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Work Hard, But Really...Work Smart
Monday, September 1, 2014

by Jason Silverberg 
Tutor Tango English Tutor
With our ever-changing world constantly lapping itself technologically and growing more convenient by the minute, concentration on the task at hand is in short supply. How can we buckle down and focus when social media is just begging us to skip out and play? Difficult yes, but impossible? Certainly not. Here are a few tips to help you keep your head in the game...or out of the game if games are your distraction. Either way. 
Class Time
As alienating as it might sound, minimize distractions by sitting away from your friends. Classes are short and you’ll be reunited in no time. Absence make the heart grow fonder, and think of how impressed the members of your inner circle will be when you regale them with what you learned while they were in the back of the room scribbling on desks.
Be sure to email your teacher or speak with them before class if any content has been giving you trouble. This will not only keep you from falling behind, but also give your teacher feedback on the effectiveness of their lessons. 
Tutoring Time
The success of these sessions depends on how well your learning style locks in with your tutor’s teaching style. Within a week before your session, send your tutor a quick email or text regarding the subject matter as well as what type of learner you are. Visual? Auditory? Written? Remember that your tutor’s time is as valuable as yours. Approach the session professionally, goal-oriented and ready to sharpen your interpersonal skills. 
Homework Time
If possible, utilize the school or public library when doing your homework. With the ebook market growing exponentially, there is an undeniable possibility that our society may someday no longer have a need for these buildings specifically designated for consumption of the written word. Take advantage of the peaceful surroundings of a local library while you still can. 
If home is your only option for homework, find a quiet spot away from anything remotely entertaining. Hang a dry erase board in your workspace and make a schedule for yourself allowing for 20 minute chunks of concentration time with 5 minute breaks in between. If silence itself tends to decrease your productivity, try the music of Frederic Chopin. Studies show classical music is beneficial for brain function, and Chopin’s work will keep you inspired and on track. 
With these tricks of the trade, you should soon find yourself safe in the confines of your own cozy bubble of concentration. College is coming after all, and distractions and fun aren’t getting any less distracting or fun. The sooner you can make these habits stick, the better off you will be.