Final exam sessions are important part of college life. Students need to focus and prepare well for the exams. Libraries may not be the best option as they may be more of a crowded panic room rather than study place at that time of the year. So why not try to study at home? It should be more quiet than the college library and the student can get a snack at any time. There could be also lots of distractions such as cell phone, Facebook, the TV and maybe some intolerant roommates.
Below we present five tips that could help you to stay focused when studying from home.
- Get comfortable. At home the student may study while wearing their pajamas all day and stay in bed. After all, Winston Churchill has worked in bed every morning. Still, a dedicated workplace such as a table or a desk may help better to get into the “study mode”. The student just needs to feel comfortable while sitting there and have a good lighting to stay productive for a longer time.
- Don’t multitask. Multitasking is bad for productivity while studying and is also bad for the brain. Pomodoro(Italian for tomato) technique may be helpful. Use a timer or alarm clock for 25 minutes and use that interval(called Pomodoro) for one task only. After each Pomodoro take a five-minute break away from the desk. If you get any other thoughts during a Pomodoro, write them on a piece of paper and get back to the Pomodoro task.
- Take breaks. It is very easy to get stuck at home when you do everything there. It is important to take regular breaks from the screen and use techniques such as Pomodoro. Checking Facebook from your smartphone while on a break doesn’t count as a break. What you do should be off-screen so that your eyes and brain can relax. You can walk around the house, go on the balcony or in the garden. You can even do some home exercises for your shoulders, neck, back and wrists.
- Switch distractions off but not fully. If your smartphone distracts you often with apps like Facebook and Instagram, you can use an app that prevents you from using your phone in certain intervals of time. Moment is an app that can help you to do that. It will send annoying, vibrating notifications every time you try to use your phone during the forbidden intervals. You can also use tools like Trello and Asana that can help you to stay on task and coordinate your social life and studies. You can use them to create different projects, tasks and deadlines, and communicate with fellow students in different study groups. Being in a too quiet room can make it as hard to focus as it is in a noisy one and some people prefer to have some quiet music or white noise as a background. Noisli is a browser app that can help you create and customize white noise. It can also save your favorite combos and has an in-built Pomodoro timer. You can also use headphones if you prefer to study without any noise.
- Inform people around you to leave you alone. Studying from home may give the impression to the people around you that you are free and they may distract you often. The best thing is to inform them that you really need to study and they should not contact you that day or period for unimportant things.