How to avoid revision distractions

Revision distractions are everywhere. If the WhatsApp group isn't pulling you in, that uncompleted Netflix episode is. We all know how to get pulled away from our revision, but how do we pull ourselves back, or better still not get pulled away at all? We're here to help!

Students look at their mobile phone and smile instead of looking at the work on the desk

1. The Phone

Having a buzzing phone isn't the best idea when trying to revise as it's an easy source of distraction.

So what are your options?

  • Turn it off
  • Stick it on aeroplane mode and hide it out of sight or in another room
  • Give it to your parents or someone who will hold you responsible
  • Try an app like TimeTree, which rewards you for leaving your phone alone

2. The games console or TV

Bingeing a series on Netflix or beating a friend on FIFA is undeniably more enjoyable than revision but once you start watching TV or playing games, the day easily slips away. The best thing to do is to avoid the TV, games console or whatever else distracts you, is to not even turn it on!

If you have the whole day to revise, try to get it done first thing so it's out of the way and you have Netflix and FIFA to look forward to.

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3. Going out with friends

It's important to have time to socialise and have fun during the exam season so you can relax and destress. However, too much spontaneous socialising can take away a big chunk on revision time. Try to schedule fun activities into your revision timetable, so you know how much time you have to revise and how much time you have to socialise. 

If you know that your friends are going to ask you to the cinema on Friday night, you don't have to say no, just plan your time sensibly so you can still fit in some revision elsewhere.

4. Procrastination

If you're a serial procrastinator, then you don't need your phone or TV to waste time, you can be distracted by just about everything - cleaning your room, reordering your pencil case. The best solution to this is a change of scenery. Ask friends if they want to revise with you at their place or in a coffee shop at the weekend. 

If you have to revise at home, pop on a good concentration playlist and set a Pomodoro timer. The Pomodoro technique means you only have to concentrate on your revision for 20 or so minutes, then you can have a five-minute break.

5. The family

Parents, siblings, cousins and pets are among the noisiest and most annoying distractions you’ll come across. Whether they are cleaning, arguing or banging on your door, revising at home can be a nightmare. Unlike your phone or Xbox, they sadly don’t have an off switch. 

Start by speaking to them. They may not realise what goes into revision and how hard it can be. Ask your siblings not to chat to you at certain times. Slot-in breaks where you can go have a chat and catch up with them and make sure to plan in time with them into your revision schedule, even if it's just half an hour to sit and talk over dinner.

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