Study Tips from Lina, Part 1: Environment

by on Apr 12th, 2020

Studying in the same location and environment has been shown to act as a trigger for your body and mind that it is time to study/work and it involves a few components if they are possible:

 

  • Studying in the same location
    • If possible, studying in the exact same location every time allows your brain to associate that setting with studying. Over time, this location you’ve designated for studying will trigger a “study response” whenever you are there, which will make it easier for you to focus and be productive.

 

  • If studying in the same location isn’t plausible for you, then focus on creating an environment that can easily be replicated every time you study.
    • Creating an environment to study in requires consistency, since you won’t be in the same location every time replicating as many aspects of a good study environment is essential to having this from a “study response” for you.
      • White noise – this is easily replicated and not hard to maintain.
      • Set-up – having a consistent set-up when you study helps your brain recognize similar environmental factors and associate them with studying.
        • This refers to the initial set up before you start studying, a snapshot if you will, of the space you are studying in that will more or less always be the same.
          • When setting up your space if you always put your textbooks to the left of your laptop and notebook/cue cards/etc. Set up your space like this every time you study. Then just look at your set up for about 10-15 seconds (a snapshot). Having the same set up and recognizing it every time before you start studying can effectively turn into a study response trigger when done consistently.

 

  • Studying at the same time
    • Studying at the same time every day consistently also acts to trigger you brain to study, this will help long-term to from that “study response.”

 

  • ONLY STUDYING ALLOWED
    • Pick a location/environment that will ONLY be used for studying, don’t use your phone use at all unless it’s for school (I recommend not even having it in sight so your aren’t tempted to go on it). No gaming, Netflix, doodling, etc. By allowing yourself to partake in activities that aren’t studying you diminish the effectiveness of a “study response” by telling your brain it’s okay to do anything besides study.

 

A good rule to have in place for this tip:

If you need/want to check on your phone/do something that isn’t related to your studying, remove yourself from your study location/environment. Turn away from your desk/step away from your location/pause your music, white noise or silence by removing noise cancelling headphones and ear plugs. This will keep your location/environment separate and designated for studying, which will strengthen your study response to it.

 

Study in quite place away from people

 

This one seems pretty obvious for most people, but some say they study better with music and noise. If that’s the case, props to you, but it’s been shown that the lyrics in music or background conversations can cause studying to be less effective for most people. Studying in a quiet place away from people will cut down on things you can get distracted by, such as people talking or walking around you.

 

  1. If there is no place to study away from people, whether it’s because you have three sibling or your parents won’t leave you alone, try finding a table and chair you can designate as your study space and place it facing the corner of a room – this turns you away from all the action so you’ll be less distracted by movement behind you.

 

  1. Use earplugs to block out some of the excess noise

 

OR

 

  1. Use white noise – this will help drowned out excess noise and give you something consistent to listen to that shouldn’t be too distracting and helps to create a study environment (see tip 5).
    1. I recommend a free website called Noisli. It allows you to create your own noise patterns and save them and it’s completely FREE.
    2. There are also playlists on Spotify, Youtube, etc. find one that works for you and you’re good to go!