How to Avoid Distraction while Studying
Different points of view!
Try Over Distracting Yourself
Just eliminate all distractions! Well, unfortunately it’s not that easy for me. I will fiddle with my pen, doodle in the textbook, get lost in thought looking out the window, or make up a song while tapping on my desk. Thus, I have made myself the ultimate study strategy: over distract myself, the perpetually distracted.
Yes, you did indeed read that right. When I have only one thing in front of me that I don’t want to do, my response is usually to find something else that can occupy my time. Whether it be my phone, my hair, or the loose rings on my fingers, I will, and I mean I WILL, find something else to do. Now, let’s be clear here. I know I am not alone in this issue. I also know that most people suck it up and get the work done eventually, even though it is a struggle and a major grind to force yourself to pay attention to the task at hand. And yes, I could do the same. I could sit there and waste a bunch of my time like I did for many years. At least, up until I discovered this strategy that works way better than anyone could have ever guessed.
So this is where it may get a bit weird for people reading this with normal, functionable, and concentrated brains. In order to stop myself from getting distracted, I have to give myself distractions that will not hinder me, and yet will give me something to take my mind off how horrible I think studying is. The following is a true story about me studying for my physics exam last year. I set up my laptop in front of me and pulled up Disney plus. Once there, I opened up the movie ‘The Emperor’s New Groove” and watched it on repeat every time I studied. I know the movie so well that I did not actually need to pay attention to know what was going on, yet when the physics got to be too much for my brain to handle, rather than going on my phone or getting up for a boredom snack, I could snap back into my familiar movie bubble. The movie in the background was enough for me to be moderately entertained, while also not requiring my full attention. It helped me concentrate more on the task I had on hand and distracted me from thinking about and of my other distractions.
Get lots Going on!
A major way that I learned how not to get distracted while studying was with having a background noise. Though this may not be a reasonable option for everyone but someone with ADHD, like myself, having multiple things going on at once truly helps a lot.
First thing that I did was go into my Spotify and create a playlist of songs that already loved and knew. By already knowing the words to the songs, it put my mind at ease. While if it were to be a new song that I did not know, I would try to focus on the lyrics and determine if liked it or not. Second, I noticed there were a lot of other playlist that were already created made for studying purposes and browsed through their music selection to see if there were any songs that I missed and added them to my own playlist.
No Distraction! Boycott the internet!
Phones have become one of the biggest distractions of our century. We use them for everything, but sometimes we might not know when to stop. If your phone distracts you, put it on airplane mode so that you won't hear that annoying ding sound that will destruct you from your studies. Another option is to turn it off completely or leave it in a different room from where you are studying. Always remember that your phone, social media and friends are always going to be there.
Studying is much more important to get you where you want to be and after you finish you will be able to go and browse the web all you want.
Don’t be afraid to blast the beats.
Now, one thing I’ve realized has kept me motivated for my study sessions are my music playlists. It might sound unconventional and like a bit of a distraction, I thought so too at first, but I urge you to try it at least once. Not only does it keep me extra focused on whatever task I have to accomplish, it keeps me alert and energetic. It drowns out the silence or anything that could possibly be a disturbance by being a consistent thing. I compile a playlist of songs of all genres that I’d enjoy but not songs that I know off-head (listening to an apple or Spotify playlist specifically for focusing helps too). I have a friend who listen to purely acoustics or drumbeats when studying. And Lately, I’ve been very inclined to Beethoven’s symphony no. 5 in C minor. But regular pop, rock or indie beats work as well.
Associate with Music!
Associating a melody to words allows our brains to remember them better. I have found that I am able to remember my notes much easier if I create a song about the topic I need to memorize. Whether you are a Grade 9 Royal Conservatory pianist, or just a person who taps their foot when a song is played in a coffee shop, you can use the foolproof method of syncing your study to music and greatly improve your academic achievement.
Here is the method I use: First, I write out all my notes and information that I need to memorize on a sheet of paper. These notes will become the lyrics to my song. Secondly, I pick a song that has been stuck in my head–one that I just can’t seem to get out. These songs are the perfect melodies to use when I construct my study songs.
Next, I divide each section of the song (first verse, chorus, etc) into the different topics from my notes. After this, all I have to do is sing my notes to the tune of the catchy song I’ve chosen, singing about each topic during specific sections of the song. Then, I repeat! In the same way the radio plays certain songs over and over again, singing my study songs repeatedly–or even reciting them in my head–ensures that I remember all of my information on tests. Often, using this method hardly feels like studying; I am having fun, which motivates me to work more and relieves my stress, too.
Study Skills, Tips and Methods to Try
Taking a Test? Shake things up and try something new! Study tips and methods submitted by students