10 Tips for studying at home
It can be difficult to study at home when everyone’s around and you’re not used to it. Here are our 9 tips for studying at home and how to make the most of it.
1. Go to bed early and get up early
We know that when you don’t have to go into school every day it can be easy to let your sleep schedule slip. However, it is important not only that you get enough sleep but also that you have a regular sleep schedule. Not only does insufficient sleep reduce your concentration and productivity, studies have shown that an irregular sleep pattern has the same effect. We recommend getting up around the same time you would if you were going to school, and going to sleep early enough each night to ensure you get a good 8 hours.
2. Work while everyone else is working.
If other members of your family are working from home, working at the same times as them can be a good idea. It can be a lot easier to work while the house is quiet and you know everyone is working, rather than trying to do all of your work while others are relaxing or making noise around the house. If your house is never quiet, it might be a good idea to get ear plugs, or to put in earphones with no music playing, to try and give you a quiet study environment.
3. Have a designated study desk if you can
If you can, set aside a desk for the sole purpose of doing school work. You should only sit at this desk if you are doing school work and you shouldn’t do your school work anywhere else. Doing this will allow you to separate working from relaxing, especially if you study in your room. It can be difficult to do everything in your house, so setting aside a specific spot for studying will allow you to segregate work from normal home life.
4. Set clear daily goals
It is important when you start studying each day that you know exactly what you want to get done that day. Having exactly the different items you need to tick off planned out helps keep you motivated, as you don’t feel like you are going to be sitting at the desk forever. You also get a sense of achievement from completing the list of tasks and this sets you up nicely for the next day’s work. Otherwise it can be easy to feel like you are just sitting at a desk everyday not making any progress.
5. Plan your breaks
Having planned breaks in your day can help to keep you motivated as you know that your work will be rewarded in a short amount of time. It is important to plan short breaks throughout the day, as studying for a long period in the without a break, although possible, may make it more difficult for you to concentrate when you sit down to work later that day. Also towards the end of long periods of study without a break, your concentration decreases and you work less efficiently.
6. Switch off social media while studying
Studies have shown that just having your phone in sight or within reach while you are working can decrease your concentration by around 15% as part of your brain is actively working to not pick up the phone. For this reason we recommend leaving your phone on airplane mode either outside, or at the other end, of the room. Ideally if you’re studying with online resources, you should use a laptop with no social media tabs open, or a tablet with no social media apps downloaded. If, however your phone is your only option we recommend that you download one of the many apps which locks your social media apps for a set period of time.
7. Make sure you go outside every day
It can be easy to not leave your house for a couple of days in the current climate. However it is important that you get outside and get some fresh air. Even a 10 minute walk has been shown to improve concentration. Also getting out in the fresh air during the day can help you sleep at night, and you are less likely to feel housebound.
8. Don’t spend too long on one topic
Spending too long on one topic can lead to boredom and frustration. If when making your plan you mix up the types of studying you are doing, it can help to keep you interested. For example if you are learning quotes for English, it might be a good idea to follow this with Maths study, as these are two completely different types of studying. After Maths, you could do a practice essay for a language subject and so on. Doing shorter intervals of different types of studying, as in the example just given, (learning off, then problem solving, then creating) can help to prevent you from becoming bored with the work you’re doing. (If you’re looking for tips specifically for studying maths check out our post here)
9. Stay in touch with your friends
Organising to call your friends in the evenings is a great way of brightening your day. A simple plan like this can help you feel motivated while you are studying that day as you have something to look forward to. Also if you know you are going to talk to your friends that evening you might not feel the need as much to text them while you’re meant to be studying. Finally, talking to your friends is important for your mental health, as well as a reminder that although you may be working alone you are not alone preparing for the Leaving Cert.
10. Stick with it
We know it can be extremely difficult to study at the moment, but if you stick with it you will be delighted with yourself come Autumn. Your results are in your hands, if you put the work in between now and the end of July you will be rewarded for that. We know you can do it and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to send us a message!
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