Staying Focused: Avoiding Distractions

Stopping your cell phone from interrupting your studying:
  • Learn how to stay focused and have breaks by using the very popular Pomodoro Technique.
    (Access an online Pomodoro timer)
  • See how good your attention span is (5 minute test).
  • Understand the law of diminishing returns: It is important to socialize with friends. However, most days, you and your friends get the most benefits from the first hour you spend hanging out together. The second hour provides fewer benefits than the first, and the the third provides still fewer benefits. By leaving your friends after an hour to go study rather than hanging out with them all night, you still maintain connection with them (indeed,your connection might improve given that research suggests people wish their conversations with others were shorter), and you can get more school work done. In addition, you will be more able to free up time to be with friends when they really need you.
  • Apply the Premack principle: Reward yourself for studying by doing things you like to do (e.g., socializing, watching movies) after you have studied.
  • Useful quote: "Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most." -- Abraham Lincoln

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