How to avoid distractions

Image used under Creative Commons License

Image used under Creative Commons License

Brett Smith, Staff Writer

   Distractions are everywhere, and they have a bad habit of showing their faces at the worst times possible. If they do not show up while studying for a big test, then they will more than likely magically appear when taking said test. Either way, distractions are a big factor of college life and learning how to avoid them can be critical to success. However, how does one go about life without getting distracted? While it may seem impossible to avoid distractions entirely, here are a few tips that can aid in severely reducing distraction.

   The first and foremost tip in dealing with distractions is to practice good self-control. If one can learn to discipline themselves well enough, then most distractions would be instantly eliminated. In addition to self discipline, a good diet can help focus the mind and sharpen study skills. Eating fruits and vegetables before a study session or test can help to prime the brain and allow a higher level of functioning. For college students, a good diet can be a challenge, but it is very important.

   Something else that is difficult for college students is getting enough sleep. Studies show that students who choose to get a good night’s sleep rather than stay up half the night cramming do better on tests than those who are sleep-deprived. If the choice is ever to sleep or study a few more hours, sleep is likely the better decision. Getting the right amount of sleep will help with schoolwork, and allow the brain to stay focused during study time, rather than being fatigued and distracted.

   Another tip is to let others around you know that distraction is to be avoided. This problem could be avoided altogether, though, by simply finding a place to be alone. Yet, even if silence and solitude is acquired, how does one stay on track? Writing out a game plan is a great way to track progress and stay on task. Before starting anything, write out a list of what needs to be done and stick to the plan as written. This can be one of the most efficient tools when trying to remain undistracted.

   However, the biggest and most demanding distraction of all is that little rectangle in the pockets of most every student. Phones can cripple any academic when it is time to get down to business. Everyone is guilty of doing it, but there is a simple solution. It may seem crazy, maybe even dangerous, but by simply turning off your phone, endless distractions can be avoided. Everything will be alright for an hour or so, just turn the phone off and study.

   Even though these tips may not eliminate all distractions, they can help to severely reduce the temptation. Perhaps the most important thing to do when avoiding distractions is to remember that everyone is different. What works for one person, may not necessarily work for someone else. Likewise, distractions can be different depending on the day. One method to avoid distractions that worked on Tuesday, may not necessarily work on Wednesday. Avoiding distractions takes practice and focus. Once the art is mastered, studying and other matters will benefit greatly.

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