Where you study is just as important as when you study. We have already talked about the importance of setting up a regular time to study. This week, I want to talk about where you study.
The things to think about when deciding on a good place to study vary with each person, but there are a few things all of us need to consider.
The first thing to consider is distractions. Do you have a place to study that is free from distractions? Distractions can be many things. TV, music, kids, dogs, you name it. In order to get the most out of your study time, it is best to choose a place that is free of distractions.
I used to be one of those who thought I needed music in the background when I study. But as I progressed to more difficult subjects, I found myself turning off the music more and more. I needed quiet to think and process what I was reading.
I am fortunate to have a quiet place in the basement of my home where I set up my office. I do a lot of things in my space. I study, write, record a podcast, listen to music, and occasionally watch TV. But when I sit down to read or write, I turn everything off so I can focus. (In fact, I just reached over and turned off my music as I began to write this blog.)
Another thing I must be careful about is email, texting, and all those notifications that pop up whenever someone posts on Facebook or LinkedIn. These can be very distracting, too. I will be deep in thought about something and “bloop!” there is a notification that I have a new email message. When that happens, it is difficult for me to ignore and I have to stop and read it. So, knowing that about myself, I shut down my email apps and other notifications. If you are like me, I need all the time I can get for study, and the less distractions I have, the quicker I can get my work done.
Many of my students tell me that it is difficult to find a quiet space to work because they have little kids to care for, and when they need something, they can’t just ignore them. I get that. That is why I suggest to those in that situation that you do your homework and study before they wake up or after they go to bed in the evening. Some people can do their homework while their little ones are napping, too. If you have young children at home, you just need to figure out what works best for you.
Some students tell me that they do not have the space to get away from family activity, and they have to do their homework in the midst of it at the kitchen table. If you are in that situation, then you may need to get a little creative. One suggestion is to put on some headphones with some very soft music or nature sounds. Something that is not distracting but will help to cover up the noise in the house.
Whatever your situation, it is important that you find a place that is conducive to your studying. You need to eliminate as many distractions as you can so you can focus.