A minimalist approach to studying sociology

A picture I took while studying at a cafe.

Sociology is a complex, fascinating and immensely rewarding subject. However, like most other things in life, being good at it requires passion, discipline, and focus.

Below are three tips I have found to be useful in increasing my productivity and focus as I complete my graduate studies.

.    .    .

Passion

There is not much to say here.

The dictionary defines passion as, “a strong and barely controllable emotion, an intense desire or enthusiasm for something, a thing arousing enthusiasm.

I have cried legit tears from enthusiasm when I wrote my paper on poverty and residential segregation in Toronto applying Foucault’s concept of biopower. My friend has made fun of me because when I take notes of an article I’m reading, I add “BOOM!” “YAAAAASSSSS!” and other equally enthusiastic words next to a point an author made that I really liked.

It is a bit embarrassing. I don’t care— I love sociology.

Are you passionate about sociology?

.    .    .

Avoid Distractions

I quit social media.

In my previous post, is the Internet killing qualitative research, I discussed how constant consumption of information is undermining our ability to be creative.

Sociology is a creative process.

Quitting social media has worked wonders for me. It has given me the chance to be bored and exercise my sociological imagination. I got really good at thinking,  specifically thinking about our social world.

What’s your distraction? You need to cut it.

.    .    .

Focus

There are countless resources available out there on how to maintain focus and be productive, including blog posts, videos, and books.

I did a lot of research until I found what worked for me— the Pomodoro technique. I use this Pomodoro app that has done wonders for my productivity.

I try to commit about four hours a day on my craft; I work for 25-minutes for eight counts with five minutes break in between.

.    .    .

I also have failed a lot.

A lot.

However, when I followed those three simple tips, be passionate, avoid distractions and focus, I have managed to become good at studying sociology, really good.

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