For studying to be successful, you first have to consider your learning environment. Take a look at your favorite places to study. Are they full of temptations and distractions that could sabotage your efforts? Use the following guidelines to improve your study environment:
- Keep it simple
Unless you're short on options, it's best to choose a study area that is free of personal electronics (e.g., TV, smart phone, computer, video games, etc.). Otherwise, power down electronics until you're finished all of your work. Powering back on can be your motivation and reward for getting through your study session without caving to temptation. Food can also be a distraction. If studying in an area where food is readily available, stock up on snacks before you hit the books, and bring a limited amount of cash if near a cafeteria, food court or vending machine.
- Communicate your intentions
Be sure to let roommates, family and friends know that you are studying and the amount of time you are planning to study. This way they'll know to keep the volume down if in the same living space, and that you won't be responding to texts, calls or emails during that time.
- Get comfortable, but not too comfortable
In order to keep yourself on track, you need to be comfortable but also alert. This means finding an area with a comfortable upright chair, ample surface-space for your books and supplies, sufficient lighting, and moderate temperature. Studying in bed or on a couch will often lead to drowsiness and napping. Dim lighting and warm temperatures can also make you feel tired and less alert.