The convenience of online education allows students to take courses and earn a degree on their own time. While this flexible schedule is ideal for those who balance work, family and socializing with their studies, it may be tricky to maximize studying time. Here are five ways to increase productivity during studying – and make sure you’re using your time wisely.
Go To An Unfamiliar Place
Imagine sitting down in your kitchen or living room, ready to study for an exam, only to be distracted by the dog barking, the washing machine rumbling, the doorbell ringing or hearing the theme song to your favorite TV show. Don’t tempt yourself with these distractions; go to a nearby coffee shop, library or other low-key establishment. By taking yourself out of a familiar place where distractions are common, you’ll minimize your risk of losing focus.
Cancel Out the Noise
Of course, not every establishment will offer the perfectly quiet and empty atmosphere you need. Instead of allowing yourself to listen to a conversation at another table, invest in noise-cancelling headphones. Brands like Bose, Harman Kardon, Soul and Sony all offer choices. Create a playlist of soft, relaxing music that will help you concentrate on your studies, not other people’s conversations.
Say No to Technology
Now that you’ve set yourself up in a quiet environment, don’t let technology get the best of you. With the increasing rise of social media, it’s hard not to constantly wonder what your friends are up to or check up on the latest news stories. Mac users can download the SelfControl app, which allows them to plug in website URLs and other distracting things on the Internet.Users can set the length of time to block out these websites so even when mental temptation wins, they won’t be able to physically access the sites.
Set Up Goals & Rewards
Rewarding yourself for doing a good job could be motivation enough to study hard for long periods of time. Tell yourself that if you study for an hour straight, you’ll treat yourself to a dessert. If you complete your study goals for the week, go see a movie or dine out for a nice meal. After a test has been taken or a class has been completed, if the outcome is great thanks to your studying efforts, splurge on a larger reward you’ve been wanting. By giving yourself this type of motivation, you’ll want to work hard and reap the benefits.
Don’t Be Afraid To Enlist Help
Make your situation known among friends and family. Explain how important studying for this test or class is and ask for help. Two great things will come from telling your friends and family: support and assistance. Your loved ones will support your efforts to study hard by leaving you alone during study time and not causing extra distractions, while offering their encouraging words and gestures. They will also assist you in reaching your goals by not allowing you to cave in to distraction (because a good friend won’t accept your invitation to go shoe shopping when she knows you should be studying!)
Incorporate these tips into your daily studying schedule and you’ll be on the road to more focused and devoted studying sessions.