Welcome! It’s time for the second study tip of the blog, a focus tip.
Phones. The savior of mankind, a must have for all teenagers. We chat, learn, and practice with our phones, at a moment's notice. But people misconstrue when phones are actually important and when they are not. Phones can help in certain instances, like finding synonyms for essays or discovering math answers, but they also make us dependent on its usefulness, and even distract us with its alluring apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and news. In this post, we will discuss the positives and negatives of having a phone nearby in an academic environment, and explain why removing the cell phone is a great way to improve your scores.
Say you are writing up an essay, and you have forgotten a vocab word. You could reach for your phone, and one minute later, you've got your word. But what could happen during that time? DISTRACTIONS!!! Bang, one minute a Snapchat notification appears, the next minute a text message appears, and the pattern repeats itself over and over. Would it not be tempting to just reach over and grab the cell phone? You might say that you would just flip the phone over. But it would be too late, your subconscious would already be distracted and considerable amounts of your concentration would be led toward determining who would send a message, what the message is, and more. Thus, your focus would be drastically removed from your work, and less of the work would be completed.
Maybe you are attempting to solve a math problem. It's frustratingly difficult, and all you want to do is quit. Well, a quick search for the answer would allow you to be able to continue on your homework and work at a faster pace. But besides from distractions, you could develop a reliance on the information that the phone provides. In the future, instead of utilizing your brain to combat difficult problems, your first reaction would be to just look it up. And that is horrible. On a test, would you be able to find the answers on the internet? No, just using your intellect. On an in-class essay, would you be able too find vocab words and synonyms from the web? No, just from your mind. With that in the mind, it will always be better to perform the tough calculations in your mind instead of doing a simple search. And yes, sometimes you do get so stuck in a problem you just can't figure out the first step. Well, in tomorrow's blog, we will be discussing the best way around that, because a reliance on your cell phone for the answers will damage your understanding of complex concepts and lead to lower scores.
So what benefits can removing a cell phone actually provide you? For starters, simply removing the distraction of the phone means that your mind can focus on the problem at hand and not be influenced to consider other matters. Your brain doesn't have the capability to do multiple things at once well, as shown by the high accident rate of texting while driving. And while the risk of failing a test is not as dangerous as failing a turn, this issue could be resolved by simply removing your phone from your proximity for an hour, two hours, or more. You will find that as you continue to do your school work without your phone, you'll think about it less, be less reliant on it, and decide that studying isn't as boring as it is (ok maybe not the third point, but you get the idea).
Furthermore, you may think that using a phone will save you time. That couldn't be further from the truth. From personal experience, I know that when I draw up my phone I will want to check up on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr. And when you peruse those sites, precious time will have been lost and it will be one in the morning and tired as heck. That time wasted could be used for solving complex problems, thinking about that lost vocab. I mean, back in the forties they had no cell phones. And great theories were developed, treaties established, and wars were strategized. If those things can be accomplished without Internet, so too can a calculus math problem.
So what can be done to help the process of removing a cell phone? Wear a watch. We often have a need to check time. And if there is no clock around, our first reaction is to take out our phones for a quick peek. And that leads to those issues listed above. Instead, put on that watch or leave it nearby, and use it to check the time.
If you can remove your cell phone for an hour, two hours, your understanding of complex ideas will quickly improve. Without the constant distractions pulling you from the depths of concentration, you'll be able to focus on the task at hand. And that is essential to improving your study habits and skills. When this occurs, don't forget to celebrate those A's and B's with a selfie.
Lewis Zou/Raj Mukkamala