8 Useful Tips for Home Study
Home study might seem like a great idea but it takes a good deal of self-discipline to keep your mind on the job in hand and make effective use of your time. Here are some tried and tested tips for successful home studying to help you stay on track.
1. Create the Right Environment
Laying on your bed with music playing in the background and the lights down low might seem like a comfy space to study in but it won’t be conducive to productivity. Set aside an area specifically for study. The best environment is quiet and free from distractions, well-lit and well-ventilated and a comfortable temperature. If you can’t manage this at home, try relocating to the local library where you’ll find an area set aside specifically for quiet study and reading.
2. Get Organized
Good organization is very important if your study time is to be maximized. Gather up all the materials you will need before you start. If possible, store your text books and reference materials in your assigned study area together with a supply of pens and paper if you need them. If you’re planning to work away from your home office, make sure your laptop battery is charged fully or take the cable with you.
3. Stay Motivated
The best way to keep yourself motivated is to set little, staged goals and reward yourself with a treat or reward as each one is achieved. Sometimes a visual aid is good here, perhaps a poster displayed somewhere in your study area showing your milestones which you can tick off as you reach each one.
If motivation begins to fade, remind yourself of the reasons you decided to do this degree course in the first place and what you will be able to achieve for yourself when you pass.
4. Food and Drink
Your brain and body need nutrition and hydration to function at their best. If you become dehydrated, you’ll start to feel drowsy and won’t study effectively. A rumbling stomach is not a good aid to concentration either, so keep a supply of healthy snacks like fruit to hand.
5. Study Method
Everyone has a preferred method of studying and working and it’s usually discovered through trial and error.
Most course material contains some guidance on the most effective study methods and your course tutors will also be able to offer advice on this until you find what suits you best.
6. Reference Sources
The internet is a mine of information, regrettably much of it useless. When sourcing reference material for your course work, make sure that it’s reliable and accurate. Whilst it is good practice to seek extra information rather than just regurgitating what’s contained in your course materials, always double check information gleaned from Wikipedia and other similar websites as it may not be correct.
There are many distractions at home and it can be very difficult to keep on track. Draw up a realistic work schedule and stick to it. Explain to friends and family members that you really must finish the assignment you’re working on before you join them to kick back in front of the TV for the evening.
Working alone at home is tough but you can do it if you apply yourself. Switch off your mobile phone; leave Facebook and Twitter alone and knuckle down to work. If it helps, schedule in short breaks between targets for refreshments, down time and checking emails.
8. Don’t Overload yourself
Space out your work periods across the week and don’t stuff too much into each session. If you overdo it, your brain will just become saturated and you won’t retain what you’ve read. Remember too that it’s important to step away from your computer screen at least every couple of hours for a short break. Try to vary what you do; rather than spending large chunks of time just studying, break it up perhaps by working on an assignment for a while then returning to your reading.
Enjoy your studies and keep your eyes on the prize; all the effort will be worth it in the end.
Image source: wisegeek.com
About Alison Page
Alison is a freelance writer and author. She is a member of the UK national panel of dressage judges, holds a degree in Equine Science and a Diploma in Business Studies.