26 February 2016
Most students (and their professors) are assured that distractions is something you should avoid — they keep you away from getting your tasks done on time, listening carefully to your tutor in class, and studying for important exams.
But you cannot help it! When you have to study for several hours straight, your mind gets tired and trivial little things seem to become incredibly important. You switch your attention to a TV show, updating your software, or flipping through Facebook news. Well, these distractions cannot help you be more productive especially when you have an exam tomorrow. However, there are distractions that can actually boost your energy and help you improve your studying results.
There are right distractions, which give you a mental rest. A short rest can strengthen and consolidate your memory and improve later learning. Here are some beneficial distractions for studying you can use for better productivity. You can clean your room and update your Windows later…
When the body gets sluggish, so does the mind! Keep up with physical training during midterm exams to stay bright eyed and bushy tailed. Attending gym lets you switch over to another wavelength. It is beneficial since you give your brain a break from studying while refreshing your body.
Late Night Time with Friends
Make it a routine to have late-night events with your friends. Invite your friends for a movie or get some snacks together. This will help you stay efficient when you have to complete a task late at night because of the burning deadline. Just don’t forget to go back to studying when you have to!
Short power naps can improve your productivity and memory. Allow yourself to catch small periods of sleep, but keep them to less than half an hour, or else your head will experience something like heaviness and it will be difficult to come back to your work. Long nap will also steal your time, and you need to finish your project before the deadline!
Do something that will make you laugh: whether it is watching an episode of Friends or your favorite stand-up show. Laughter reduces stress and releases endorphin, your body’s natural hormone of happiness! So take your mind off your textbooks for at least 30 minutes, laugh hard, and then come back to studying.
Your body and mind need energy. Take a break for a nice meal to replenish your energy supplies. It is true that most people retain more information if their stomach is full. Also, allow yourself to have some snacks while studying, but make it healthy. Replace biscuits and potato chips with nuts and dried fruits.
The right kind of music is perfect for studying. It works as a right distraction that cuts down on useless distractions and helps you relax your mind and focus on your homework. Classical music for better concentration is a traditional productivity advice.
Teaching Yourself Something Interesting
If you are interested in fine arts, cinema or quantum physics — make a pause to read a couple of articles or books on the topics of your interest. This will keep your mind active and efficient while taking a small break from a boring textbook. It’s like continuing your studying while taking a rest from your studying! Double win!
Games and Puzzles
Small games really work for most people. They keep your mind in an active thinking mode so you don’t have to go through engage/disengage process. Yet, small games provide refreshing break because they are sufficiently different from studying work.
So, from a practical point of view, we suggest that when students are faced with complicated and long tasks, such as large writing projects or midterm exams, it is crucial for them to take small breaks on themselves. Small breaks will help you get more energy and stay focused on the task! Work hard, rest hard and good luck!
What other distractions do you find helpful? Share your experience in the comments!
Useful samples and examples: