Staying focused whilst studying at home can be really difficult when there are so many distractions. However, it is really important to be focused when studying as it will help you to complete work of a higher standard, memorise information better and will save you time. Here are some things you can do to help you stay focused whilst studying at home!
1. Dedicate a space to studying
This space would preferably be a desk or even a dining room table. However, we know that this is not always possible, so you might have to get creative! Any type of flat surface for your work and somewhere for you to sit will work in these unusual circumstances. If possible, try to keep this space dedicated to studying only and away from any other activities. This will help you to build an association between studying and your environment, reducing your likelihood of getting distracted by other activities.
2. Keep your study space clean and tidy
Mess can be a big distraction. We’ve all been there when we’ve began tidying, found something we thought we’d lost and got distracted. If your work space is clean, you won’t be able to get distracted and it will increase your productivity because you’ll know exactly where to find everything you need.
3. Create a routine
You should create a plan of when you are going to study and when you are going to relax. This will help you to stay focused for a short period whilst studying and relax when you need to. It is recommended to spend between 30 minutes to 2 hours focusing on one activity and reward yourself with a 15-30 minute break. Creating a plan may also limit distractions from people around you because you can create boundaries by explaining when you will be available to spend time with them and when you must study. Remember it’s just as important to take breaks as it is to study.
4. Get dressed
Although you’re at home and nobody will see you wearing your pyjamas, it’s a good idea to get dressed into something a bit smarter. This is because it will put you in the mindset of being at University and studying, rather than in the mindset of relaxing. Of course you can still wear something warm and comfortable, but creating a studying mindset is key to staying focused.
5. Set obtainable goals
Goals are a way of motivating yourself and keeping yourself on task. We often lose focus because we don’t find what we are doing beneficial and we would rather be doing something else. Goals could be things such as not checking your phone for 30 minutes or finishing writing a paragraph of your essay. It also helps to create bigger and more long-term goals so you understand why the small goals are important. For example, revising this lecture will get me one step closer to being prepared for my exam, and that gets me one step closer to graduating university.
6. Reward yourself
When you’ve hit one of your goals, you should reward yourself. This will motivate you to continue your hard work and increase the likelihood of you hitting your next goal. Plus, rewards are another way of taking a break and its really important to have an balanced relationship between studying and relaxing.
7. Work on one task at a time
You might think that multitasking is an effective way of getting your work done faster, but it means that you are spreading your focus across multiple tasks. Completing one thing at a time will help you to keep focused and prevent burnout. Plus, this means can reward yourself after each task, rather than after completing 3 tasks, which helps to create a healthier balance.
8. Switch up your studying methods
Doing the same thing over and over can get boring, which quickly leads us to look for a more entertaining distraction. Therefore, switching up your studying methods can make things more interesting. You can try using listen again, watching youtube videos, testing yourself, making a mind-map, creating flash cards, studying with friends, and the list goes on!