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8 ways not to get distracted when working

Unlike school, most of the work we do at university is in our own time outside of the classroom environment. But what about all those distractions?

It can certainly be tough to concentrate with loud housemates, your phone going off, and the millions of other interesting things you can research on the web that don’t count towards your degree.

“Like, how many serial killers even are there?”

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to knuckle down and get the job done. Let’s take a closer at 8 ways not to get distracted when working …

1) Sometimes it’s good to work alone

Whether you’re working on a group project or just helping and supporting each other, working alongside other people can be a really positive experience. However, there are times when you really need to focus on something and it may be best to work alone. If other people are joking around and gossiping and you need to concentrate, then make your excuses and go find somewhere without those distractions.

2) Designate a specific time

If you go in without a plan, just a vague notion that you need to work, you’ll probably only get a book out or type a few sentences before being distracted by something else. Setting a specific time for when you’re going to work (beginning to end), will help get your mind in the zone.

3) Designate a work area

Likewise, designate a specific space (or place) to do your work, that is relatively free of noise and you can associate with work. This might be the university library or even just a desk in your room.

If it’s the latter, make sure it’s clear of games consoles, gadgets, and other obvious distractions.

4) Prepare

It’s a good idea to know what you will be doing before you start because the mind can easily wander. Write out a list of small tasks or goals that you can go through to stay on track.

5) Turn off smartphone sounds/notifications

Phones are one of the biggest distractions when it comes to working. Even if you’re disciplined enough not to keep checking Facebook or your emails, you’re bound to lose focus if it’s constantly lighting up or making noises.

So, put it on silent and turn off notifications. Remember, this is only temporary!

6) Block Tempting Websites and Apps

Even if your phone isn’t going to make a noise, you might still be tempted to pick it up and open SnapChat. What about all those tempting websites on your PC, laptop or tablet?

The ‘Stay Focused’ app and browser add-on allows you to block apps and websites, so when you open them you’re delivered a message telling you to get back to work!

7) Take breaks

There is such thing as overworking. If you’re tired and don’t take regular breaks, you’ll be more easily distracted and the quality of your work will deteriorate.

8) Consider background music

Not everyone can concentrate with music on, but for those that can, it can actually drown out other distractions. If you’re one of those that do find regular music distracting, you might consider playing natural sounds, ambient music, or relaxation mixes that can easily be found on YouTube or Spotify.

Such as this one:

Got any other methods for not getting distracted? Let us know below!

This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln