Honestly, this is literally the biggest feat known to man: the ability to keep oneself at one’s desk for longer than 30 minutes when studying. I have tried and failed many times, however there have been a few glimpses of hope where I have pumped out a solid 60 minutes of study in one go and been incredibly happy with my success.
What I have learnt in my experience is that you have to trick yourself into staying there. There is nothing so appealing about study that would make you want to sit there by your own will, so you need to outsmart yourself with trickery. Sound crazy? Read on.
Successful ways to trick yourself into staying at your desk and studying:
1. Close all curtains and cover all clocks.
You will be super-duper counterproductive if you time watch. By using this clever trick (often seen in casinos), time will fly and you won’t even have time to think about that beautiful sunny perfect-beach-day you are missing outside. Hermit yourself up, light a cute candle for ambience and flick on those desk lamps. You’re in for the long haul.
2. Create a feast
This is by far my most practiced and effective strategy. You first need to elect an amount of time you wish to study for and then prepare a meal that will last you this long.
I find that hot chocolates, hunky sandwiches, any form of dessert, tea and biscuits and last night’s leftovers are fantastic additions to your desk during any study period.
3. The shut-out technique
This strategy can be unbelievably irritating, however in desperate times we must take desperate measures. Ask your family or housemates to literally ignore you, pretend as if you don’t exist for the amount of time you need to study, e.g. 3 hours. Now, when you try to escape your desk and have that cute procrastination chat with the house member of your choice, they will walk away, leaving you with no choice but to return to your desk and study. Success.
If all else fails, there is an extreme case scenario option. Not for the faint hearted, but designed for those with limited self-control: Tie yourself to your chair, allowing only freedom of movement for your arms so you can write and type.