Is your phone a constant distraction to your studies?

Don’t worry — it’s a problem that many Year 11 and 12 students face. It’s hard to resist checking on your phone when it buzzes with texts and notifications from Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

We’ve got three tips to help you reduce your screen time and optimise your overall study sessions. Check them out!

Check Your Screen Time
Reducing Your Phone as a Distraction
Tip #1: Give Your Phone to Someone Else
Tip #2: Keep Your Phone Away from You
Tip #3: Set Limits for Time Spent on Your Phone

Check Your Screen Time

Firstly, a challenge. Pull out your phone. Open it up and go to settings. Go to battery usage, then show usage by activity. How much do you use your phone in an average week? 10 hours? 35 hours? 50 hours? More?

Often, students are using their phones for an average of 40-50 hours per week! This is enormous! This is why your phone is going to be your biggest obstacle to nailing your HSC.

Phones are a big distraction! Even picking up your phone breaks your concentration, therefore having a huge impact in the quality of your study. To be fair right now, your phone is probably controlling you. But not to worry — we’re here to help.

How Can You Reduce Your Phone as a Distraction?

So, what you need to do first is identify how you can actually reduce your phone as a distraction. All of us have the willpower, but, generally speaking, as the day goes on, our willpower diminishes — this is normal!

Think of willpower like a fuel tank. Every time you use it, it starts to lessen a little bit more. By the time you get home from school when you’re tired, your willpower is going to be low on that energy in the fuel tank.

Fundamentally, you can’t rely on willpower to say “I’m not going to check my phone, I’m not going to check the notification I just received, I’m not going to jump on Insta and do a bit of scroll and I’m not jumping onto Facebook” — whatever it is. That means you’re going to need to put some structures in place. 

Tip #1: Give Your Phone to Someone Else

Have a conversation with a parent, a friend, or a sibling and actually give them your phone. Give them your phone and say “I’m going to be studying from four to six p.m, please take care of it!”

Although you might freak out at first, having your phone locked away means that you are removed from those notifications — essentially, you’re going to be able to focus. Now, while you will get your phone back after studying, not having access to the device in your study time is a key factor in helping you succeed over Years 11 and 12. 

Tip #2: Keep Your Phone Away from You

The other thing that you can do if you don’t have a parent or a sibling around is placing your phone in the opposite end of your house from your study space. This will prevent you from getting distracted from notifications. 

You’ll be less tempted to check your phone when it’s completely out of sight and not easily accessible. Give it a try!

Tip #3: Set Limits for Time Spent on Your Phone

Finally, you can put in blocks and limits on how much you access apps. While this will not prevent you from picking up your phone, it will help you limit your screen time, particularly if you cannot access your favourite apps. 

Ultimately, your phone can be your biggest obstacle in getting in the way of quality study throughout Year 11 and 12. So, our challenge to you is to get the phone out of your study zone — this will not only help you to achieve your best but will also set up good habits for the future!

If you find yourself procrastinating a lot, not just with your phone, check out our article on beating procrastination here!

Looking for some extra help with HSC?

We have an incredible team of HSC tutors and mentors who are new HSC syllabus experts!

We can help you ace your upcoming HSC assessments with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!

We’ve supported over 5,000 students over the last 10 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 19%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational HSC tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!


Grace Mitchell hopes to one day stand in front of a Year 12 Modern History class teaching the history of the Soviet Union, or have an insightful discussion with a Year 10 English class on race relations in To Kill a Mockingbird. Either way, Grace is beginning her teaching journey studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Humanities and Social Sciences)/Bachelor of Arts at Sydney University. Grace loves to learn new things, write short stories and opinion pieces, read, and play contemporary Australian compositions on the clarinet. When she is not learning – if that is possible – Grace loves to sit and watch the sun set.