Dealing with Distractions

Do you ever find yourself sitting through a class while checking Facebook or working on something else? There are detrimental effects to distraction in learning. In today’s day and age with so many things on our plates as well as the ease of technology at our finger-tips, it’s easy to become distracted by an e-mail or a Facebook update. Studies have shown that though using our computers in class does have a harmful effect on our learning; just having a screen nearby hinders your neighbors learning.

Distractions come either from external or internal influences. External influences come from things within your environment. These things often have external solutions and require a change in behavior. Perhaps if your distraction is checking an e-mail while taking notes on your laptop, you could possibly take hand written notes, or even turn off your Wi-Fi on your computer. Internal influences are often dependent on attitude and may need an evaluation of your priorities and perspectives to deal with these types of distractions.

 Though you can’t become completely distraction free, here are a few ways to decrease distractions and maximize your amount of focus.

These tips will help to lessen your distractors.


Once you understand what your personal distractors are, the more easily you can deal with them.

Remove Distractor

If the distractor is something that can be removed; REMOVE IT! Often times not making a distractor an option enables us to focus because our minds are free of the temptation of distraction.


If you have priorities, you are more likely to get things done that need to get done rather than putting everything off. Some people work best when they stick their minds to something, whereas others enjoy being able to jump from one project to another to keep your mind alert and avoid creativity blocks. Regardless of your preference, giving yourself priorities can help you to organize your thoughts and your brain can process the important information first.

Make a Schedule

Managing your time can help you to see when your fixed, flexible, and free time are in your day. Giving yourself time limits and restraints enables you to work effectively within the allotted amount of time and breaking up your time so you know you’ll have free time to take care of things that come up or the urge to check a social media site or to check up on your favorite sports team. This automatically sets up a reward system in your brain as you reward yourself during your free time because you focused and accomplished your priority items. This also enables you to really focus and accomplish more during the times when you have scheduled to do it.


When I say disconnect, I mean it in two ways. First, when you’re working or in classes, it’s important to focus and to disconnect yourself both physically and mentally from distractions, especially online. However, it’s also important when you have your free time to disconnect yourself both physically and mentally from your work/school. This enables you to really enjoy time spent doing enjoyable things with family or spending time watching your favorite show and prevents you from thinking that you’re always spending time working when you aren’t.

For other tips check out:

If you have any other resources that have helped you to defeat your distractions, please e-mail them to us at thecasc@byu.edu so we can share them with our followers to help everyone out.


  1. Distractions to academic excellence is one of the topics I am writing on in my new title. I have found this article very helpful in my endeavour.

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