Every generation has their own unique kryptonite, or the central issue that makes it extremely challenging to sit in a quiet room and think, read, and/or study: These up-and-coming generations have it in the palm of their hands. It’s the cell phone — or the tablet — or both.
Older generations had the average person watching 4 hours of television per night. Now it’s 4 hours of scrolling through TikTok, IG, and random YouTube vids. (We are ALL guilty of having terrible days in this arena.)
Hence, here is the crucial recipe that should be undertaken if one wants to be an outlier in his/her academic life — and beyond:
- Use a stopwatch and/or Pomodoro Timer like the one at pomofocus.io.
- Study for 30-45 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. During those breaks, you can mess around on your device/s.
- Try to incorporate PLAY into your study habits, ie bike-riding, sports, so that you remember the outside non-device world. We recommend that young people play for at least 1 hour per day, maybe more if you have a community of friends who love to play together. Don’t let these parks be empty.
- The first hour of your day and the last hour of your day should NOT include devices. (Keep them outside your room? I know it may be considered blasphemy to even suggest this.) This is challenging, yet we believe that these disciplines will help you as you get older and you have families of your own, etc. You should focus on your sleep, your health, your loved ones, breakfast, winding down at night, reading and preparing for the following day, etc.
- Turn off notifications on all social media sites while you’re studying or reading. This is something that most people on earth have a challenge with; however, it is paramount for young people to be the most disciplined in this arena (whether or not your parent/s or guardian/s do so themselves).
- Try not to study with music that has lyrics (or don’t listen to any music at all). I know; again, blasphemous talk! Yet you need to allow your brain to fully “listen” to the ideas that you’re trying to study and learn as opposed to the musical lyrics.
- Lastly, always remember that the most important thing that you as a young person can be doing is sitting in a quiet room and DEVELOPING YOUR MIND. This may be reading, writing, studying, or doing homework, but it must be THINKING. The way that you become an outlier in this arena is to ASSERTIVELY PROTECT this time.
In fact, if a young person wants to garner high academic marks, he/she should be studying on average of ~3-4 hours/night. Sometimes more, sometimes a bit less. We are all unique, yet that’s a decent rule of thumb. Weekends should be used to catch up and write essays, etc. while summers ought to be used to READ AT LEAST A FEW BOOKS.
A young mind should not be wasted; rather, it needs to be developed and these younger generations can easily become slaves to these devices if they don’t say NO and take control over their time and attention and effort in pursuit of having a bright future.