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    Five things to avoid when studying

    February 07, 2017

    As the new spring semester kicks into full swing it is once again time to switch into study mode. Studying can be taxing and the last thing you want to do at times but regardless it must be done. Avoid these five things when studying and you can kick the studying blues and be ready to take on those first exams.


     1.) Turning up the tunes

    The newest album on your playlist may be the perfect song to listen to when hanging out with friends or driving in the car, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it's good for studying. According to an article on, “Bad study music includes rap, pop, country and other genres that have clear vocals, because listening to human speech automatically interferes with the language processing part of your brain, which is important for most kinds of studying.” Turn on your favorite movie score or an instrumental artist instead to help you stay focused and alert.


     2.) Checking your phone

    There’s no doubt that your cell phone can be a distraction from anything and everything. How can you eliminate it? Turn it off, put it on Silent, or if you don’t trust yourself to be blocked by those methods alone download an app such as Offtime, specifically designed to prevent you from checking your phone. Check out some other apps you can use to keep yourself focused here.


    3.) Letting your mind wander

    In the same vein, keeping focus is all about willpower. After eliminating distractions, it can still be easy to get off track by letting your mind wander. To combat this every time you start to get off track catch yourself. recommends “make a Mind Tunnel between you and the task or the person you are supposed to be listening to. Paying attention is a decision!” The more you do this the easier it will get and before you know it you’ll be right on track.


    4.) Doing it all at once

    Breaks are important! They not only give you time to regroup but they help to improve your focus. In an article on Dr. Alejandro Lleras, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, states, “We propose that deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused. From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself.” So don’t study four hours straight, pace yourself into sections of about 40-50 minutes and break for the next 10 or 20.


    5.) Forgetting to Reward Yourself

    All work and no play is not the way to go with studying. Rewarding yourself is a great way to help you get through studying for those first exams of the semester. Set goals for yourself and reward yourself accordingly when you meet them. For example, if I stay focused on this chapter for the next hour I can take a 20 minute Netflix break. Your sanity will thank you.


    Avoid these 5 things next time you sit down to study and you will be ready to ace that exam! For additional study tips and tricks check out Uwyobiz on Pinterest.