While at University I earned myself the title of ‘Queen of Procrastination’. To begin with I was flattered and took pride in my new title. That was until it came to getting the results from those assignments I’d avoided so much. I wasn’t so proud anymore and realised that I needed to sort myself out with a plan to avoid being so easily distracted while studying at home.
Firstly, I realised that a major issue was that I hadn’t allowed myself a specific area to get my work done in. I usually sat in my bed, which although comfy usually resulted in me falling asleep. Once I realised this was a problem I set myself up a desk and dedicated that solely to my studies. Having good lighting in your study area is also a good idea, preferably daylight.
Take regular breaks, and by regular I don’t mean every five minutes, or every sentence; another technique of the procrastination queen. Breaks for meal times and the odd drink or stretch every now and again can really help your concentration and mean you’re refreshed to tackle your assignments again.
Let everyone around you know that you are going to study and that they shouldn’t bother you. People should respect this and understand that you need this time to learn. While in University there were always parties going on which meant lots of loud music and the temptation of going out. It was difficult to do but trying to study at times of the day when it will be quieter or heading to the library helped. If you are studying and you have children then it may be a good idea to ensure they are safely occupied elsewhere whilst you study.
Avoiding distraction also includes turning your phone off, logging off Facebook, twitter and any other forms of social interaction. Removing easy access to all of these distractions will reduce the temptation and allow you to focus your attentions on the work that needs to be done.
Discovering which kind of environment you work best in is a good idea. I find that I work best with some background noise and usually have a TV on quietly while I work. Try to make sure it’s not something too interesting otherwise you’ll find yourself paying more attention to that than your work.
Leave plenty of time to get work done before deadlines, this allows you to research your topics thoroughly and deal with any issues and seek help in good time. Starting earlier should mean you have less stress to deal with as you can fit in breaks and take your time. You are more likely to do well if you are under less stress therefore good time management is a high priority.
However, the most important thing of all that I’ve found in avoiding distraction is your own will power – simply keep your focus and do not let yourself get distracted and no doubt you will succeed.
This post was contributed by Sally Davies, a freelance writer with 3 years of experience in online journalism and creative writing. She currently writes on topics such as education, teaching assistant courses and home learning courses.