How To Hack Your Time As A Student: The Power Of Deep Focus

Most students can get their work done 10x faster than they think they can. Here’s why:

Consider your work environment. You probably have your phone right next to you and all your notifications on.

You sit down to do some homework or study, but about every 3-6 minutes, you get a notification of some sort. So you look at it. Then you decide if you should open your phone or not…

Ohh that’s interesting!

Oh that’s lame….

Ohhh, I can’t believe she did that!!

Wow, he really said that??

Every single time you look at a notification, you are taken off task. And when you get taken off task, it takes you a moment to switch your focus from the task you were doing, and then back to your task again.

This is called task switching. And what most people don’t know is that task switching has a huge cost to your energy and time.

Every time you switch tasks, you burn up precious decision making energy that could be used towards your homework or studying.

But most students underestimate how much having their phone in the room with them slows them down.

So our simple math at GrantMe is that if you have your phone in the room with you while you’re studying or doing homework, you will be 10 times slower at whatever you’re doing.

On the flip side, if you have your phone completely in a different room, you are 10 times faster at whatever you’re doing.

Putting your phone in another room has the added benefit of preventing your procrastination.

Consider that your phone is literally engineered to distract you and hold your attention. Billions of dollars of research and development go into holding your attention on your phone. So when your phone is in your room, you’ve got no chance.

We recommend that when students want to work 10x faster, and get 10x more done, and do it 10x better, that they physically put their phone in another room and turn off the ringer. And then any notifications on their computer, they turn off as well.

And here’s how this works:

  1. You sit there for a bit and notice how bored you are without your phone and notifications buzzing/dinging/chiming at you every 30 seconds.
  2. You start doing homework/studying
  3. You think about checking your phone, but you can’t because it’s in another room.
  4. You get back on task
  5. You finish 10x faster

It’s actually a superpower to do this. It’s a hack. People won’t know why you get so much work done so fast.

Consider that your grandparents and parents did not have a superpowered mobile device designed to distract them from whatever they were doing. They had the choice to either feed the cows, or do homework. This was not something they needed to learn. 

But today, the world has shifted. You have a superpowered mobile device. You have social media. You have highly engaging apps. It’s a complete hack to recognize this and put your distraction device in a completely different physical room.

Now, you don’t have to take our word for it. Test this out yourself:

  • Next time you’re doing homework, studying, procrastinating, turn off your ringer and all notifications and physically place your phone in another room where you cannot see it or hear it
  • Sit there for a moment and notice how bored you are – and how there is really nothing else to do than your homework/studying
  • Do your homework/studying
  • Notice how long it took you compared to how long it takes when your phone is in the other room. Also, notice how much more refreshed you feel after doing deep work instead of distracted work.

For more reading on this, we recommend you can read “Deep Work” by Cal Newport.

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