There are plenty of advantages to studying at home. You get to study in a nice, comfortable environment and don’t need to commute anywhere. But like the perks, there are some disadvantages too. Being at home means you are exposed to many distractions, too- think TV, house chores, social media, and even family.
So, even though you want to study at home, you’ll find yourself procrastinating, losing concentration, or wasting time. But you can tweak your lifestyle to accommodate studying at home and make it effective. So below are some great lifehacks for students who are at-home studying.
Start by Adjusting Your Sleep and Waking Routine
A well-rested mind is essential in being focused in your studies. So, cut out late nights from Monday to Friday. Sleep early and make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Wake up early as well, so that you have enough time in your day to study and accommodate activities with friends and family.
A healthy sleeping routine will make you more productive and also improve your long-term memory. So, stay disciplined. You can, of course, break from the routine on the weekends.
Study When You Are at Your Best
No two students are the same. For example, John may find studying first thing in the morning most productive for him. On the other hand, Ann may prefer to study from 8 p.m. Being at home means that you can be as flexible with your time as you want.
So, assess yourself to figure out what time you are at your peak concentration and then schedule study sessions. You may need to do a lot of trial and error in the first days. Eventually, you’ll know what works.
Do Your Chores First
Constantly thinking about the kitchen that you have to clean or the laundry you have to fold? Chores, if not done early, can nag you as you try to concentrate on a book. Better to do your chore before you sit down. That way, there’ll be nothing urgent or strenuous waiting for you after you are done studying, and you’ll look forward to your rest.
Clear Out Your Room to Create a Space for Studying
Studying in bed or on the sofa is not the best idea. Instead, designate a special area just for your studies. You can even create this space in your bedroom as long as it’s well-lighted. Clear out the clutter from one corner of your room, and move a table and chair there. A good study area should have the following characteristics:
- Good natural light;
- Quiet atmosphere with little to no distractions;
- Cool- not too far from a window;
- Easy access to the bathroom.
Freshen Up Before Studying
You might be tempted to think, “since I’m studying at nine, I will wake up fifteen minutes earlier.” But hopping out of bed and onto your study desk will probably leave you feeling lazy and groggy. Wake up early enough so that you have time for freshening up and organizing your study material.
Having ample time before your session will also help you set your mind for what’s to come. Even if you study at night, it will help if you freshened up first and organized yourself before your session. Always ensure you are wearing something comfortable but not too warm.
Schedule Short Studying Sessions
Can’t concentrate 100% for more than an hour? Most people can’t, and it’s not even advisable to do so. In fact, studies from decades ago and still upheld today suggest giving your brain a 15-minute break every 45 minutes. Working your brain beyond that will significantly decrease your memory load and focus.
In addition to having shorter sessions, you can also space them out to different times in the day. If, for instance, you want to study in the morning hours, you can schedule one or two sessions early in the morning and another in midmorning. If you use this method, you can study subjects on the same day.
Find Creative Ways to Study
Reading your notes as you would a storybook might not yield the results that you want. Get creative by using great study techniques such as questions and answers, and even flashcards. You will see the results very soon!
H2: Eat Well and Carry Healthy Snacks
Feed your body and brain, and you’ll be energetic and focused. Eating well means choosing healthy foods and not skipping meals. Besides the main meals, have some snacks within reach to fuel you as you study (especially for longer sessions). So, what can you snack on to keep your body and brain going?
- Nuts and seeds: peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pumpkins seeds, etc.;
- Fruits: grapes, apple, strawberries, pineapples, etc.;
- Popcorn (air-fried);
- Dark chocolate.
H2: Tackle Your Assignments Early
Multiple pending assignments can kill your motivation for even studying. So, if you have any essays or papers still undone, finish them first to study with a clear mind. After writing, you can get help with editing college essays to create free time for studying. Alternatively, you can use half your session to study and the other half to tackle your essays.
You already have a schedule/ timetable to follow. Now, you need a timer to help you stick to your plan. By setting a 30-to-45-minute timer, you’ll be focused on the task at hand until the alarm goes off. You’ll also enjoy your break when it arrives, as you’ll feel that you have achieved something. As a precaution, don’t plan too much workload in one session.
Studying at home is possible and even effective if you know what to do. But even with all these tips, always remember to be realistic. Instead of burning yourself out, cover what you can in the time you have set out. And reward yourself when you achieve a goal that you have set out to boost your motivation.