Finding a quiet and distraction-free place to study is one of the most common study tips you probably hear. But what if you can’t find the perfect study space? If you’re having trouble focusing because you’re interrupted by roommates, your kids or even your own wandering mind, don’t stress ─ there are many ways to solve this problem.
You don’t have to go to a silent library to get the most out of your study session. Instead, you simply need to know how to make the best of the space you have, whether it’s a coffee shop, home office or even a small space in the kitchen. Sometimes you just have to get a little creative.
1: Claim Your Territory
Find a room or space in your house and make sure everyone in your home knows that it will become your study space. If you are in a room where you can close the door, put a sign on it to indicate that you are studying so everyone knows not to disturb you. If your study space is the dining room table, find something to put on the table or hang from your chair that tells everyone you are studying, so they know not to distract you.
2: Get Rid of as Many Distractions as Possible
Turn your phone off completely or turn notification and text message sounds off so you can still receive phone calls if needed. Log out of everything on your computer that you don’t need for studying - i.e. Facebook, instant message services, email, etc. You might be surprised at how productive you are by completely eliminating all distractions. While it doesn’t take long to read a text message or post a Facebook status update, it breaks your concentration, making it difficult to get back on track.
3: Play Music with No Lyrics
If a completely quiet study space is not possible, try putting on music with no lyrics to help you tune out other distractions. Classical music is often recommended, as it is relaxing and peaceful, helping you to focus. While listening to a mix of your favorite tracks might be more fun, there’s a good chance you’ll want to focus more on the music than your coursework, which defeats the purpose. If possible, listen to your music with a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones to help you block out the world around you!
4: Anticipate Future Needs before Starting to Study
Think about what you or anyone in your home will need while you are studying so you can take care of it before you get started. Will you need a drink or snack while you’re studying? Maybe your kids will want a snack or to watch a movie? Does your roommate always seem to lose the TV remote as soon as you sit down to study? You’ll be less likely to be interrupted if you can fulfill these needs before you start studying. After taking care of these tasks, make it clear that you’re not available for the next hour or two, as you’ll be busy with schoolwork.