Studying is difficult for many students, as it requires focused motivation and attention skills, neither of which are known as young people's strongest attributes. According to College Parents of America, students should spend approximately 2 to 3 hours of study time for each hour they attend class. While most students have the drive to study, many become easily distracted or lose their motivation quickly. From outdoor disturbances to hunger cravings, it’s crucial to learn how to control your surroundings and avoid distractions when studying at home to ensure academic success.
Create a Study Zone
Designate a spot in your home that is comfortable and free of distractions to study every day. All students are different and some prefer complete silence, while others study better with soft music playing in the background. Take time to access your individual needs and study habits and assign a place to work. Your study zone should have a padded chair that offers adequate back support, such as an ergonomic task chair. The chair should be properly aligned with the desk or table to avoid strain to the neck, hands, and wrists.
Study zones should provide plenty of natural and artificial lighting to avoid eye strain. Try a combination of overhead lighting to light up the whole room, with a desk or reading lamp that can be used when writing, typing, and reading. If the outside view is distracting, buy draperies online to eliminate potential disturbances. Close the window to block out sounds and use a ceiling fan or air conditioning unit to encourage air circulation. Stock up on plenty of supplies to avoid having to hunt down paper, pens, calculators, and scissors later.
Establish Study Rules
Create a set of guidelines for more effective studying and follow them. Your study schedule should be both flexible and realistic, and it may be necessary to experiment a bit to see what works best for you. Give yourself frequent breaks to stand up, move around, get a drink or snack, use the bathroom, and wake yourself up. According to recent research in Psychological Science Journal, taking a 10 minute break after learning something helps you to remember it long-term. Avoid studying for more than an hour without taking a brief break or performing an unrelated task. Also commit to keeping your phone, television, and other distracting electronics off when studying.
Focus on the Material
Focusing on the material at hand can be a challenge, especially if you are not interested in the subject. Once distractions are out of the way, you’ll need to avoid procrastinating during the study process. It can be helpful to set study goals and reward yourself when you meet these goals. For example, you may reward yourself with 30 minutes of video game play if you can successfully complete 30 minutes of uninterrupted study time. Set up a timer and continue to study until it goes off. Most important of all, learn to say “no” to people or activities that try to distract you from studying, such as a friend asking you to the cinema. Stay focused on your priorities and you’ll soon feel more confident about your studies.