Ever since starting college, I’ve noticed that I am constantly surrounded by so many distractions, whether it's social media, chatty friends, random objects in my workspace, or even my own wandering brain. Since midterms and finals are lurking around the corner, here are some handy methods I've used to counter these distractions.

1. Block Unnecessary Websites 

Kristi Pham

I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say that I'd rather look at corgis on Instagram than study. But since happiness is temporary and GPA is forever, I use Cold Turkey. Cold Turkey is a great app designed to block any website. I use this on a daily basis, and it really keeps me from getting distracted. Cold Turkey never fails to send motivational quotes my way when I "accidentally" try to access these blocked websites.

2. Put in Headphones

Whether or not you want to listen to music, putting in headphones is good way to block out extraneous distractions. People are less likely to bug you, and it can become a routine that encourages you to feel like you're in study mode.

3. Find the Best Study Spots

tea, coffee
Amanda Fung

Studies have shown that operating in an area with lots of natural lighting and minimal, distracting art prompts you to get work done. A good environment really sets the tone for how well you focus, and you’d be amazed at the difference it makes. Here are a couple of great study spots around Austin.

4. Study on a Separate Account

Kristi Pham

This is super extra, but having a separate computer account dedicated to studying will block out any notifications that show up from already logged-in social media sites or applications. It’s time to say goodbye to those pesky messages from that person you’ve been curving all semester. 

5. Hydrate or Die-drate ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This may seem like a no-brainer, but hydration is an integral part of sustainable concentration. Drinking water or other liquids helps stimulate your brain, keeps you alert, and makes you feel refreshed throughout your study session. 

6. Track How You’re Spending Your Time 

If you’re having trouble keeping track of time, this time management matrix is good way to keep you in check. It’s made up of 4 quadrants where you can section off what you find important or urgent in your life. Living above the middle line is a good indicator of whether you are being productive or not.  

7. Don't Lose Sight of Goals and Set Up a Reward System

Setting up a reward system will encourage you to stay motivated throughout the struggle with school and studying. It's easy to lose sight of your goals because let’s be real here, procrastination is the bane of a college student’s existence. So, in general, applying and keeping both of these ideas in mind is a good way to boost morale and keep positivity circulating throughout the school year.