BY KATE LARSON
Procrastination is the bane of many students. Whether it’s social media or our friends, there’s always something lurking around the corner waiting to distract us from our studies.
In light of this, we’ve come up with a simple guide on how to overcome five of the most common interferences.
Stick with these solutions and you’ll spend less time scrolling through your phone and more time achieving the grades you deserve.
1) Study Buddies
The idea of a study buddy comes with good intentions. After all, it’s nice to have someone to drag you along to the library when you least feel like it.
Unfortunately, a study buddy is very often a friend, which means a living, breathing distraction is likely to be sitting directly beside you.
One way to overcome this issue is to set group goals before you start a study session. If you’re both clear on exactly what you want to achieve, you’ll find you’re less likely to “play up” before you’ve reached your goals.
It’s also wise to reward yourselves for reaching a target. It’s up to you to decide what bonus you’ll receive for your hard work but even something as silly as a small candy can help to do the trick.
Being in a relationship during university has its benefits when it comes to studying. A partner, for example, is likely to have a far more positive influence on your final grades than, say, a party-loving best friend.
On the flip side, a relationship is never going to be plain sailing. You can read all the relationship advice in the world but there is always going to be a few bumps in the road that will distract from your studies.
Learn each other’s timetables. If your partner, for example, has a full day of classes on a Monday, then it’s entirely logical to put aside the Sunday evening as your “study night” (and no, that’s not a euphemism).
Likewise, if you both have a day or two during the week when you’re not so busy, make sure you spend that time together.
3) Social Media
It’s hard to imagine life before social media. It’s arguably now the biggest distraction college students face on a day to day basis.
Whether it’s scrolling through endless photos on Instagram or going on a liking spree on Facebook, it’s easy to become hooked without even realizing.
Delete all of the social media apps on your phone a week before a big exam or deadline. Yes, it’s a drastic step to take, but going teetotal is the only realistic way of removing yourself from temptation.
Once you’ve completed your exam or handed in your work, simply re-download the apps and log back into the online world.
4) Nights Out
There aren’t many worse feelings as a student than sitting in the library at ten o clock at night knowing full well that your friends are out partying.
“What am I missing out on?” is the first thought that comes to mind, and it’s a hard one to shake. That’s not good if you need to give your full concentration to a textbook.
Always have your long-term goals written down somewhere so that you can re-read them in times of social despair. Remind yourself of why you’re at college/university in the first place, and think about how much of a positive benefit your decision to study could have on your future.
It’s also imperative to make sure you turn off your phone. If your friends are anything like mine, they’ll be ringing/texting continually to try and persuade you to come out, so try to remove that temptation from the equation.
You’ve probably heard of the likes of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, right? These absorbing shows have us hanging onto the edge of our seats with every plot twist and character death.
Nearly every episode finishes on a gripping cliff-hanger, making it almost impossible to turn off. Unfortunately, cliffhanging endings and studying are a recipe for disaster.
Common sense prevails here, folks. Never start watching a TV series when you have a deadline approaching. Doing so is like choosing to carry a sofa across a frozen lake; it’s going to end badly.
If you have a Netflix subscription, try cancelling it for a month when you have a particularly heavy workload. Fewer distractions mean you’re more likely to spend your spare time revising.
Kate Larson is a college student and aspiring blogger, who has a strong interest in the environment and personal well-being. She enjoys travelling and reading, as well as writing novels.