Ignoring Bodily Distractions

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by Martin Fisch

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by Martin Fisch

The author of this article about concentration while studying notes four “areas for distraction” on your body: your ears, your eyes, your hands, and your mouth. He offers solutions for how to overcome and avoid many of the distractions that accompany each of these areas. Which of those four “areas of distraction” is the biggest problem for you?

1. Pick one area and read the author’s solution for it. Give the solution a try the next time you’re reading/studying.

2. Write a short description of what you did and if it worked for you.

10 thoughts on “Ignoring Bodily Distractions

  1. katrina

    I tried the “control you auditory experience” study habit. I chose to listen to classical instrumental music and it really helped. I could focus longer and it helped me to block out other distractions. It also helped me to turn off my tv and put my phone on the other side of the room. This study habit also helped me to get through my reading faster and remember what I read.

  2. Afshin Sedighian rasouli

    usually before studying i pick a silent room, dime the light and start studying. taking short breaks in middle of my study keeps me from being bored. i create short term objective before taking a break or moving to other parts. also sometime its easier to study in library where everyone is studying.

  3. Claire

    I chose to work on auditory and visual distractions. Before reading the articles, whenever I studied I would always listen to slow music with lyrics. It never really occurred to me to listen to music with out lyrics because I don’t. When I was studying and doing homework, I went on youtube and found a video that played 15 minutes worth of slow tropical music with no lyrics, and I had that on repeat. I noticed I was able to focus more on what I was reading, and also I felt more relaxed and less stressed. I also try to find the most part of the library to study, where there arent any windows and absolutely no people. But according to the article it is better to sit by a window, because it is okay to look at pedestrian traffic and it takes away the feeling of being super cramped. So I sat next to a window while doing my work and I wasnt as distracted as I thought I would be and was very productive. I think it was also good on my eyes to be able to look at something other than a computer screen.

  4. Shelley

    The area of my body that distracts me the most while studying is my ears. I cannot study in places where there is a lot of noise especially if it is loud. It is hard finding a quiet spot to do homework as a college student though. After reading the article I tried to listen to classical music while wearing headphones. I felt relaxed and could not hear anything else so I got focused and finished my homework efficiently. While reading the article it said listening to classical music is good for students that read and must write a lot and that is what I mostly find myself doing. The article also said that earplugs are a good way to have complete silence while studying. I bought a pair and used them while I had to do a long reading that I just could not focus on even with the quiet lull of classical. They actually helped and I plan on using them for when I need to be extremely focused.

  5. Rebecca Strickland

    I think my biggest problem area that was discussed in the article would be negative distractions. I have a bad habit of texting my friends while studying, and I’m also frequently distracted by trying to learn in the presence of noisy children, a chatty husband, Facebook status updates, and with television shows on in the background.

    Taking the suggestion of the article this time I waited to study until after both of my kids were asleep, I left the TV off, put my phone aside completely, logged out of Facebook, and asked my husband to kindly shut up. I think that it actually really helped me to stay focused and on topic with what I was doing. It took me 40 minutes to complete something that probably would have normally taken me 2 hours simply because my focus was entirely on the task at hand.

  6. Angel

    Lately I have been avoiding sugary drinks and foods, which is one of the tips the authors of the article advise to do whilst studying. I have noticed a change in my focus and concentration now then when I would binge on energy drinks to finish my papers the night before a due date. A simple glass of water and apple are what I choose now for a study snack instead of giant cans of monster. I also tried to avoid music that had clear vocals because I noticed that anything with clear vocals makes me want to sing them in my head and I get distracted from whatever I am doing. Since I do not prefer classical music and like something a lot heavier, I have found some of my favorite bands, as well as some new ones, that offer heavier music that has fast energy and unclear vocals. This allowed me to focus better on the readings for my classes while still keeping me alert and concentrated. Silence is nice, but I found that music keeps me more focused on my work rather than straining to hear anything I can.

  7. Briana

    I usually listen to music with lyrics but this time I took the articles suggestion and opted not to do that. Instead I listened to classical musical, which has not lyrics, I noticed a difference. I actually feel like I was able to engage in the reading more than before. I found myself able to concentrate for longer amounts of time as well. Instead of only being able to go a few minutes without getting distracted by lyrics, the classical music allowed me to keep my attention on the reading more. Lastly, I noticed I could recall and remember more of what I read while listening to classical music versus what I remember while listening to music with lyrics. The article suggestions actually worked for me and made sense!

  8. Luke Stacy

    To help my eyes concentrate while studying I began spending more time at the Old Dominion University library. I did this because this article claims openess, scenic views, and the access to natural lighting plays vital roles in promotion of good studying habits. I found that the scenic view of the 2nd floor of the library was better for me than the first floor. The second floors offers a better view. while elevating you away from distracting passer-bys who may be loud or cause a scene. I also noted a difference in the way my over-all body felt in an open area, as opposed to a desk in a medium sized room in my house. A bigger environment doesn’t make you feel cramped and the mentality of “I have so much to do” is greatly reduced. As far as natural lighting I did not notice a difference. This may be evident because my desk at home is positioned right in front of a window. The author(s) of this article also suggested to create a visualizer on your computer screen. I did this but did not find that it made a difference. In general, if I have a computer in front of me, I will be on it. So for me, it is best to work at a desk with that doesn’t have a computer screen on it.

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