When you were in high school, your life was pretty well scheduled out. For a third of the day, you were at school and in class. When you get to college, everything changes. Your classes will be much more spaced out, and you will have what feels like more free time. However, the workload and expectations of college are much more challenging. To avoid falling behind, you will need to handle some common distractions.

Turn Off Push Notifications

Your phone can be a great tool for looking up information on the fly or communicating with classmates and professors. It can also be a bundle of electronic distractions. Almost every app you have wants to send you push notifications. These messages keep you connected to the app. For example, many gaming apps will send you notifications about different achievements or opportunities in the game. While you can choose to ignore them, it is easier just to turn them off.

Deactivate Apps

Sometimes it is better to deactivate a troublesome app, giving you a temporary break from its messages. If Facebook Messenger is bombarding you with notifications, you can deactivate the app. When you deactivate Facebook Messenger, you pause the app rather than removing it completely. Many students find it helpful to deactivate Facebook apps during exam weeks. This practice allows them to focus on their work and return to the app when the pressure is off.

Get Sleep

Many students go into a serious sleep deficit during college. There are many social things to do that can go late into the night. In addition, students who procrastinate often have to do their work in the early morning hours. Yet, denying yourself sleep has many side effects including lowered productivity. You will find that you are more easily distracted and unable to focus.

Space Out Your Work

In college, you have the freedom to determine your own work schedule. Professors announce large papers and projects well ahead of time. They leave it to you to get the work done by a deadline. A common trap for students is putting off the work and study until the week or so before it is due. It is better to work on large projects early on, doing a little bit at a time. When the deadline looms large, you will find that you are already well on your way.

Keep Your Space Clean

Your brain has to spend some energy making sense of every object it sees. When you have a cluttered desk, the mess can make you freeze up with indecision. The clutter becomes another distraction. In addition, a messy work area can make it difficult to find the things you need. People lose a great deal of time looking for lost items. When your space is well-organized, you can find the book or paper you need right away.

Try a Productivity Technique

There are many productivity hacks that can help you avoid distractions. People of all ages can have trouble getting things done without some kind of discipline. The Pomodoro Method is a popular technique. In this model, you work in two-hour blocks. Each block is divided into four 25-minute segments with a five-minute break in between. The goal is to work on a single task uninterrupted for each segment. Then you take a half-hour break between blocks. Using a method like this is a great way to keep you on task.

You worked hard to get into college, and now you must work hard to thrive at college. Although the workload can seem overwhelming, you can handle it as long as you plan ahead. By minimizing distractions, you increase your chances of a successful college experience.

If you enjoyed this article, check out “10 Tips on How to Succeed with Exams”.