How to study in distracting placesPosted on 26/04/2017 by Jess O'Connor
If life was perfect, we’d all study from a beautiful home office, tucked away from distractions like our kids, the fridge, and that never-ending pile of washing. But for most of us, studying from home looks less like Pinterest and more like revising notes on a messy kitchen bench while your kids ‘play the drums’ on pots and pans in the background – right?
Sometimes the dream of a gorgeous home office just isn’t practical. Maybe you don’t have the space? Or maybe you just never sit at your desk because you always need to be somewhere else?
If this sounds like you, it might be time to give up on the dream of a home office and instead learn how to study from anywhere – be it a friend’s couch, a noisy cafe, the local library, or your messy bedroom floor.
While these study spaces aren’t ideal, sometimes you have to start somewhere. It’s better to be flexible about where you can study than to procrastinate until you create the ‘perfect’ environment.
Here are three tips for channeling your inner Jedi so you can study in distracting places.
Create a portable ‘study kit’
If you’re always studying in different places, you need to be able to take your study things with you wherever you go. Create a portable ‘study kit’ – fill a backpack with everything you need to work on your assignments.
Here are some great study tools to include in your kit:
- Laptop (and charger)
- Pens and highlighters
- Drink bottle
- Healthy snacks
- Post-it notes
Keep everything you need in one place so you can find it quickly and easily.
Use a timer
When you’re studying in a new place, there are usually a lot of distractions. Whether the TV is too loud, someone in the library has the sniffles, or the dirty dishes in the kitchen are making you feel anxious, you need to find a way to focus – and fast.
A great way to focus is by using a timer. Set the stopwatch on your phone for 25 minutes and commit to studying. Once the timer goes off, you can take a short break to get a glass of water or look at your surroundings. Then, set the timer again and repeat the cycle. It’s amazing how quickly your brain can focus when it feels like it’s racing against the clock!
Using a timer will also help you keep track of how many hours you spend studying. By focussing intently for 25-minute blocks, you will hopefully get a lot done in just a few hours.
Invest in noise-cancelling headphones
Next time you try to study somewhere noisy, just block out the noise! Invest in some good quality noise-cancelling headphones that you can wear in libraries, cafes, or when your kids want to watch cartoons on maximum volume.
Choose music that helps you focus. Most people find it hard to concentrate when listening to songs with lyrics, so opt for vocal-free classical, house, or electronica instead. Or, just put the headphones on with no sound – it’s amazing how much noise they block out even when you’re listening to nothing at all.
Good luck and happy studying!
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