Studying at Home
Studying at home may be the most convenient way to study and do your homework, but home is also full of distractions. That's where a lot of our favorite stuff is! It can be tough to stay focused when studying at home, but there are a lot of things you can do to avoid distractions and get your work completed.
Find a Private Place to Study
It's important to have a private place to study in your home. While you're trying to study for an upcoming test, parents, siblings, and roommates may have questions they want to ask you, requests to make, games to play, and or do any number of things to try to get your attention. Even when people you live with don't mean to, they can be distracting if you're trying to study in a common area like a living room or a kitchen where people are talking, watching television, and going about their day.
Find a private place to study, such as your bedroom, an office space, a basement, an attic, or even outside if the weather is nice. Giving yourself some space to be alone and focus on your studies is one of the most important steps you can take to get your work done. And once you have found your private place to study, you should clearly communicate to anyone who might distract you that you would like to study and would like not to be disturbed.
Find a Quiet Place or Listen to Music
A place to study should also be quiet. It won't do you any good to find a private place if you can still hear distractions down the hall, or a noisy neighbor outside.
A quiet place can be easier said than done if you have a busy house or if there is a lot of distracting noise coming from outside. Another strategy you can use here is to put on headphones and listen to music while you study. Music without lyrics (classical, jazz, metal, hip-hop beats, etc…) can help block out the distractions around you and center you on your studies. If you're not sure what music in your collection would be a good fit for studying, Youtube is full of playlists of 'music to study to.'
- Please note: while music can be a good way to tune out distractions, you don't want to damage your hearing by turning the volume up on your headphones too loud. Always listen to your music at a safe decibel level.
Online and Mobile Distractions
The internet is a great learning tool, and it's likely that you'll want it at your disposal as you study or complete your homework. But we all know that the internet is also full of distractions, and at any given time you're only one click away from funny videos, social media, messaging your friends, or falling down a rabbit hole on Google.
When studying online, you might find it useful to install 'website blocking software' in order to block the sites you find yourself distracted by the most. There are several free and easy-to-install website blockers available for any given browser, and this can be a good option for you if you're finding that the temptation to visit a certain website is too distracting for you to concentrate.
Once distracting sites have been dealt with, you may also find that your phone is equally distracting. If you're using your phone to study, you can search for similar website blocking programs in your app store. If you're not using your phone to study, you might consider putting it on airplane mode or turning it off while you study. This will also help you stop distractions from phone calls and texts.
In addition to online and mobile distractions on the very devices you're using to study, you may find that the objects in the private, quiet place you've found to study can also be distracting. You might be tempted to turn on a television, pick up a guitar, play a video game, read a book, or any number of things that might strike you as more interesting than studying at that moment. One thing you can do is try to eliminate these physical distractions from your space (unplug the TV, move the guitar to another room, unplug/remove the video games, etc…)
However, other distractions might not be so easy to remove: you might remember a chore you wanted to get done, you might get hungry or thirsty, you might remember an old friend you've been meaning to message, or any number of other distractions that will come to mind. For those, you might find it useful to make a study schedule.
Make a Study Schedule and Stick to It
If you simply say to yourself 'I'm going to study for a while,' you might find that you don't end up getting anything done at all due to distractions, or just calling it a day before you've studied what you set out to focus on.
Committing to a more concrete schedule can help you stay focused because it can provide guidance and boundaries when you feel yourself losing interest in your studies. By saying 'I'm going to study from 6-7 PM,' you've given yourself a firm start and stop time to study. So when 6:30 rolls around and you're losing interest, and you're thinking about getting up to get a snack, you can remind yourself that you committed to studying from 6-7, and can push the distraction away instead of giving in. You can always take care of those other tasks or distractions before or after your study session.
Engaging Online Learning
Studying from textbooks and classroom notes can be prone to distraction because you may feel bored and the information can feel uninteresting and dry. One way to prevent yourself from being distracted could be to use an engaging online learning resource, such as Study.com.
Study.com offers tens of thousands of short, fun online videos that can help you study a wide variety of subject areas, and prepare for a large number of standardized exams. Using Study.com's videos can be a good way to keep your attention focused, and after each short lesson you can test your retention with a short 5-question quiz
Studying at home is convenient, but avoiding distractions can be tough. Some methods we recommend to study hard and avoid distraction are:
- Find a private place to study and use clear communication with those around you that you don't want to be distracted.
- Find a quiet place to study, or else use music to help you tune out distractions and focus on your work. Music with no lyrics can be a good fit for this.
- Avoid online and mobile distractions, or even eliminate them altogether with website blocking software. If you're not using your phone to study, you might consider putting it on airplane mode or shutting it off.
- Remove physical distractions, such as video games, from your space.
- Make a schedule and stick to it! Committing to a schedule can be more effective than simply saying you want to study 'for a while.'
- Utilize engaging online education resources. Sites like Study.com provide interesting, fun, short videos that can help you learn and may hold your attention better than textbooks or class notes.