On Do Not Disturb

Trying to study is not a simple task. Some may find it easy, while others first need to muster enough energy to begin. In a society where there are all-around distractions, ranging from games to an overwhelming environment, how can students like us overcome procrastination and get set up for a successful study session? How can we be fully immersed in the task that we have set for ourselves? 

A problem that often arises when it comes to studying is the desire to procrastinate and put things off due to a lack of information. Some of us might not be too sure of what we are going to study, or some of us might be repulsed by the idea of starting a task not knowing when it will end. Thus, I propose a solution. To overcome this difficulty, as online students, we must embrace digital calendars as our best friend. Having an online calendar such as ‘Google Calendar’ or ‘Apple Calendar’ allows a person flexibility, organisation, and better time management. By being able to take the time out of our day and visually see the time it would take for us to complete a task and how much we can get done in an allotted time, it makes it easier for us to begin and prepare. Because digital calendars are, well, digital, they offer greater flexibility and editing when it comes to having to reschedule or edit our daily tasks. Using a digital calendar helps us to better plan our days and weeks, and to know what tasks are ahead. 

Another way to successfully have a study session is by using apps such as ‘Reminders’ to notify us about what we need to do and when. For example, in the ‘Reminders’ app, we can create a new task and schedule a date and time for when we need to complete it. We are also able to note the priority of completing the task. By setting reminders in our cellphone, laptop, computer, or Ipad, we can ensure that even when we are unaware or have forgotten to fulfil a task, a notification would be sent to fix just that. Using reminders as a way to keep on top of all tasks is exceptionally effective as it helps us with our organisation and time management. 

Now, a lot of people would have already received one of the most common pieces of advice, which is to limit our distractions when trying to focus and improve our concentration. However, how can we do that? How can we limit the number of distractions we are faced with? Firstly, one of the most straightforward ways is to involve other people in the plan. If it is likely that we will end up using our phone halfway through studying, it is a possibility that we can ask our parents, siblings, friends, or anyone near us to physically go to where we are and verbally remind us of what we are supposed to do. And if we are desperate, we can even ask our parents to take our phone. Before doing this, however, we must bear in mind that we are quite frankly giving our phone away and will not be able to do anything about it for a specific period. 

Another way to limit distractions is to actually pick up our study space and go somewhere else. It is in human nature to adapt to a new environment and learn to make a place our own. However, it is also human nature to be sick of a space or have the desire to be somewhere else or go somewhere new. This drawback often occurs for those of us who have spent a long time in one place and have gotten used to everything in it. This is why, when we are no longer able to study in our room or our office, or wherever our usual study space is, it is in our best interest to move somewhere else. This move is by no means permanent. It is more akin to having a break, fresh air, or a change of scenery. Instead of revising an old topic in the same place or learning new content in an old place, it is beneficial for some of us to go to a library, a coffee shop, or even a park to study and do work. It is guaranteed that there would be other factors and stimuli in a new and different environment, but because of the change and the new scenery, this could just be the way for us to increase our focus. 

Thirdly, a key strategy to ensure that we are fully immersed in studying and are ridden of distractions is by using ‘focus’. ‘Focuses’ is a feature in which we can set up a specific ‘focus’ on our phone, either automatically or manually. ‘Focuses’ are essentially an improved ‘do not disturb’ mode. We can choose what apps we can receive notifications from and which contacts can text and call us at a specific time. Using ‘focus’ to improve our concentration during a study session is highly beneficial as it ensures that we are studying and not being bombarded with multiple notifications from games, online platforms, and people. It can also be used as a starting point for us to get started on our session and ‘set the mood’. 

By knowing what we should do, knowing how long it would take, and removing distractions from our environment, we can set ourselves up for a successful study session in which we would be able to concentrate on the task at hand and efficiently complete it. We should always explore different ways to ensure that we are at max efficiency. Avoiding burn-outs and procrastination is the key element in guaranteeing we will learn and understand specific content!