PhD Survival Guide; Tips for Extending a Study Session

It can be really hard to maintain focus & delay procrastination when you are studying, which can result in you only being productive for short periods of time. I have compiled a list of tips to try to prolong your study sessions for as long as you can.


  1. Hide your phone– There is way too much temptation on our small screens. I always fall into the trap of ‘I’m just going to check Instagram quickly’, or ‘I’m just going to check my snapchat notification’ and then 30 minutes later I am stalking a celebrity’s feed…. Hide your phone out of view.
  2. Also shutdown your social media on the computer. My Facebook notifications come up automatically on my work computer and it is the worst!
  3. Prepare a snack- Before you start the study session, stock up on whichever snacks you are rewarding yourself with. This means that you won’t be tempted to go snack searching in the middle of your session.
  4. Hydrate- Also ensure that you have a full drink bottle ready to go, again this stops you from having to fill up in the middle of the session & also means you keep hydrated which can help with concentration.
  5. Select a good playlist– Before you start flick through Spotify (or alternative) to find the perfect playlist. Nothing is worse than having to skip every second song because it’s not what you are feeling.
  6. Set yourself a goal for the study session– It is motivating to have goals to work towards. I think that it is more beneficial to have task related goals (e.g. finish the introduction and discussion of the report, or edit the essay), rather than time goals.
  7. Reward yourself- After your tasks have been completed, reward yourself. Watch that Netflix episode you have been craving, or take your dog for a walk!


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