Feeling Distracted? Here Are 10 Tips On How You Can Have a Productive Study Session at Home

By Suhanah Khamis | 06, Apr, 2020
Feeling Distracted? Here Are 10 Tips On How You Can Have a Productive Study Session at Home

Each one of us may have our own preferred study spots. Some like quiet places like the library, while some may prefer parks. Some prefer cafes, while some prefer designated public study corners. For some students, choosing the right study area is important to ensure productivity. However, due to the recent COVID-19 situation, schools are disrupted as most students have been scheduled for home-based learning. The public is also encouraged to avoid crowded places and stay at home. There has also been recent closures of public spaces like the library, as a precautionary measure. As such, this has an effect on students who may no longer study at places they used to frequent. 

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We can all agree that home is always the best place to be. At home, we are away from the pressures of the outside world and we can do almost anything at home, comfortably. But of course, it's not all pros when it comes to studying at home.

Trust me, when you are too comfortable at home, there comes the distraction. From watching shows on your favorite movie sites to checking social media every few minutes and worst still, not being able to resist the temptation of sleeping on your comfortable bed, your motivation to study slowly disappears. This makes it difficult for you to have a productive study session as you tend to dread studying and completing your assignments. But hey, don't get demotivated and fret about it. Who says studying at home is always unproductive? Here are 10 tips on how you can have a productive study session at the comfort of your home!

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1. Study at a Conducive Study Space

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Studying at your bed is a no-no. This must be avoided at all costs because the next thing you want to avoid is taking too much nap and forgetting your actual goals for the day. If you don't have a study space for yourself, then it's time to create one! You can find your new favorite spot in the house, be it the dining table or the desk in your room. If you find your study area too dull or stiffle, you can recreate your study environment by introducing new decorations or colours. Houseplants are a good example as it improves air quality and makes your study place more serene. But most importantly, keeping your study space tidy and neat gives a positive vibe and will motivate you further to complete your daily tasks.

2. Create a Timetable or Schedule 

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We are all used to our school timetables; our class durations and break times are all listed down. Similarly, creating your own timetables or schedule for studying helps to keep you on track. Plan your day out and write them down so that you can visualize your time spent and refer to them whenever needed. You can be flexible (and creative!) but at the same time, discipline yourself to follow the timetable or schedule that you have designed for yourself. Segregate your time for study, breaks and also praying time. This is very helpful especially if you have multiple subjects to study so that you can keep track of the time allocated for each activity. Also, you can have a stopwatch or timer next to you, to help you keep track of the time. 

3. Eat Healthy Fruits or Snacks

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Caffeine will definitely keep us fresh and awake but alas, since we are away from our favorite cafes that we used to frequent, we may no longer be able to drink the nice coffee we always do. Snacking while doing our work can also do the trick as it can keep us awake and alert. If you are alternating between sweets and crackers, how about a healthier choice like fruits or cereal? Before the word 'healthy' makes you back away, try dark chocolate or almonds. Both almonds and dark chocolate can boost up your mood and provide you some energy. Other nuts like cashew and walnuts can do wonders too. You can also mix different kinds of fruits to create a fruit salad. Not only will it provide energy to the brain, but it also provides vitamins and fibers to the body. Another great snack combination that you can consider are apples dipped in peanut butter.

4. Have a Healthy breakfast and Lunch 

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While we are at healthy snacks, we should not forget to eat healthily for the rest of our meals too! Having a proper diet can help you to focus better and be more attentive. It can also improve your mood. A proper diet consists of meals built on a high protein, omega-3, healthy fats and fiber. On a side note, skipping meals is a no-no! You can lose focus and get distracted easily. Start your day right by eating a healthy breakfast to help you sustain for the day. As for lunch, you can incorporate more greens in your meals or switch to brown rice, depending on your preference. 

5. Take Short Breaks

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We are not robots. We can't work or study non-stop as it will definitely tire us out. Thus, taking breaks are important. It helps you to retain information better, increase your focus as well as reduce stress. But how can we ensure that taking breaks in between studying is effective? One recommendation is that you should take short breaks set every 20-30 minutes. Take this period to stretch your muscles and relax your mind. Look out of the window to enjoy the fresh air and to rest your eyes. Always remember to keep yourself hydrated too. Try to stay away from social media during this short period as much as possible as it can get you carried away. You can even take a short power nap to refresh your mind.

6. Form Mini Group Chats or Online Video Calls with Friends

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Having mini group chats or video calls with your peers for studying purposes, can boost your motivation to study. It is also the best way to keep yourself attentive and on track. This is because your understanding and perception of the subject may differ and through this medium, you can always discuss and share new ideas. This gives you a better understanding on certain topics and concepts. It is also easier to memorize information when you are discussing it with someone else. It is thus recommended that you create mini group chats or video calls with your friends to update each other on your daily study progress. 

7. Ask for Help from your Teachers, Friends or Family 

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It can be frustrating when you continuously get stuck on a certain topic. One solution is to move on and try out a new topic, and come back to that previous topic later on. However, if you still encounter difficulties, you should ask for help and clarify the topic with someone. You can seek assistance from your teachers or peers, either through email or by sending them a text message. Remember that studying alone doesn't mean that you can't ask for help from anyone. Apart from breaking away from the state of confusion, you will also have a deeper understanding of the topics. Never be afriaid to ask!

8. Determine your Study Techniques

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As cliche as it sounds, we all have our own abilities and skills. Some things might work for you but not for the rest. Determining your study techniques and style will help you to memorize better and effectively. It is an ongoing process to find what out works best for you. Depending on your preferred style, you can write notes after every lecture or simplify your study materials to help you understand and retain concepts better. You may use charts or mind maps to help you visualize (and see if this works for you). This doesn't only simplify the information given but it also helps you to remember key words and concepts that stand out for the topic. Never be afraid to try out new studying techniques because after all, this is an on-going process!

9. Have Sufficient Sleep

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You may have heard students burning the midnight oil regularly to study and if you were to ask me how effective it is, it actually depends on your learning style. The timing where one is productive differs as some people concentrate better in the morning while others are night owls. Of course, there is no denying that it is more peaceful and quiet to study at night when everyone else is asleep, but it is more beneficial to get enough rest. Getting at least eight hours of sleep ensures that you get sufficient energy to get through the day. It also allows you to process information better and makes you more alert. Studying too late at night can tire you out so we suggest you get a good night's sleep to prepare for the day. 

10. Good Intention

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We are taught in Islam to always have a good intention in everything that we do in our daily life. The same goes for studying. We can easily attain knowledge when we have good intentions. Apart from this, we should always seek forgiveness and protect ourselves from undesirable traits such as arrogance and self-pride. It doesn't only help us to understand the topic easily but it also makes us more open to learning new things. Always be humble and help our friends who are struggling in their studies. With mini online chat groups and online video calls available, we can always check up on our friends and guide them if they are struggling to complete a task. By helping to guide and teach others, we too can benefit. Insha Allah.

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There you have it, 10 tips on how you can have a productive study session at home! Who says studying at home isn't always effective? With these 10 recommended tips, you can plan your study sessions at home better and adjust to studying at home during this COVID-19 situation. With that, we wish all our readers great health. Stay safe and stay home. 

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Suhanah is always traveling to find inspiration and tranquility. She works on shift based, writes during her free time and loves art.

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