Written by Katelynn Brown
Repeatedly throughout the day, we find ourselves engaged in multitasking. We engage in multitasking when we email while eating a meal, when we text while walking, or when we try to watch TV as we are completing homework. Many times when are engaging in these behaviors, we don’t even notice that we are multitasking. In the moment it seems like an effective and simple method of completing multiple tasks as one time. What we do not acknowledge are the effects that these decisions have on our development and the work that you are trying to complete. As individuals and as students this tendency to multitask from one activity to another can have great effects on our ability to stay focused and pay attention for any amount of time. As we become more accustomed to continually switching from one task to another, we become unaccustomed to staying focused on one task. Eventually, we have difficulty focusing on one activity or task for two long because we have become so accustomed to moving between multiple activities. This tendency to lack the ability to focus can be detrimental to students. It is important that as students we are cognizant of the decisions that we are making and that we are self-aware of the best decisions to make both inside and outside of the classroom. One specific area where students to need to be conscious is when studying. When studying, students need to think about both the good and bad habits that they might have while studying and how those might affect the studying process that they experience.
Bad Study Habits
1. Turning to distractions
Many times students turn to distractions while studying. These distractions can include using a cell phone, surfing the internet, listening to music, or watching TV while studying. Each of these distractors affects the student’s ability to concentrate on what they are attempting to learn. While studying, students should be disconnected from social media. Students should turn off notifications and limit the amount of distractions that are present. This includes turning off the TV and limiting time spent surfing the internet. These modification aid students in staying focus and engaged in studying.
2. Waiting till the last minute
We have each procrastinated at some point but procrastination does not help you in the end. Procrastination effects the amount of time that you have to devote to studying and does not help you to demonstrate your full ability in the end. When we procrastinate we limit our abilities and are not able to demonstrate all of our knowledge. Rather than procrastinating, students should organize time appropriately, create a schedule to improve time management, and set aside an appropriate amount of time to study content material.
3. Not providing yourself enough time
When studying for an exam students need to provide themselves with a sufficient amount of time to review the required information. Students need to provide themselves with sufficient time to organize their materials, provide their full attention to the material, and review. Students need to ensure that set aside an appropriate amount of time that allows them to study all of the required information but to also take a break to relax and recharge before an exam. Students should plan study time and create an effective study schedule to help stay organized when preparing for an exam.
4. Lack of organization
In the classroom, there are going to be students who have difficulty with staying organized. It is important, especially when studying, the students are organized and have all of the materials that they need. In the classroom, teachers can help by making sure that students have their assignments and calendars in working order and ensuring that students have all of the materials they need in order to effectively study. Students can make a checklist and set a schedule to help them stay organized. By ensuring that students have all of the materials that they require it will aid students when it comes time to study to stay organized.
Good Study Habits: Limit Multitasking When Studying
When studying there are many distractors that can limit a student’s ability to focus. Many times these distractions can cause students to multitask rather than focusing on the single task of studying. Students need to determine different methods that they can use to help limit the urge to multitask. Here are some methods that students can use to limit the occurrence of multitasking:
1. Make a schedule to stay on track
Making a schedule can help you stay focused and on task with the studying that is being completed. By creating a schedule you can pace your progress and ensure that you have time to cover all of the material required. When creating your schedule set goals for yourself. By setting goals for yourself, you are able to better stay on track and pace the progress that you are making.
2. Silence your phone and turn off social media, messaging, and email
As they study, students should turn off their phones to limit the tendency to become distracted. Students can limit the possibility of multitasking by turning off phones and keep the distraction at a distance. Students can set goals for themselves and once the goal is achieve they can reward themselves with the use of the cell phone. Take a step back from your social media. By taking away the distraction of social media, students are better able to focus on the material that they are studying. By limiting distractions students are less likely to lose their train of thought while studying and are able to focus creating an effective study environment.
3. Set a timer for regular breaks
While studying, students should schedule regular breaks in order to stay focused. While studying students need to make sure that they schedule study breaks to help them refocus and recharge. Study breaks give students the chance to rest and process all of the information that they are studying. It is important that students schedule regular breaks into their study schedule to limit the need to multitask and to remain focused.
4. Limit web browsing
When studying students should limit the amount of time that they spend surfing the internet. Web browsing can become a major distraction while studying, for students. Students should limit their web browsing to content specific information in order to limit the distractions that might occur.
5. Keep a healthy snack and water nearby
When studying it is important that students keep snacks and water close by. By ensuring that these essentials are close by, students are able to stay energized while reducing temptation to leave the study area. By having snacks and water close by, students are able to stay focused on the study material and to remain energized to stay on task.
Garcia, L. (2013). 10 bad study habits and how to fix them. Retrieved from https://www.babble.com/kid/10-bad-study-habits-and-how-to-fix-them/
Loveless, B. (2017). 10 habits of highly effective students. Retrieved from https://www.educationcorner.com/habits-of-successful-students.html
UoPeople Outreach. (2017, March 19). 5 bad study habits to drop and 4 ones to keep. Retrieved from https://www.uopeople.edu/blog/5-bad-study-habits-drop-4-good-ones-keep/
Willis, J. (2016, October 25). Conquering the multitasking brain drain. Retrieved from Edutopia website: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/conquering-the-multitasking-brain-drain-judy-willis