How to stop multitasking and focus on your studiesPosted on 17/08/2016 by Jess O'Connor
We live in a multitasking society. At any one moment you might be checking your phone, watching TV, eating dinner, and maybe even talking to your family at the same time. And although you might be able to multitask with ease, it’s important not to make this a study habit.
When it comes to studying, multitasking is the enemy of productivity. It’s much better to sit down for 45 minutes of uninterrupted, focused study than to sit down for 1.5 hours of ‘multitasking study’. Imagine how much more you could achieve if you studied in focused bursts instead of checking Facebook every ten minutes.
Finding focus is hard when you study from home. There’s always dishes to be done or washing to be hung out. We understand that the temptation to multitask can be strong, especially if you have young kids.
Below we’ve outlined five tips to help you focus.
1. Try the Pomodoro technique
Have you heard of the Pomodoro time management technique? In a nutshell, this technique is about working in 25-minute bursts. You set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes and focus 100% on the task at-hand during that time (for example, the task might be reading study notes or completing an online test). You can’t veer from the task for 25 minutes (no Facebook or checking your phone).
Once the timer goes off, you’re allowed a 5-minute break. Then, once you’ve completed four ‘pomodoros’ in a row (four 25-minute bursts), you can take a 15-20 minute break.
Many people love the Pomodoro technique because it gives them a small break to look forward to every 25 minutes. Often it’s easier to not check your phone for 25 minutes than it is to not check your phone for four hours. Why not try this one at home?
2. Hide your phone
Your smartphone can be a real productivity killer. Turn your phone on silent and leave it in another room while you are trying to focus on your studies – out of sight, out of mind. If you’re expecting a phone call, leave it in another room but turn the ringer on loud. That way, you’ll have to get up if it rings – saving you the temptation of checking Instagram every five minutes.
3. Study without internet
If possible, print out your study notes or download them to your computer and ‘go offline’ for a couple of hours. The internet is full of distractions and can be a huge time-waster. Alternatively, you could try blocking the most distracting websites, such as Facebook and YouTube. There are several apps that will do this for you – check out this list from Mashable to get you started.
4. Go to the library
Do you find studying from home really distracting? Maybe it’s impossible to concentrate unless your house is clean? Or perhaps you keep finding yourself at the fridge door? Sometimes the best thing to do is leave the house for a few hours. Go to the library and study in the peace and quiet. Many people also find that they are more productive at the library because everyone else is in a ‘working’ mode. The atmosphere can help you stay motivated and on-task.
5. Ask your family for support
Sometimes your family can be the biggest distraction. Let them know when you need to focus so they know not to interrupt you. Ask for their support and understanding, and remind them that you won’t be studying forever – once you have your qualification you’ll have more time for your family again. If you have young children, maybe try to study after they have gone to sleep or when they are having an afternoon nap.
What do you do to stay focused and stop multitasking? Do you have any tips that aren’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below!Posted in Inspiration and motivation, Study From Home Tips | Leave a reply