Monday, April 14, 2014

Tune Out!

I’m currently sitting here in a Starbucks studying. Well honestly, I’m not really studying. I can’t study in places like this! I have such a hard time focusing in public places where a lot of people are moving around me. Even when I'm in the library I have to force myself to go to a super quiet private section so that I don't end up talking to people! (I'm also totally guilty of getting on Facebook or other blogs every five minutes… Oops!) 

I do however have a few tricks that keep me pretty focused in these kinds of places. Here they are!

1. Headphones
Headphones are my life saver when I'm studying and this is for multiple reasons actually! For one, they act as a kind of leash to keep me tethered to my laptop. Even when I'm in my room I try to listen to music on headphones because I have less of a tendency to get up! Music definitely keeps me working. I stick to upbeat songs typically because it puts me in a faster work pace. I also enjoy listening to classical music when I'm writing papers. My latest study music has been Ben Rector and the Lumineers! My tip with headphones would be to make sure you have a pair that you could wear for hours. I have SkullCandy soft bud earbuds. These don't hurt my ears as much as the Apple earbuds do. Tons of my friends have Beats but I'm not sure I could pull them off! Find the ones you can quite literally sleep in and you'll be good to go!

2. Earplugs
This is a semi-piggy back off the headphones if you're super dedicated. Some of my friends use foam earplugs while they're in the library and I definitely respect them for it. If you've got the guts to do this and study better when you're not listening to music, I think it's a great idea.

3. Drink Something!
This is great for studying but also in classes that are long and boring! Whether it's a Starbucks iced coffee or just a Tervis filled with water, sipping occasionally on a drink is a great way to break up the monotony of work or a lecture. It also is a great way to stay hydrated on those days that you're practically living in the library! For me it's also helpful to have something to munch on. I'm not saying eat a whole bag of potato chips but I do like to have a bag of trail mix or goldfish to munch on every once in a while. Just make sure you're not eating ridiculous amounts! In my room I usually eat a handful of grapes when I'm doing my readings. They're both healthy and act as a mini treat while you're studying away!

4. Self Control
This isn't what you think it is. Sure, I should probably have enough self control to force myself to focus however in all reality, most of the time I fall pretty short. I downloaded this app about a year ago called, well, Self Control. How it works is you enter a list of sites that you get distracted by. My list is embarrassingly long but it includes everything from J.Crew to Bloglovin to Facebook. Next you set a time that you want these sites to be restricted.  During finals I tend to turn it on for two hour intervals at a time. The catch is that once you turn it on, you can't turn it off until the timer runs out! Go big or go home!

Everyone has their own little ways to stay focused when doing work, especially in distracting places like Starbucks! What are your tips to tuning out distractions?


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