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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

How to Avoid Distractions While Studying Programming

Distractions: how to avoid getting distracted when you’re learning how to program? Let’s see if we can figure that out today.

Again, the question was, “How do you avoid getting distracted when you’re learning how to program?” Now, distractions can be a huge problem when you’re learning how to program. Particularly, if you haven’t worked in an office or you haven’t done that sort of book work or brain work in the past. You’ve maybe had another career or you just never sat down and studied before. It can be very easy to get distracted, and that’s because your mind can play tricks on you.

Your mind wants to be somewhere else and to get around that, firstly, I recommend having a plan of attack. So, if you just figure “I’m gonna learn how to program” and you haven’t made any effort to reduce distractions, chances are pretty high you’re going to get distracted at some point of it. Unless you’re almost a Superman or a Superwoman. You’re going to find that you’ll get distracted.

So what you really need is a plan and it doesn’t need to be a complex plan. It can be a simple plan. Well, let’s go through some of the common things. Firstly, mobile phones; cellphones as they’re called in America. Great source of distraction; of getting distracted. So eliminate that. Turn your phone off, move it to another room, put it on silent. One or all of those things. That’s a great way to minimize things.

Now, if you’re programming on a computer, when you’re going through a course, watching videos and programming along or whatever it is. Make sure that you’ve got your other applications closed down. If you’ve got Facebook in another window so that you can keep up to date with the latest messages, that’s probably setting yourself up for failure. You can do without Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever communication program that you’re actually using to keep up to date with things. Turn that off at least for while your programming for your particular session so you don’t get distracted ’cause it’s very easy to get distracted.

Next, after you’ve done that and you’ve only really got the programs that you need open to do your training. If you’re working on a video course, for example, make sure you’ve got, or you should only have your browser tab open so that you can actually watch the video, and the program that you’re actually using on your computer to follow along and type in the code. You shouldn’t have anything else open. Next thing, get your family, friends, or whoever you live with, if you live other people, invested in your journey to learn how to program so tell them what you’re trying to do. “Look, I’m trying to learn how to become a programmer here, can you please give me some space? I’m going to be studying now for the next fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, hour, or whatever it is. Can you just give me some space so that I can actually do that?”

Make sure that they are aware of it and then people will try and help you out. Most people, if they know that someone else is doing something trying to achieve a particular goal, they can be quiet for a period of time to help you avoid distractions. Because the last thing you obviously want is to be working away, being in the zone programming, and find someone’s knocking on your door and asking you to go to the shop to get some milk or whatever the case might be. So get other people invested in that as well. The other thing that I would recommend is that in today’s busy society, look, we’re all busy, doing hundreds of things.

There’s so many things that are distracting us, so it’s probably not realistic to try and find a block of six hours to study. So what probably have to do is try and reduce the number, the uh, the actual time that you spend per session. So in other words, don’t actually look for a six hour session or a three hour session of programming, maybe you can find thirty minutes. And do thirty minutes of study seven days a week or six days a week. That’s actually gonna be more productive for you as a rule than trying to find five or six hours and getting distracted after one hour getting frustrated and stopping and moving on. So I would recommend you looking for short periods of time, and studying and focus for that thirty minutes or whatever the period of time is and from there, you can always look at increasing it if things are going well and taking all of these other things away. Taking away all of the other distraction potentials should give you uh, get you set up and help you power through and complete your programming learning or your programming training.

I hope that helped. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. I’ll see you soon!

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