Whether you are studying online, combining uni with a full-time job, or juggling kids and study, working at home can be a serious challenge. At home, there are interruptions, requests, noise, and ever-tempting distractions. Some days getting any study done at home can feel impossible, but with these hacks you can fast track your progress and instantly reduce your frustration levels!
1. Create a study space
It needs a door that you can shut or better-yet, lock! Next, you need head phones to drown out any background noise that may distract you. Bring in ALL the gear you need – books, papers and devices to reduce the need to leave your space. Add a large bottle of water, some snacks, a fan or blanket and you are all set!
2. No more distractions
Turn off your phone and computer notifications. If you’re brave, even try turning off your Internet while trying to write or read! The more focused you are, the quicker you will power through your mountain of work.
3. Goal setting
Set a goal for the week, month or session. Whether it’s finishing a chapter, hitting a word count or getting through a number of exercises, a clear goal will keep you motivated when your attention is flagging.
4. Be intentional
Intentionally pick times to study when:
- a) you feel most alert and energetic
- b) the other members of your household are less likely to interrupt you
This may mean early mornings, late nights or using nap times to get study done.
5. Time it
Set a timer to do twenty-minute bursts of study followed by a five-minute break. Taking your break inside your study space will limit distractions. Try a quick five- minute meditation app, a few stretches, or closing your eyes and listening to two songs to refresh you.
Talk to the people you live with – tell them what you need to get done and when you need to get it done by. This technique encourages others to respect your study time and space, it gives you extra motivation to get going and also means that your spouse/kids/flatmates can keep you accountable if they find you lying on the couch watching TV.
7. Plan in advance
Banish decision fatigue and make a monthly study plan. Actually print out and stick it in your study place and on your fridge. You will automatically save time each study session as you won’t need to decide on what to do.
8. Swiss cheese method
Start by tacking little easy tasks to create ‘holes’ in your big task or ‘slice of cheese.’ You will find that after gaining momentum with lots of little tasks, getting everything completed becomes so much easier.
9. Embrace the flexibility
If the sun is shining and you need to read two chapters of your psychology text, then change it up and sit in your backyard to study!
10. Rewards go a long way
Gift yourself with a little reward after the study session. It can be a cup of coffee in the sun, a walk, a nap – whatever feels restorative for you.