Conquering Distractions

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by John Bennett

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by John Bennett

1. Look at the list of Other Mental Strategies and select two strategies you would like to try while studying.

2. Decide which upcoming projects/homework assignments you will apply the mental/focus strategy.

3. After you use each strategy, write a paragraph that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each strategy. Consider how and why you might implement either strategy full-time into your study habits.

6 thoughts on “Conquering Distractions

  1. karen aguilar

    the two strategies i have selected from this exercise are work or think time and Incentives and Rewards. I tried setting myself a time to worry or think about things in life, which was from 7-8. I really tried to not stress when I did start my work, but it was really hard. I kept repeating be here now. It was hard to remain focused when theres so much to worry about in life. I get distracted really easily too so it was hard but it kind of worked for me. for Incentives and rewards I stuck to my assignment until i finished it it took me all night. I rewarded myself with a donut from Dunkin donuts it felt really rewarding even though it was something minor but I felt accomplished at the time.

  2. Briana

    1. Tallying your mental wanderings.
    Strength: If you are mentally wandering off often, this is a good way for you to realize it.
    Weakness: Personally, I may start doodling on the 3X5 card. I would put a tally then possibly try to draw a stick figure out of it.

    2. Rest/Stretch Time.
    Strength: Allows you to get your blood flowing and move around.
    Weakness: It’s easy to extend this, you will want to take longer not to get back to work

    3. When you take a break.
    Strength: Similar to rest/stretch time for me. It also allows your brain a mental release
    Weakness: It would not be hard to feel like quitting studying for the rest of the day. It may be hard to only just take a 5 minute break. You keep telling yourself 10 more minutes, 10 more minutes, 5 more minutes and before you know it so much time has passed.

    4. Change Topics.
    Strength: It prevent monotopic studying and also may be able to start more work rather than working on things strictly one at a time
    Weakness: This can cause confusion. I know for myself it does. If I’m doing math and in my zone switching to another subject would totally throw me off.

    5. Incentives and Rewards.
    Strength: Makes you feel validated and have something to look forward to
    Weakness: You may go overboard with the rewards and try to have incentives for every little thing

    6. Increasing Your Activity Level.
    Strength: Helps change learning environment to make it more interactive
    Weakness: Maybe harder to concentrate being active and more concentrating on doing other things as well.

    7. Shift position in your seat every so often.
    Strength: Allows your blood to get flowing and stay alert
    Weakness: You could become too focus on your position rather than the task at hand.

    I tried all these and personally I like the incentives and rewards and shifting positions the best. I liked those because I get bored easily so that will help my procrastination.

  3. Imani Ross

    The two strategies I chose were setting rewards and stretching. While writing my paper I told myself that each time I finished a paragraph I could take a bit of my food or drink my smoothy. It really helped me finish the paper in a shorter amount of time. I am not sure if this was because I had not eaten that day and I was hungry, or if the strategy itself works. I also stretched every 30 minutes. This helps me remain awake and focused. For the rewards strategy I ended up running out of food to eat towards the end of my paper, and I actually thought about going to buy more food. This was a distraction from my work, just like the stretching. It caused me to take time away from what I was doing, but it also saved time because it allowed me to stay focus; whereas if I had not stretched then I’d get tired and resort to my phone to wake me up.

  4. Eraclio

    The first strategy I would and have used is the rest and stretch time. I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to writing papers, and this past weekend I had two papers due before midnight. I had started them the morning of the day they were due, and I had gone to the library. Working on the papers for a few hours I had gotten up and stretched, rested and taken some breaks. This helped because when I thought I was getting overwhelmed by the work and by the fact that these assignments were due in a couple of hours and i found this to be an advantage for me because it helped me be less stressed. Also it would help me see that others in the library were hard at work so i should also be a good student and get myself writing and studying.Although there was a disadvantage because if i had found something more entertaining then my attention and focus would go towards that making it a lot hard to start up my papers/assignment again.

    The second strategy I would use is changing topics. When I would get stuck and even maybe a little frustrated with the assignment I was doing like the papers this past weekend i would stop and change my objective for a little bit from writing papers to reading and or working on another assignment like a powerpoint presentation i had to do. Though as a human I am flawed and changing the topic of what I was doing for school would change the topic of what myself was doing which was school work to thinking of food, or maybe checking a message or post.

  5. Jamaal Hines

    First strategy: rest/stretch time >> When utilizing this method on improving one’s concentration, I found it helpful in minimizing stress and retaining the study material. This weekend I studied for an hour, then took a 20 min break and studied for another hour. Usually I would study straight through without a break and may times I would lose interest in what I was reviewing. The break allowed my brain to get good oxygen and allowed my blood to circulate through my body which enabled me to stay engaged. I One disadvantage of this method was that if I took to long of a rest/stretch time, I found it easy to forget previously studied material and easy to find something else that I would rather be doing. Overall, I like this altercation to my study habits and believe that it could be beneficial for future tests.

    Second strategy: shift seating position >> This method of improving concentration really allowed me to stay focused and overcome drowsiness from long amounts of study time. I began studying by sitting at my desk and every 30 mins, I would go sit on my bed to read a passage then come back to my desk to record notes on what I just read. I found this method was good at keeping oxygen flowing to my brain and kept my body from getting exhausted of immobility. However, there was one disadvantage that came from this method. It can become more important to be in a comfortable position than it is focusing on the study material. It is important to make sure that all positions that you will be shifting to have been previously checked for comfort and if that is the case than this method of increasing concentration can be very beneficial.

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