7 Tips to Successfully Study at HomeStudying at home can be a challenging, but rewarding, endeavor. There are a few specific ways to help you study successfully.
How to Study at Home
Making a study environment in your home can have many benefits. It can allow you to design and control your space to meet your needs. However, there are a few things to be aware of so that you can increase your productivity levels and avoid distractions and procrastination. Setting your space and pace for at-home study can help you to achieve the academic performance and success you strive for.
1. Make a Designated Study Space
The influence of your learning environment on academic achievement is significant. Studies show a direct correlation between the two. Designate a specific study space that is set up with the tools you need for success. This may include high-speed internet. Check to see if major providers such as Xfinity, CableOne, or CenturyLink are available in your area to assess your access options, speed thresholds, or if there are any data caps you may need to be aware of. You may also consider making room to organize your study materials, or stationing your study space near an outlet so you have comfortable access to electricity.
Consider comfortability and ergonomics. If you intend to study for hours on end, is there space for you to change positions, or study while you stand? It can also be helpful to consider exploring informal learning spaces and how your space meets your needs. Give thought to temperature, natural light, comfy seating, furniture, noise levels, and decoration. Contemplate what helps you to get in the right learning mindset.
2. Don't Work from Your Bed
You should never do homework in bed. Sleep experts citing healthy sleep habits often mention using your bed only for sleeping. This helps you positively associate it with restful sanctuary and encourages good sleeping habits.
Using your bed as a study space, on the other hand, can send mixed signals to your brain, limiting your ability to focus while doing homework, or conversely, keeping you up at night when you intend to relax. Chronic sleep loss may have consequences that take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, making you less apt to study successfully.
Studying in your bed can also decrease your productivity through a lack of organization. It may take you more time to rifle through all of your paperwork and books that are spread across your bed, rather than having them organized in a dedicated and designated space.
3. Set Boundaries with Others
Studying at home may mean that you are sharing space with others. It is important to set up guidelines for study time with your friends, family, or roommates, especially if you are using common areas as places to study. Organize study times that work for you and those around you and stick to it. Set boundaries around your study space and times so that others know what to expect when you are studying. Express your needs such as: low levels of noise, no interruptions, or perhaps even solitude.
It is also helpful to show your appreciation and gratitude when others meet the needs you have expressed. If you are utilizing a common space, make sure you take turns with access to things like the couch, TV, cable, or internet to keep things fair and amicable.
4. Take Breaks
Whether you are cramming a multi-hour study session or just doing your nightly study routine, it is important to schedule regular breaks. Brief mental breaks can help keep you focused.
It may help you to stay more actively engaged in your goals or complete assignments if you break large tasks down into smaller more manageable pieces, and then take breaks in between.
It can also be helpful to schedule breaks that you look forward to and include activities such as stretching, walking, or a quick phone call or virtual meet-up - in fact, some of the best internet for remote work and study is fast and reliable enough to video chat with your friends. Quick video chats can break up the monotony of study, or give you a chance to ask your school mates any questions you have regarding your schoolwork and studies.
5. Snack Smart
Studies are showing associations between dietary intake and academic achievement . Regular eating practices such as eating breakfast every morning or selecting healthy snacks to power your studying can improve your concentration, enhance memory, prolong your attention span, and improve thinking. Consider choosing snacks with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or legumes to give you a boost of energy. Snacks that help keep you full and focused may include cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, nuts or seeds, or meat, poultry, or fish. You can prep snacks ahead of time and make ready-to-eat snacks such as:
- Veggies and hummus;
- Trail mix;
- Apples and seed or nut butter;
- Yogurt and fruit;
- Fruit salads;
- Air-popped popcorn;
- Sandwiches with whole grain bread.
6. Work at the Right Time of Day
Diligently selecting your study time can greatly impact your ability to concentrate and focus. Everyone is different and able to work more efficiently at different times of the day. When deciding between day or night, and when the best time to study is, it is really up to you and how you do your best work.
For some, studying during the day is more productive. The natural light may help keep you alert, and studying during the day may coincide more effectively with your sleeping schedule. You may also be able to study with classmates more easily and feel more refreshed and ready to intake information.
For others, studying at night may be more effective. This might come from greater access to solitude, silence, and fewer distractions or interruptions. The ability to focus in a more peaceful environment may help clear your mind for creative thinking or help to improve memory recall.
There may be other factors that will influence how you select the best time to study. This may include setting up your study time when your house is mostly empty from other inhabitants. Or, perhaps, you find that you study best after breakfast or a long walk in the afternoon. Make a note of how you feel when you study at different times, and record when you feel the most accomplished.
7. Avoid Multitasking
Poor study habits can negatively impact grades, and multitasking is one of them. It can be tempting to try and multitask while you are studying at home, but dividing your attention can decrease your focus. Try to remove temptations and distractions from your study areas, such as your phone, social media accounts, or TV. If you wish to compartmentalize your study time, set aside specific times to take breaks that allow you to tend to your chores, socialize with friends, or take other healthy brain breaks.