If I can get away with it, I’ll do it in every class. I can’t help it, even if I’m just checking the time or looking to see if my roommate has texted me back about meeting up for dinner.
My cellphone is the ultimate distraction for me, but it also feels like an extension of my body that I can’t imagine not depending on.
Instead of putting forth effort in each task, a person is barely functioning to focus on one of the three actions they’re doing, especially when they’re busy watching TV, texting on their phones and carrying on a conversation with friends, they’re not actually multi-tasking.
Stanford professor Clifford Nass was at the forefront of research on how humans interact with technology and how to balance different cognitive tasks, according to a New York Times article. He found that we are terrible at it.
This really shouldn’t come as a shock to people. If you’re wondering why you did bad on a test when you were cramming in an episode of “Bones” and playing a game on your phone while trying to study, you need to rethink your priorities.
College students, especially, have problems with trying to accomplish one task.
Since we’re constantly bombarded with a myriad of things to do, we start to believe we can achieve it all if we just do it all at once.
We don’t want to give up everything, so instead we hold it all in our arms as if we can take only one trip with the grocery bags from the car, even though you know it needs at least three trips.
This results in us doing poorly and becoming more stressed out. It also brings down our morality to doing our work because if we can’t do it all while also staying connected to our phones, how do we know we’re not missing out?
If you’re having a hard time focusing, try writing down your notes by hand instead of clicking through the powerpoint, despite it being more time-consuming.
It’s been found that it helps when you’re studying for a test and listening to music at the same time, according to a New York Times article.
Now, as you’re writing the notes down, you’re not paying as much attention to the lyrics, but instead the words you’re copying.
If you’re sitting next to someone in class who is on their laptop and distracting you, either bring it up to the professor or try to see if you can sit somewhere else. While you don’t want to seem like a tattle-tale, but if that’s the one thing keeping you away from learning, put an end to it.
At the beginning of class or when you’re settling down to start your homework, turn off your phone and put it out of reach.
Do it because now that’s one less thing to distract you, and then you’ll be more focused on the assignment on hand and not wondering if that one person has texted you back yet.
Sneakily checking your phone throughout class might not seem like a big deal or that much of a distraction when the lecture is boring, but when it starts affecting how you’re learning, it’s better to be conscientious than sorry.
Email Shania Savastio at firstname.lastname@example.org