Studying from home has certainly got many perks, it’s one of the many reasons people choose to study through the OU. It’s a low-pressure environment, it’s more comfortable, and it’s less regimented.
There are, of course, also some reasons why it can sometimes be difficult to study from home. There are many distractions, it’s far too easy to procrastinate, and when you do finally start, it can be extremely easy to get off track as quickly as you started.
When you are at home distraction and procrastination can certainly prevent you from accomplishing what needs to be done to study. Taking a nap, having lye in, scrolling through social media, catching up with your favorite TV show, cleaning, errands, and many other activities are massive productivity killers that can take you away from your ultimate goal of completing an assignment or studying for a test.
Fortunately for you, there are many tips and tricks that could help you to be more productive when studying at home.
Let’s have a look at some of the way you can stay more focused and achieve more when you are studying at home below:
Look At Active Studying
Active studying is where you make an effort to ask questions before, during, and after your study period. It helps to give your study session a better direction, and it enables you to keep on track and reflect on how you can make the next study session even better.
Some of the questions you should be asking yourself include:
- What am I going to be learning today?
- What do I already know about this topic?
- How does this new information fit into the bigger picture?
- Do I fully understand what I have just read and learned?
- Am I able to paraphrase it?
- Are there any keywords or new ideas that I should be writing down?
- Why are they considered important?
- What am I able to take away from this study time?
- What do I need to relook at, review, or learn in the next study session?
Get A Well-Rested Night
No matter what your age you should make sure you are getting at least the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, or, at least every school night. This is the best way to make sure you are ready and refreshed to start processing the new information that you are going to learn during the next study session. You may be tempted to stay up late or to cram in information, but you will find that it’s far more beneficial to get enough rest before you study. You will take in far more. A full night’s sleep is particularly important the night before a big test. It will help you to feel more alert and improve your memory of any test material, leading to a better test result.
Make Sure You Study At The Right Time
Each student is going to have times when they are up and down, and this means that students will also have times when they are more alert that could be completely different from the next. Some people are able to get up in the morning and jump onto studying straight away, others are night owls and feel more motivated in the evenings. Whichever way you are, make sure you studying when you know you are likely to be the most productive. Make sure you make the most of the times when you feel more productive, and never try to force yourself to study if you feel tired and unmotivated. You should aim to study when your brainpower is at its maximum. You will find that you are more alert, take on new information better, and also retain that information far better.
Create A Designated Study Area
Whether it’s a desk area in the living space of your home, your kitchen table, or in your bedroom. You need to create an ideal area to study in. If you are going to use your bedroom as your study zone, you should make sure you keep your bed for sleeping only, and never use it to sit on and study, it can make it far too easy to switch off and be drawn into taking a nap. Ideally having an area that you can section off as your study space such as a desk is the perfect solution. It will enable you to step away from distractions, have a clear purpose when you sit down and be able ot maintain a clean and organized space. This, in turn, enables you to put more time into studying and time finding the tools you need to do it.
The Right Tools For Studying
As well as making sure you have the right environment to study in, you need to also make sure you are well prepared when it comes to using the right tools. Whether it an iconic pair of reading glasses, a comfortable chair, a table lamp, etc they will all help to prepare you for studying. As well as practical tools like these, you also need to make sure you have a decent way of accessing your course. At the end of the day, an OU course is mainly online, therefore it’s imperative you not only have access to the internet at a good speed for webinars, but you also have a decent enough laptop or computer to complete your studies on.
When you are focused on studying it can be far too easy to forget how important it is to look after yourself. You can’t forget to eat. Your body and brain both need fuel in order to function properly and efficiently. And you have to admit it’s rather difficult to concentrate when your stomach is growling at you. Make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks available while you are studying, make them in advance if you can. This will help to limit the amount of time to take away from your studies. The longer you spend away, the less likely you are to continue. When it comes ot choosing your meals you should also try to eat a well-balanced diet. Eating rubbish, junk foods all the time isn’t great for you and can make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Healthy foods are also fantastic for your brainpower and can enable you to focus better.
Get Any House Chores Out Of The Way
If you can, it’s always better if you can get your daily chores completed before you start your study session. This will help you to avoid interruptions or get distracted by an incomplete to-do list. If you get your house chores out of the way first, it allows you to focus on the important task at hand, studying. Not to mention the fact that you can then start to look forward to relaxing once your studying session is complete rather than having the chores play on your mind and still waiting to be completed.
Build Yourself A Timetable
Building yourself a realistic timetable will help you to organize your time better. You should schedule your study time, your free time, your daily routine, and your breaks. A timetable particularly helps if you are working alongside studying or you have multiple subjects to study at once. Write your routine down so you are able to refer back to it when you need it. And do it often. If you have a planner, this is the ideal place to record your timetable. Look at the studying you need to do, when it needs to be completed, and set reasonable time limits and slots for each subject and also each day. Try to break your studying up into smaller chunks rather than taking an entire day, you will feel less pressured and more in control.
Although you may not like it to start with, using a timer assists you when it comes to making sure you stick to your timetable. Not only this, it will help you to remain focused on the tasks at hand, plus you are more likely to stick to working until the timer stops. It will aid you to stay on track and cover every piece of material that you need to. Above anything else, it reminds you to take a regular break away without feeling guilty.
Always Make The Most Out of Your Studying Time
Although it may seem like it’s really convenient, studying and focusing at home can be extremely difficult. Distraction and procrastination can easily happen. However, with some planning, organization, and commitment, it can also be extremely efficient and effective. Not to mention the fact that it is a really comfortable place to study at a pace that may suit you.
If you’ve just started studying at the OU why don’t you try some of these helpful tips to help you remain focused and more efficient with your studying time? Have you started using any other approached to your studying that helps you stay focused at home? Please share some of them in the comments below.