This post goes for both Korean studies and other studies: how to create the optimal conditions for studying and actually getting something done?
Some people prefer libraries where the only noise comes from people turning pages, others freak out by being around quiet people for too long and prefer to sit in a crowded place listening to music. But what about “other disturbances”?
The other day I met with some classmates to have some geeky time before our upcoming exam and approximately every other minute someone’s phone was buzzing. Be it because of a text message, a facebook message, a mail coming in; something was buzzing constantly.
Granted, sometimes it’s important, but most things can wait. Really.
Sometimes I like to study quietly, other times I like to listen to some kind of music to block out other distractions or to get some energy if I’m tired, but phones demand attention in a different way in that you are expected to react on them. If a phone is buzzing, and it’s on the table right next to you, it takes quite a bit of discipline to think “I’ll check it when I’ve finished this chapter… In 25 pages time. So that’s another hour or so… Oh well, it’s probably not important”.
I remember reading in a text for an Italian class back in the days that a survey had reveiled that most office workers check their mail about 40 times/hour – just to see if something new and exciting had come into their inbox. I thought it sounded absurd, when were they going to get any work done?! and then I realised how often I check if something exciting was in my own inbox. Oops.
Nowadays I really do try to put electronic devices away unless I really need them while studying. Put the phone on mute-and-no-vibration mode and put away the iPad to avoid tempations there. I try to set a time for when I’m allowed to check them and I’m becoming better and better at keeping them. It helps on my concentration that I don’t have to look up every 3 lines to check something.
Now I just have to ignore all the other phones when I meet others for study dates… And now I should put my iPad away until I finish the chapter and have lunch.