STUDY SKILLS TIP #58 – MANAGING TECHNOLOGY USE

by psalter on November 1, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Students for Managing Technology Distractions:

  1. Allocate specific times for work and for technology- this can be tricky given that much of the time students need to use technology for research.  However, making a timetable which clearly identifies time for homework/study, games and other online activities, means you know that you will soon get an opportunity to get back online.  It’s best to make these blocks in the time when you aren’t at your most “productive” with work.
     
  2. Turn off your technology distractions - turn off as many things as you can eg. phone, ipad, ipod, Facebook, Instagram, even your computer if you don’t need it for that piece of work.  If you aren’t aware of messages or notifications coming in, then you won’t need to check them.  Try it for half an hour and then get back to your messages once you’ve finished that work block.
     
  3. Set clear goals - once you have achieved your work goal, reward yourself with technology. Allow yourself 20 minutes of guilt free online time.
     
  4. Set a timer – if you can’t stop gaming or checking facebook, even when your allocated time is up, set an annoying timer….which you place away from where you are playing, so that you have to get up to turn off.  Once it’s off, you have already broken the connection to the game and it should be easier to get on with your work.
     
  5. Install software on your computer to help manage distractions – there are lots of different packages available to assist you in controlling your computer use – how long you use particular programs for and what you use.  More information is available for subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au in the Managing Distractions Unit of the Study Skills Handbook http://www.studyskillshandbook.com.au/inside/inside_content/home5c.html

     
  6. Don’t make in-App purchases – lots of us have downloaded a “free” app only to get caught up in the cycle of “in app” purchases so we can just get one more level or win.  Making a deal with yourself to wait for a while to have another go at a game both saves money and gives you 20-30 minutes to focus on schoolwork instead.
     
  7. Remember TV is technology too - working in front of the TV can be just as distracting as other forms of technology.  Save up your easy work – like title pages, or filing, to do in front of the TV and use your technology free time to focus on more challenging work.
     
  8. Enlist some help – ask your parent or sibling to help you manage your technology distractions by sitting near you while you work to monitor what you are doing, testing you on your current topics or holding on to your devices for you.
     
  9. Find a different place to work - some work can be done outside, or while you are exercising.  Why not step outside to review your study notes, or read your novel?  Record your notes or listen to a podcast when you are out walking the dog?
     
  10.  Do some mental skills development – if you really need to improve your focus, attention and memory, try doing some specific exercises.  http://www.cogmed.com.au/schools offers a formal school based program.  Also  http://www.lumosity.com/ http://www.mindgames.com/brain-games.php

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au  you can learn more about how to prepare for exams and manage stress with your schoolwork by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here.

Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net
Online Study Skills Handbook: www.studyskillshandbook.com.au

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

This month’s tip from Rocky Biasi at Human Connections.  Learn more about ‘tapping’ techniques that can help manage stress at: https://xb145.isrefer.com/go/entap/Enhanced/

SYDNEY ONLY: Individuals (parents and students) may be interested in attending a workshop in Sydney during October run by Karen Gilles on enhancing self-awareness and self-understanding, which will also help stress management: http://www.embodiedgroundedconnection.com/Workshops.html. Watch this YT video for more info:  http://youtu.be/U1OsiSnrLwE

If you listen to our podcast, Braintree Podcast, we’d love you to take this short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XHX72SN

 

Recently a student sent this email: Hi I was wondering if you could do a tip on staying positive when you are stressed and feeling depressed as our exams are coming up and I have been feeling depressed lately and I think it would help.

It can be difficult to stay positive or “be up” as exams approach. The more important the exam the more stress we can feel. Worse, if we don’t do anything to make us feel good, stress can lead to anxiety and depression. There are many reasons why students feel this stress and depressed mood as examination dates approach.

  • Students receive distorted messages and perceptions about the importance of the exams, such as, “this can/will determine your future” etc.
  • With the pressure and stress of exams students avoid doing the work necessary to be prepared and as a result feel more overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious etc. Students can feel they have no control of their situation.
  • When we allow the pressure, stress and upset to build we can get into bad habits and let go of good habits. As a result students can feel more drained and exhausted and find it difficult or impossible to “climb out of the dark hole” they are in.

A holistic approach to boost wellbeing as exams approach 

The key to being positive and managing negative emotions such as anxiety and feeling down and depressed in any pressure situation including exams is to “fuel up”. It goes without saying that if students are exhausted, tired, stressed, depressed etc. it is very difficult if not impossible to deal with the pressure of exams. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in students’ lives. Students need to boost the wellbeing factors in their BODY, MIND and EMOTIONS.

Trying to “feel good” or be “positive” when the body is exhausted and depleted is impossible! This is something we all know yet many of us find it difficult to change.

 

TIPS FOR WELLBEING

 

Here are some things you can do to boost the energy in your BODY:

  • See a doctor.

Visit your doctor and get a check up. It’s important that any medical issues are ruled out because you may try some of the following tips without noticing any benefit while all along there may have been a medical issue that needed attention.

  • Get better sleep.

Feeling good starts with getting the right amount and type of sleep. Start with a good night-time routine. Stop anything that stimulates you such as caffeine or TV or computer, iPad or phone screens etc. for an hour before you go to bed. Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea and use essential oils such as lavender oil. Having a soothing bath or shower can also help along with gentle stretching of tight or tense muscles. If you still feel you are not getting a “good” sleep be sure to see your doctor.

  • Eat in Moderation

Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress buildup and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right.

 

Here are some things you can do to THINK more positively: 

  • Change your thinking and perceptions

Write down your top 5 fears and worries. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Then ask yourself, “IS THAT TRUE”? Usually fears and worries are not based on reality but on imagined scenarios that have little to no evidence. If it’s something that can’t be changed bring acceptance to it. It is what it is for now!

  • Change your focus

Have you noticed that what we worry about we make bigger and keep closer to us by the way we think and focus. Try this…make your fears and worries SMALL in size (5 cm in height) DARK in brightness and as far away as possible in DISTANCE. When we change the size, brightness and distance of the things that upset us in our minds it reduces the intensity of the emotion.

 

Here are some things you can do to FEEL more positive:

  • Acts of kindness

Make a list of 5 acts of kindness you can do every day. Make them simple acts of kindness that are easy to do such as saying thank you etc. Do these 5 acts of kindness every day for 6 weeks. The research shows that people that do this and think of 3 good things in their life (as above) have a dramatic positive boost in their mood.

good day 1 col

  • 3 good things exercise

Every day at the start and end of your day think of 3 good things that happened. Write them down. Then think about either WHY those good things happened or how it MADE YOU FEEL when those good things happened.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au  you can learn more about how to prepare for exams and manage stress with your schoolwork by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here.

Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net
Online Study Skills Handbook: www.studyskillshandbook.com.au

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Recently a student sent this email: Hi I was wondering if you could do a tip on staying positive when you are stressed and feeling depressed as our exams are coming up and I have been feeling depressed lately and I think it would help.

It can be difficult to stay positive or “be up” as exams approach. The more important the exam the more stress we can feel. Worse, if we don’t do anything to make us feel good, stress can lead to anxiety and depression. There are many reasons why students feel this stress and depressed mood as examination dates approach.

  • Students receive distorted messages and perceptions about the importance of the exams, such as, “this can/will determine your future” etc.
  • With the pressure and stress of exams students avoid doing the work necessary to be prepared and as a result feel more overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious etc. Students can feel they have no control of their situation.
  • When we allow the pressure, stress and upset to build we can get into bad habits and let go of good habits. As a result students can feel more drained and exhausted and find it difficult or impossible to “climb out of the dark hole” they are in.

A holistic approach to boost wellbeing as exams approach 

The key to being positive and managing negative emotions such as anxiety and feeling down and depressed in any pressure situation including exams is to “fuel up”. It goes without saying that if students are exhausted, tired, stressed, depressed etc. it is very difficult if not impossible to deal with the pressure of exams. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in students’ life. Students need to boost the wellbeing factors in their BODY, MIND and EMOTIONS.

Trying to “feel good” or be “positive” when the body is exhausted and depleted is impossible! This is something we all know yet many of us find it difficult to change.

 

TIPS FOR WELLBEING

Here are some things you can do to boost the energy in your BODY:

  • See a doctor.

Visit your doctor and get a check up. It’s important that any medical issues are ruled out because you may try some of the following tips without noticing any benefit while all along there may have been a medical issue that needed attention.

  • Get better sleep.

Feeling good all starts with getting the right amount and type of sleep. Start with a good night – time routine. Stop anything that stimulates you such as caffeine or TV or computer, iPad or phone screens etc. Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea and use essential oils such as lavender oil. Having a soothing bath or shower can also help along with gentle stretching of tight or tense muscles. If you still feel you are not getting a “good” sleep be sure to see your doctor.

  • Eat in Moderation

Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress buildup and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right.

 

Here are some things you can do to THINK more positively: 

  • Change your thinking and perceptions

Write down your top 5 fears and worries. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Then ask yourself, “IS THAT TRUE”? Usually fears and worries are not based on reality but on imagined scenarios that have little to no evidence. If it’s something that can’t be changed bring acceptance to it. It is what it is for now!

  • Change your focus

Have you noticed that what we worry about we make bigger and keep closer to us by the way we think and focus. Try this…make your fears and worries SMALL in size (5 cm in height) DARK in brightness and as far away as possible in DISTANCE. When we change the size, brightness and distance of the things that upset us in our minds it reduces the intensity of the emotion.

 

Here are some things you can do to FEEL more positive:

  • Acts of kindness

Make a list of 5 acts of kindness you can do every day. Make them simple acts of kindness that are easy to do such as saying thank you etc. Do these 5 acts of kindness every day for 6 weeks. The research shows that people that do this and think of 3 good things in their life (as above) have a dramatic positive boost in their mood.

  • 3 good things exercise

Every day at the start and end of your day think of 3 good things that happened. Write them down. Then think about either WHY those good things happened or how it MADE YOU FEEL when those good things happened.

 

This month’s tip from Rocky Biasi at Human Connections. Learn more about techniques that can help manage stress at: https://xb145.isrefer.com/go/entap/Enhanced/

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au  you can learn more about how to prepare for exams and manage stress with your schoolwork by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here.

Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net
Online Study Skills Handbook: www.studyskillshandbook.com.au

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

STUDY SKILLS TIP #56 – MULTI-TASKING RESEARCH

August 31, 2014

Even though parents and teachers tell students that multi-tasking is not an effective way to work, sometimes students just don’t believe them! They think they are different, they think it is just something parents and teachers say with no evidence. So here are some academic research studies to demonstrate to students where the proof is [...]

Read the full article →

STUDY SKILLS TIP #55 – WHERE TO FIND HELP

August 1, 2014

Where can you find help when you are struggling at school? PERSONAL ISSUES If things in your life are upsetting you or stressing you this will affect your ability to learn effectively. Talk to your family, talk to your friends or other people you are close to or teachers you feel comfortable sharing with. However [...]

Read the full article →

STUDY SKILLS TIP #54 – MANAGING STRESS & RELAXING

July 1, 2014

Seven Quick Tips to Help you Relax The daily demands of life, such as exams, peer pressure, and homework assignments, or the challenges of relationships, family, or not making it on a sporting team can lead to an overwhelming feeling of stress. What you need to learn is how to cope with these situations in [...]

Read the full article →

STUDY SKILLS TIP #53 – HAVING SET TIMES FOR SCHOOLWORK

June 1, 2014

Many students when they come home from school end up just waiting until they might ‘feel’ like doing schoolwork. Or else they drag the work out over the whole night. A much better way to work is each night have set allocated times for schoolwork, 2-3 half hour blocks. During this time you should do homework [...]

Read the full article →

STUDY SKILLS TIP #52 – THINKING AHEAD

May 1, 2014

Are you riding a rollercoaster at school? Rollercoaster study is where you stay up late doing last minute assignments, then you take it easy for a while and do very little, then panic again when something is due and have to spend huge amounts of time at the end completing the work. If you plan [...]

Read the full article →

STUDY SKILLS TOP TIP #51 – WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE HOMEWORK?

March 31, 2014

Homework in secondary school serves many purposes. It could be to consolidate or check or extend the learning from the day or prepare for the learning to come in subsequent days. It could be to do with longer term work such as assignments or preparing for tests and examinations. Ultimately it comes back to what [...]

Read the full article →

STUDY SKILLS TIP # 50 – 5 REASONS NOT TO PUT OFF STARTING ASSIGNMENTS

March 1, 2014

Here are 5 reasons why you should start working on your assignment simmediately. 1. GET YOUR BRAIN THINKING ABOUT THE TOPIC: Even if your assignment isn’t due for weeks, start thinking about it immediately. At the very least, answer the key starter questions on the day you get your assignment. Even if you are not [...]

Read the full article →