Some of you have been asking: "How do I stay away from social media and the internet while studying? It ends up taking up too much of my study time." We are excited to answer this question this time of year, especially when busy season is starting! These tips will be helpful to all those who find the internet to be a distraction during their work or CPA Exam studies.
Before we share our thoughts with you, here are some responses your peers had when asked this question in the Roger CPA Review Facebook community:
Brian says: "Back when I was studying I deleted the FB app from my phone, studied at the library, left my phone in the car, and plugged in my headphones. Worked like a charm."
Mohammed had a little trick: "I've made a FB account specific for the CPA purposes ONLY. I didn't add [anyone] except CPA candidates and [didn't] subscribe except in pages and groups that [were] CPA related, and by that I'm opening FB all day but at the same time thinking of CPA all day."
Kim took a slightly more drastic route: "Study in a place with no internet or disconnect the internet, and throw your phone off a cliff."
Some tips for those struggling with balancing social media and the internet while studying:
- Find out what's causing you to keep checking your email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Is it the way you're studying, the location, accessibility to your online accounts? Once you know, fix it! Change up your location, find a new way to learn the information that will keep you engaged, or just disable all applications from your phone!
- Baby steps: start with one hour without Facebook or email for a week while you study, and the following week, study for 2 hours on end without ANY distractions! If an hour is too long, go for 30 minute chunks. Remember, something is better than nothing at all.
- The purpose of checking social media or the internet is to take breaks. We encourage you to convince yourself: since you will take breaks, take quality breaks; you want to give your brain a little rest, some fresh air, and probably get some blood flowing up there. So with that said, you don't need to check Facebook till the end of the day because the content on your newsfeed isn't really conducive to your studying. Redefine the nature of your breaks, and you'll be able to stay away from social media and internet while you study. For example, go for a short walk outside the library, call a friend to chat, or refuel with snacks.
- Reevaluate the tools you're using to study: you may want to consider purchasing offline lectures if your habits just won't stop. This is when you go all out ("throw your phone off a cliff"): make sure your phone isn't with you when you go to the library and your study materials don't need any internet. It's just you, your books, and your brain.
- Try studying with someone who will hold you accountable for not checking your phone or social media accounts while you study. You could also do the same for your study buddy.
We know that all of these tips are easier said than done, but if you just try to implement them, you will see results, and that will in turn encourage you to keep going. Checking social media and internet is definitely OKAY. Especially if that is how your brain unwinds. It's when you're not able to control yourself is when it truly becomes an issue. Keep your end goal in mind while you study (you need that 75!) and knock down anything that tries to come in your way.
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