Studying at home can be great! You are surrounded by your home comforts, in a relaxed environment and don’t need to waste time travelling anywhere. However, not everyone knows how to study at home well and find staying focused difficult. It can be easy to procrastinate and get off track.
Our homes are full of potential distractions, the TV, the chance to take a nap, social media, cleaning! All of these are big productivity killers that take you away from your goal of studying.
Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to help you stay focused. Here are our top tips to help you stay focused and get more done when you are studying at home.
Tips for Studying at Home
1. Try Active Studying
Active studying means getting involved in what you are studying rather than passively absorbing it. It engages us and makes us take in more from the materials.
It can be as simple as asking yourself questions before, during, and after study time. This means you are engaged from the start and it helps to keep you on track and can help you improve your next study session.
Questions you could ask:
- What am I about to learn?
- What do I already know about this?
- How does it fit in the bigger picture?
- What are the key words and ideas?
- Do I understand what I just read?
- Can I write it in different words?
- What can I take away from this session?
- What do I need to review or learn next time?
2. Sleep Well
Learners of all ages should get at least eight hours of sleep every night. It’s the best way to ensure that the brain is refreshed and ready to process all of the information learned during the day.
A full night’s sleep is especially important the night before an exam—a good night’s sleep improves your memory for test material, leading to a better performance in the exam.
There are loads of tips out there to help you get some sleep. Here are a few of our tried and tested ones:
- Try listening to calm music or a meditation before sleep
- Cut out the caffeine after midday and try herbal teas instead
- Have a bed-time routine
- Spend some time making sure your room is comfortable, dark and the right temperature
- Read a book in bed (a real paper book is preferable to a digital one)
3. Eat Well
The food you eat matters. Your body (and in particular, your brain) needs fuel to function well. Additionally, being hungry makes it really difficult to focus on studying. Have healthy snacks while you study, but make sure they’re prepared in advance so you don’t use preparing them as another procrastination tool!
4. Use a Timer
One method that has been shown to work well is the Pomodoro technique. In this method, you break tasks into small manageable chunks of 20-25 minutes. You then fully concentrate for these 25 minutes and plan in a short break afterwards. It has been shown to help productivity and learning retention as our brains focus better if we work in small chunks of time.
5. Use a Habit Tracker
One of my personal favourite (and free) trackers to use is Habitica. Habitica keeps me on track, it has sections for a to-do list, habits and daily routines. It has a slight gamification element to it and you can join guilds and parties with other people who act as your accountability partners.
We’d love to know what tools you use. If you have any suggestions for us about how to study at home.
You can also check out our work from home tips too for suggestions of how to look after yourself whilst working from home.