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Top tips for minimising distractions when studying

Whether it be social media, friends or your study environment we have a few tips to help you cut distractions and focus on your study goals.

By TAFE Queensland

Distractions are around us left, right and centre, and sometimes it can make focusing during study a total struggle.

Here are our top tips to help you stay focused when studying (so pay attention).

Study space is everything

Make your study space a distraction free zone. If you're going to study at home, make sure that your friends and family know. Whether that means telling them in advance or sticking a temporary "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door.

It's also important to clear your desk before you study. Get rid of any distracting bits and bobs and only leave the essentials.


If you have kids at home there is no harm in asking your partner or a friend or other family member to take them out for a little while. You'll have the house to yourself and the perfect window to get some study in.

If you know that home is not the best place to study, take yourself to the library; a perfect place if you want to get some serious study done. With minimal distractions, great lighting and free Wi-Fi it's a great place to stay focused.

Ditch social media (and any other distracting apps)

We all know it can be tempting to want to your check your Snap story, Instagram feed or likes you've got for your new profile pic on Facebook. But once you fall down the social media rabbit hole, it can be hard to crawl back out.

So here's a proposition.

When you know you're about to study if you can't trust yourself to stay off your phone, uninstall your social and entertainment apps (Netflix and YouTube included). When your study sesh is over feel free to reinstall them. It can make a world of difference to your focus and outcomes.

Get rid of your phone (temporarily)

If you know that uninstalling your social media is not enough to keep you from reaching for your phone, challenge yourself by switching your phone off and leaving it in another room or with a trusted friend or family member while you study. Out of sight, out of mind.

With no phone, you may find yourself absentmindedly going on social media on your computer. To nip this in the bud, use a browser extension like StayFocusd to either block or restrict the amount of time you spend on non-study related websites.

To play music, or not to play music?

We have all put on our earphones to study, played our favourite tunes and ended up having a mini jam session instead completing the assignment we had to submit next day. This can leave many of us to wonder if playing music can really help us concentrate while studying.

The answer is, it depends.

Some work well with their favourite tunes playing in the background, whilst others don't. If you don't, try listening to instrumentals instead as you may find it less distracting. Better yet, white noise is great to listen to when studying as it drowns out other distracting noises.


Match your energy with the difficulty of the task

We tend to procrastinate when we study and end up leaving the most difficult tasks to the end. However our energy levels at the start of a study sesh are much higher so don't leave the big tasks till later, tackle them first when you have the energy and focus to get them done.