Whilst university is naturally the ideal environment for studying, increasingly, circumstances mean that you might not always be able to study on campus. While working at home is something we have all become very familiar with in the last couple of years, this does not mean we have all learnt to enjoy it or do it efficiently. Too often, studying at home means working for longer hours but having less motivation and energy to get things done. Ultimately, home is not a place designed for work. Nevertheless, it is important to be able to make the most of studying at home in order to avoid this affecting your learning and your grades.
Here are a few tips to help you be more productive when studying at home in particular:
Wake up early
It can be difficult to wake up early in the morning when you have no class or lecture to attend, especially when you know you can easily have a lie-in. However, even when working at home it is most beneficial to start the day early so that you have enough time to get things done. Rather than starting to study after half the day has passed, it is best to start your day by getting everything important and difficult out of the way before your energy and concentration start to wane. Create a morning routine to give yourself time to fully awaken and do something to energise you so that you are ready to focus properly, for example having a nice breakfast, doing some exercise, or doing some reading or journaling. Getting your work done early means that you will have time to relax for the remainder of the day as you unwind before going to sleep.
Get chores done beforehand
Unfortunately, staying at home means there are a number of chores to do alongside studying. These are just as important to make time for but can be very time-consuming and therefore leave limited time for doing university work. Moreover, it is easy to start studying and then find yourself being happily distracted by chores that need to be done, which look suddenly attractive when doing a difficult assignment. Instead, it is best to get any pressing and quick chores done before studying and allocate the rest for some other time outside of studying. Additionally, combine chores where you can to make more time to study and avoid chores taking up too much of your energy before you’ve even started studying. In particular, make sure your workspace and learning materials are clean and organised so that your working environment is uncluttered and that you aren’t tempted to start cleaning when you should be doing work.
Have a designated study space
In addition to having a clear working environment, it is important to pick an appropriate place to do some serious study. A crucial drawback of working at home is that you are used to doing countless other things there and therefore can easily be distracted from the task of studying, which requires immense focus. Accordingly, you need to ensure you try to replicate a proper working environment as closely as possible by creating a designated study space that is comfortable and practical, with everything you need to hand so that you do not have to keep getting up. If you have the luxury of space, work in a room other than your bedroom so that you aren’t as tempted to relax and get distracted. Otherwise, if you have to study in your bedroom, make sure you are working away from the bed, ideally at a desk. Other important considerations will include the noise levels, lighting, temperature, and WiFi reliability of your chosen study area. Making sure you have a study space that allows you to focus for extended periods is essential to boosting your productivity.
Get rid of distractions
When studying at home, there is little to stop you from getting easily distracted, especially if other people are not working around you. In order to concentrate on your work, it is essential to take steps to avoid any potential distractions. Firstly, you should disconnect your phone from the WiFi connection, stopping you from being pulled out of the zone when working by social media notifications or emails, whilst still allowing you to receive any important calls. In addition, you should place your phone out of sight so that you aren’t tempted to start checking it in the midst of studying. Secondly, you should make any people you live with aware of the times they shouldn’t disturb you so that you have a chance to fully concentrate on only your work.
Hopefully, you’ll find that you’re able to study more effectively following this process. However, even if you aren’t able to get everything done in one day, don’t be tempted to keep working into the night because you don’t have to travel back home as you would need to if you were studying on campus. Once you start feeling too tired, stop working and go to bed early so that you are ready to do it all again properly the next day.