A typical day includes approximately 20 tabs open on our laptop, music or a movie playing in the background, bouncing between projects all while checking the latest social media updates.
While today’s availability of technology seems to encourage multi-tasking, when it comes to studying, less is more.
Focus is the pinnacle of learning, and it turns out the human mind can only focus fully on one thing at a time – literally. In fact, we are incapable of focusing on two things at a time. Studies show when people are multi-tasking what they are actually doing is rapidly switching between tasks. This practice results in increased errors, missed information and poor memory retention. It also uses a lot more brain power, resulting in mental burnout much sooner.
If you want to stop multi-tasking, here are some tips:
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode. This will stop all notifications from popping up on your screen, making you less tempted to check your phone every 10 minutes.
- Play white noise in the background. Apps like Calm, Sleep and Noisli can play white noise in the background to suit the mood. This can be particularly helpful for shared spaces or people who need noise to study.
- Turn off your internet. If you don’t trust yourself with internet but still need to access the web to study, apps like Freedom disables specific apps and websites you set for certain amounts of time.
- Get help managing your time. Breaking up your tasks into more digestible pieces will help you feel motivated and stay on track. Apps like Flat Tomato generate task-based time blocks for you, including work times and break times. It creates you a customized schedule, and it runs on a timer. This is basically your own time management coach right in your pocket!
Want to know more about your specific study challenge? Current MaKami students can see a learning strategist on campus and get a one-on-one study skills evaluation, learning plan and other supports to help them succeed.