Hope you’re having a good summer! I recently got an email from a student who asked a good (and very relevant) question. I thought I’d share it here, and my response:
I’m currently in the process of reading your book (which by the way is the most helpful reading material I have ever come across) and I’m still a little confused on how to get rid of distractions/how to focus. Even if I do things like turn off my phone/social media/turn off the Wifi, my mind still remains distracted and I cannot help but think about possible notifications I have on my phone. Do you have any recommendations for this?
It sounds like you’ve taken some good steps towards fighting distractions! Here are my suggestions for what else you can do:
- Study with instrumental (non-vocal) classical or Baroque music in the background, if you don’t already. I find composers like Mozart help me tune out distractions and make it easier to stay focused. (In fact, I’m listening to a Mozart violin concerto right now.)
- Turn off the notifications on your phone completely! Don’t be a slave to the bell. Just check your social media, messages, etc., at certain times, rather than having your phone alert you when new things come in. This will, hopefully, reduce temptation and re-train your brain.
- Think of social media as a way to take a break after a good, productive study session. Say to yourself something like, “Okay, I’ll read my textbook for an hour and then treat myself by looking at Facebook for five minutes.” This will give you positive reinforcement for studying; and alternating between deep concentration and something less taxing helps to keep your mind fresh.
I hope this helps!