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Turn off your cell phone: 10 tips for library studying

September 3, 2008

I like studying in libraries, despite the fact I haven’t been there for a while. The reason for that absence is that I am doing UW Qs and I need a computer to read the questions and answers, and a laptop to do notes.

I know how hard it is to stay focused for long period of time especially when you have Internet in front of you, which gives you access to the whole world. However, we also need to finish our medical education and become excellent physicians. I also know that being a medical geek is a cool thing, but is that going to make us better doctors? I doubt that spending many hours browsing, twitting, facebooking, foruming, instead of studying will make us smarter.

Just don’t get me wrong. I love Internet and technology. What I want to say is that Internet and cell phones have to be used wisely without affecting the study plan for the day. Hope this article will help some of you, who had problems with concentration.

1. The first and the most important thing to do for efficient and productive library studying is: turn off the cell phone. This is number one factor distracting your attention for few reasons:
”    Somebody can call you. Any change of your brain thoughts stream in different direction than studying can result in lost of concentration for long period of time from hours to days. I can see everyday people talking on their cell phones for almost the whole amount of time they are in the library.
”    Somebody can send you a text message. The effect is similar to an answering a call
”    You have games on your cell phone. It is a very well known fact that students prefer to do everything else but not studying.
So, what can you do and reduce the waste time effect of the cell phone:
”    Turn it off. Use it only in your breaks. Remember only in your breaks.
”    Don’t send text messages. Every sent one means that you will expect a response and keep checking your cell
”    Talk on your cell in a time saving manner-when you walk, when you waiting for the bus, when you are in the bus.
”    Make a list with the important calls you have to make and do it after you finish with your studying for the day. You can do that in a time saving manner-when you walk, when you waiting for the bus, when you are in the bus.
”    Try to limit your conversation to 5 minutes per call. More than 5 minutes is a great waste of time. For 5 minutes you can read 2 pages, may be more.

2. Don’t socialize too much! If you go to some of the biggest libraries, you can get the impression that this is a meet market. Expensive cars, nicely dressed young people, hot girls. Yes, for many students the library is the right place to meet somebody, to see some friends, to chat and to spend their day without even reading a single page. Remember, library is a place where you go to study hard and to use every minute of your precious time. Time flies. Don’t waste it in some stupid conversations. How to avoid the socializing distractions:
”    Find a place in the library where you buddies don’t usually stay. Meet them at the coffee, before or after your studying. If they pick on you, tell them that this is the only way you can concentrate and they are still your best friends.
”    If you have a girlfriend going to the same library meet her before and after, and may be you can arrange launch together, but don’t study beside each other. Try to separate pleasure from studying, in other words don’t let your hormones to compromise the learning process. Instead the word VAGUS (the tenth cranial nerve in the human body), you probably will read vagina. They are not the same thing. They are not even close to each other.

3. You can’t live without checking your facebook every 5 minutes? Yes you can. Forget facebook, msn and e-mails right now. How to do that? Take care of the internet access first. Limit it as much as you can.
”    If you don’t really need internet for your studying don’t bring your laptop
”    If you don’t need internet for your studying, but your brought your laptop keep it in your bag
”    If you need internet connection for your studying, open only one internet page and use only one internet page. That supposed to be the internet page you need. Never use two pages at the same time.
”    Don’t use facebook and e-mails. Remember you have to control yourself. Put down on a piece of paper: DON’T USE INTERNET FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES, BUT STUDYING. Every time when you feel tempted to check facebook or e-mail, read that note.
”    Use the 10 minutes rule. Check your facebook and e-mails for 10 minutes at home before you go to the library and for 10 minutes after you come back home. Ten minutes is more than enough for both. It is even better if you check your facebook and e-mail for 20 minutes after you finished studying. That will avoid the risk of thinking all day of the new hot pictures of the girl you met last Friday.
”    In general, use internet in more practical way. Internet could be very helpful if you know how to use it. Remember, Internet can screw up your scores and school big time.

4. Choose the right spot in the library:
”    Try to get a spot in an area with students who are willing to study
”    Sit at the very end of the area. That will avoid too much traffic of people going to the washroom and cafeteria
”    Try to get a seat with a person only on one of your sides or even better with a seat with nobody around
”    Temperature is important too. Some of the libraries have different temperature at the different floors and buildings. Find the right temperature for you. Dress up with layers, so you can regulate your body temperature and keep it at the best level for the process of studying.

5. Keep you workplace (desk) organize. Don’t complicate it with too many highlighters, pens, pencils, cell phones, coffee, sandwiches, cookies, popcorn, granola bars, bottles of water, laptop, notes, books, folders, etc. How to avoid this problem:
”    Bring only the materials you need.
”    If you study notes, keep only this book on the desk.
”    If underlining and highlighting helps you, do it but don’t use more than one color highlighter for the first reading. The best strategy for first reading is to use a pencil for the notes (it can easily be erased), red pen and yellow highlighter. The second reading uses another color highlighter and black pen to mark the important facts you missed the first time.
”    If you need the laptop to supply your studying with some pictures or videos from internet, do it, but remember to use only one page, and no facebooking, msning and e-mailing.

6. How to deal with the noise:
”    Be firm with the people who disturb your studying. Don’t be afraid to tell them in a polite but flat out way to be quite
”    Just in case always carry with you ear plugs. This is the best cure if nothing else works for the noise around you. The “excited tippers” can make you nuts, can’t they? Some of those people type with such an aggressive manner, like the laptop they have needs to be destroyed in the next 1 hour. It is a little bit difficult to explain them that their typing is overboard the normal standards for noisy typing. Of course, if your exam is close and you really need to concentrate you can make a comment and just politely tell the person: hey bro, your typing makes me crazy. If you don’t stop you will be in trouble. That was just for fun.

7. Be very concentrate. Remember, you have 8 hours and for that time you have to finish your plan for the day. Any time when you catch yourself thinking about something different then studying, stop yourself and try to concentrate on your studying and nothing else.

8. Reload yourself at the end of the week. Instead of watching movie or dining out, you can switch with something more exciting like:
”    Concert of your favorite band (techno, heavy metal, jazz, whatever you like)
”    Get drunk and do something crazy if you want
”    Go to the painting/art shop, buy some paints and paint a picture (who knows, may be you have the talent, but you don’t know).
”    I don’t know how appropriate is to say that here, in the contest of “how to study in a library”, but don’t forget to make love. Very important point!
”    Buy a professional digital camera and learn how to take shots like a pro
There are so many exciting things you can do. It depends only on your creativity and passion.

9. This is only one simple sentence but it is so powerful. Remember it. The more you study the more you know. Nobody is a genius, this is for sure. The difference between the successful people and non successful is the amount of hours they invest in their work and education. So, what are you waiting for? Go back to your studying and don’t waste your time.

10. Don’t leave the work you were planning to do today for tomorrow. It is kind of annoying on the next day. Instead of stepping forward, you have a step back with the material you were lazy to finish it yesterday. Don’t do it. Push yourself and finish it today. Don’t leave it for tomorrow. Remember. Unfinished work has the tendency to pile up. Speaking of this I would better go back to my studying now. Good luck to everybody!

P.S. Facebook (one of the biggest time wasters) is the most often use in the library where I go, but I am sure that Plurk, Twitter and the other blogging, micro-blogging and socializing services are also in the list.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 7, 2014 1:13 pm

    Vagus is actually the tenth cranial nerve. 😉

    • February 9, 2014 3:23 pm


  2. Anonymous permalink
    August 19, 2014 8:52 am

    Thank you! The list really helped 🙂

  3. hati permalink
    January 21, 2015 5:51 pm

    Thank you , the list really helped .


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