Why study-buddying shouldn’t be used exclusively for studying.
Getting distracted is one of the prominent evils we are dealing with when we try to get things done. Especially with social media apps readily available, the chances of getting distracted is immense. In schools, they use the study-buddy concept. This concept encourages students to hold each other accountable for getting diverted to help to focus on their study. But should this method be used exclusively for studying?
I had used this method before when I was still studying full time. With a group of students, we would sit in a project room for six or so people and study together. However, it never really worked out. The primary reason for that was the other students not wanting to participate in the concept. When we told them they were distracted, they would not change anything. Instead, they made the atmosphere worse in the group, and it fell apart shortly after.
So, to make study-buddying successful, students have to be willing to do it in the first place. You cannot enforce it upon students, because it will most likely end up in a failure. Some students might become frustrated; others might laugh it off. I was one of the frustrated students because it felt like I wasted my time.
Recently, I was having trouble staying concentrated for an extended period. I found myself not being able to finish the tasks I set for my projects. It was confusing because I thought I was motivated to work on something personal. If I was excited, then why did I get distracted so easily? Thus, I talked with one of my best friends to find a solution to my problem.
Guess what, my friend suggested we should start study-buddying. However, it is difficult to hold one another accountable for getting distracted if you are not in the same room. We did have the pro-version of an app called Forest and used that to our advantage. Forest is a little app where you can set a timer. The app plants a virtual tree during that time, but here is the catch: you cannot use your phone during that time, or your tree will wither. The app also supports a shared forest. It applies the same concept, but instead, you are in a lobby with multiple people. My friend and I would create a timer, and if my friend or I would use the phone, the tree will wither.
Together, we apply our study-buddy program to get things done. It doesn’t matter what it is about, as long as we don’t want to get distracted. We’ve used it to focus on our personal projects, but also on trivial things like doing our household chores. Because we are on the same page about it, the system works well for us.
Do we fail? Yes, sometimes one of us does get distracted. We ask each other, what made you get distracted? Maybe one of us is having a bad day or has worked all day and doesn’t have the energy to keep focus anymore. And that is okay!
The recipe to success when it comes to study-buddying is having like-minded people in the group. People that encourage one another to hold their focus at the task at hand. That doesn’t only apply to school or studying. It can be done in the office, at home with your partner, for personal projects. Anything that needs you to keep your mind at the task can benefit from it. If you don’t have anyone to hold you accountable, let an app like Forest hold you accountable. In the end, it all starts with yourself and the will to get things done distraction-free.