Top 5 External Study Distractions

What's Distracting You?

Of the two types of study distractions, external and internal, the external study distractions are by far the easiest to shake loose. Check out this list of the top five things distracting you besides your own brain, and most importantly, read the fix, so you'll know how to stay focused on studying.

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Your Phone

Business meeting with iPhone and iPad
Keeping organized with your iPhone or iPad. Pexels

With all the apps to choose from, games to play, people to text, music to listen to, photos to view, and conversations to be had, your phone is the #1 study distraction.

The fix: Turn it off. As a rule, you shouldn't need to talk to anyone during a study session because you'll just get off topic. Discipline yourself to wait until you've learned the material before you text someone.

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Your Computer

Student on Computer
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Unless you are actively studying on it, your computer can be a huge distraction, too. By "actively" I mean that the only page you have up on your screen is the page you need.

The fix: Your computer should be turned off, too. Facebook needs to go, email needs to go, games and chat sessions have to go. You will not be able to focus on studying with all the temptations of the web.

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Your Friends

Teenagers Playing Charades at a Party
Teenagers at a Party. Taxi/Getty Images

Unless your friends happen to be very good study partners, they can really keep you from studying, despite their best intentions.

The fix: Study alone, or with a study partner who won't distract you at all. If your friends truly care about you, then they will understand your need to learn! Real friends will give you space to study, and if they won't give it to you, you have to take it for the sake of your score.

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Your Family

Family building model ship
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If you're studying in your home, and surrounded by family (moms, dads, sisters, brothers, kids, grandparents), you may have a difficult time finding enough quiet to hone in on your test material.

The fix: Find a quiet study spot. If you share a room, then hit the library or a coffee house. If your mom harasses you at every turn, then consider studying in the park or at school. Ask everyone to leave you alone so you can study. You'll be surprised how effective those words will be!

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Your Physical Needs

Tired student studying for exams
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Your body can be your own worst enemy during a study session. Sleepiness, hunger, bathroom breaks and physical discomfort can get you up out of your chair and wandering around the house, thus breaking your concentration

The fix: Anticipate your physical needs before you start studying. Use the bathroom. Snag some brain food and a beverage. Choose a time to study when you are the least tired. Grab a sweatshirt. Stop those physical study distractions before they occur.