Cliffhanger (Photo credit: ©hris ®evel)
So I left you hanging in the last post. Well, let go and let's see if you the falling distance is fatal or not.
Defeating distractions to your studying takes preparation and dedication, and more than a smidgeon of self-discipline. Sometimes, you have to make decisions long before situations arise so that when they do arise, your mind is already made up, and your choices are then relatively straight-forward. So let's dive straight into it and examine seven military strategies you can adapt to defeat study distractions.
History (Photo credit: photosan0)
1. Strategic Objective
was the largest amphibious operation ever launched in the history of warfare. It was the invasion by the Western Allies of Nazi-occupied France
in 1944. Without an overall Strategic Objective, it would have been pointless to even begin trying to defeat the Nazis. Translating that into your studying is simple : if you don't have an end-point
, or a goal
in mind, then you are already defeated.
Seize, retain and exploit the initiative. Start the year how you want to finish it. Implement the types
of study strategies
and lecture strategies
that you want to carry on throughout the year. Seize the initiative in terms of your time, your energy, and your resources. And do so right from the start. Don't let the first few weeks take control of you, but rather take control
of those first few weeks, and use them to your best advantage.
English: Crop of old military map, rendered in gold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The flexible application of combat power. We continue our analogy and apply this to studying by saying that you need to learn how to maneuver your social life strategically. You don't want to end up being lonely and isolated, but you also need to be very selective about who you befriend, and what type of social life you are prepared to lead. If you want to do the all-weekend partying with every second week-night pub-crawl, your college life-span will not be very long. By the same token, you can become so involved in so many "worthy" causes (such as Chairman of the Tree-Hugging Society) that your studies suffer equally. You need to find a happy medium where you are not a recluse, but you are still maneuvering to achieve your overall Objective.
4. Unity of Command
Petraeus at Georgia Tech (Photo credit: hectorir)
You make your decisions. Whilst you take other people's advice, you need to take responsibility for your own actions now. You aren't a child anymore. You are maturing and you need to realize that your new found freedom comes much greater responsibility, and thus you need to start making decisions yourself. If you are far away from home, lots of decisions that used to be made by your parents are going to have to be made by you now. When you realize that you are responsible for you own actions, you will start being able to identify and defeat those things that are distracting you from your studies.
"Guard the Supply Lines" - NARA - 514428 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Supply lines, and management of resources are essential to the functioning of armies. Like-wise, to cope with distractions, you will need to have the resources to be able to do it. Sometimes you won't be able to do it on your own. Maintain strong links with your family, even if they are far away. Find fellow students with similar goals in mind and with similar morals and ethics, spend time with them and even try get into digs with them. In his world-famous Rich Dad Poor Dad
, Robert Kiyosaki
says that it is critical to surround yourself with people who excel in their specific field in order to make your business flourish. You can easily apply this in your studies. Surround yourself with friends who are diligent and committed to academic and moral excellence.
This military doctrine talks about keeping plans and orders short, clear and simple. You can directly apply this to your studies by simplifying your study environment. Switch off all your devices, unless you are typing or researching. If you have to use a device, be ruthless with yourself and shut down everything that you don't need. Close ALL the tabs in your browser you don't need. Turn off you iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, sound system (unless you want to play some gentle Baroque music, which has been shown to enhance your brain waves during studying). Keep It Simple Stupid. (No offense)
Are there any other suggestions that you can think of that you have employed to defeat study distraction? Please share so we can all benefit.