Study Tips

How to Stay Focused & Avoid Distractions While Studying in Quarantine

Omer Rott
Published on Apr 9, 2020. Updated on Mar 17, 2023.

Being in quarantine doesn’t mean you have to put studying on hold—in fact, there’s maybe never been a better time for medical students to focus on their studies and do their part to #RaiseTheLine. In today’s blog, Osmosis Medical Education Fellow Omer Rott shares tips on how to keep studying with focus and gusto during isolation.

On a normal day, focused, uninterrupted studying is tough, but doing so during a quarantine presents a whole new challenge. In this blog post, I’ll provide you with some useful tips and suggestions on how to remain attentive to your studies during these difficult and strange times.

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Location, location, location 

Normally, my favorite study locations are libraries and coffee shops because they’re spaces away from home that allow me to separate work from play. When I do choose to study at home, I usually work in my bedroom (at my desk or in bed). This is fine on occasion, but given the nature of quarantine, it’s important to make locational changes for the long term. To recreate the feeling of a separate study area, you can work in a different room devoted to studying, which will allow you to cultivate a study mindset. Make sure to take your breaks elsewhere in order to ensure that your “office” remains distraction-free.

Osmosis illustration of a medical student studying privately with a quiet please sign on the door.

Stick to a routine

“If I don't have anything to do all day, I might not even put my pants on,” says Jennifer Lawrence. This quote always reminds me of summer vacation when days are slow and my plans are up in the air. The current quarantine might feel like a vacation, but it’s important to realize that it isn’t. Start by putting on pants—in other words, maintain a daily routine and stick to small, consistent habits, which will help create a sense of normalcy. Consider eating at a regular time, going to bed and waking up at consistent hours, and changing out of your PJs. 

When it comes to your studies, creating a schedule with daily goals is key. You can use Osmosis to build a schedule and stick to it. I like to use the Osmosis study schedule together with a timer, which reminds me when study breaks are over. The Osmosis study schedule allows me to integrate all of my study material into an organized, doable schedule with breaks and review. Making the most of your workspace can help you study more effectively.

OMEF Omer Rott holding a pen and his Osmosis Study Schedule

Avoid distractions and burnout

You’ve found the best place to study, your coffee is nearby, and you’ve started watching the latest Osmosis video, but wait—what’s that ping sound? All of a sudden, you’ve spent ten minutes on your phone. Staying focused doesn’t just entail sitting in the right place; it also necessitates getting into the right mindset. Make sure to avoid distractions like surfing the web on your laptop, or using your phone. Consider utilizing browser extensions like Forest and phone applications like Moment to help you stay on task. Personally, I use airplane mode on my phone.

Osmosis illustration of a cellphone with an airplane on the screen

While taking excessive breaks can be a problem, so can studying without them. It may be tempting to work long hours if that’s the one of the few activities available to you under quarantine, but it’s important to avoid burnout. Make sure to take breaks when appropriate so that you can tackle your tasks with renewed energy.

Creating a separate workspace, sticking to a daily routine, and cultivating a healthy mindset are three ways to stay focused on your studies while quarantined. Most importantly, remember to stay safe!

About Omer

Omer Rott is a third year medical student at Masaryk University, Brno, located in the Czech Republic. He is interested in Pediatrics. During his free time, Omer enjoys reading, baking, photography, and playing board games with his friends.

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