive to studying and achieving your goals. 

4. Technology: Although our gadgets are necessary to most aspects of our lives, they are also a massive distraction, especially since most of us are so reliant on them. 

Tips to minimise distractions:

1. Keep a vision or goal in mind: Setting a short-term goal or vision in your mind can give you the right mindset to push through your studies. Knowing the reasons why you must stay focused allows you to complete the tough stuff. 

2. Minimise external distractions: Although this tip is easier said than done, the best way to get things done is to identify the little things that may distract you and set boundaries. For example, turning off your phone, turning off the TV or closing your door.

3. Manage your momentum: Keeping a steady pace and chipping at your goal bit by bit will allow you to keep on track of your work and allow you to keep things consistent as time progresses. It also avoids assignments and study from becoming overwhelming with the volume of it. Doing a little bit at a time decreases your chance of getting distracted while doing it and lowers stress.  

4. Control Your Environment: Set boundaries with family members and housemates and clear periods of time for when you're studying. Avoid studying in your bedroom and create a study zone to help your mind associate rooms in your house with specific activities.