How to Study Effectively at Home: Tips to Study Smarter, not Harder!

Studying at home has its perks! You don’t have to leave the house, and snacks are easily accessible; it’s both comfortable and convenient.

However, it can be easier to procrastinate and get distracted at home, making it harder to have productive study sessions.

Fortunately, we’ve gathered the best tips to help you study from home smarter, not harder!

Best Ways to Study Smarter at Home 

Develop a Routine

Study routines, like daily routines, are key to helping you become more efficient. Routines are your friend. They will help you develop a rhythm around studying and spend less time deciding when, where, and how long to study.

Choose a set time of day to study regularly, or if you need more flexibility, connect your studying to another part of your daily routine. For example, study right after dinner, or when you finish your workout session.

Choose a Designated Area

It doesn’t have to be a fancy home office, (although this’s definitely nice!) but choose a designated area for studying. It could be your kitchen table, a desk, or even a spot in your living room.

It’s important to avoid your bed as your study area because not only will you probably be tempted to take a nap, but also it can mess with your nighttime sleep patterns.

Some things to consider when setting up your study area:

    • Get some natural light if possible. This can improve your mood and energy.
    • Choose a supportive, comfortable chair.
    • Keep it tidy to reduce clutter and distraction.

Get Dressed

Whether you’re working from home, or just studying at home, it can be tempting to put on (or keep on) your pajamas for comfort. However, getting or staying dressed, depending on if you’re studying in the morning or afternoon, will signal to your brain that you’re still in work mode.

Dress for success. It’s a simple hack that can increase productivity.

Prepare Healthy Snacks

When you’re working hard, the craving for a study snack is sure to hit. Set yourself up for success by preparing your snacks ahead of time. This way you won’t have to make decisions about what to eat, stop working to spend time in the kitchen, or run out to pick something up.

Don’t underestimate the power of what you choose for a snack. A snack with protein will fuel your body and brain. Consider a high-protein snack like guacamole, hummus, or trail mix. Or, if you’re looking for a basic packaged bar to keep in your bag, try the plant-based Brain Boost Bar.

Snack Prep Tips:

    • Keep a list with all your favorite snack options handy to help you when you’re planning or shopping.
    • Prepare snacks in batches to save time.
    • Don’t forget water! Keep a water bottle nearby when studying.

Not all snacks are created equal. Avoid sugary and processed options. Caffeine and energy drinks will backfire in the long run. Instead, grab a high-protein, balanced snack like apples and almond butter, edamame, or a nut mix.

Tips for Studying at Home | How to Study at Home Effectively | BrainMD

Set a Study Plan Daily

Do you know what you want to accomplish when you sit down to study? How about your focus for the day?

It’s smart to take a minute and make a plan at the beginning of each study session. Use the active studying method by asking questions at the beginning, middle, and end of your studying to increase productivity.

Questions to ask before you begin studying:

What am I about to learn?

What do I already know about this?

Questions to ask while you study:

Can I paraphrase this?

Are there keywords or ideas to write down?

How does this fit into a bigger picture?

Questions to ask at the end:

What are the main takeaways from today?

What do I need to review later?

What do I need to learn next time?

Having a plan can help you stay focused and give you an identifiable starting and ending point.

Set Timers to Keep You on Track

Setting a timer is a simple way to keep you on track and to help you move through your tasks. If it’s overwhelming for you to tackle long study sessions, set short timers and allow yourself small breaks in between.

Having a timer will help you stay motivated to work when it’s time to work, and allow you to truly unwind and relax when your timer ends.

Use Sounds to Your Advantage

Sounds can be a powerful tool for productivity and focus. On the other hand, research has shown that some sounds can be a distraction and have a negative impact on your ability to focus.

Best Study Sounds:

●      White noise

●      Nature sounds

●      Classical music

Headphones are ideal to help eliminate other sounds if you have distracting noises around in your home while you are studying.

Stay Active

This tip is specifically for before or after studying. Stay active in your everyday life. It’s good for your overall health and will help with concentration, focus, and productivity when you study.

If you want to study more effectively at home, be sure to exercise regularly.

4 Common Studying Pitfalls and What To Do Instead

1.     Getting distracted by social media and cell phones.

This is probably the number one distraction and interruption to effective studying.

Do This Instead: Turn off notifications while you study. Check your phone for a set amount of time during breaks.

2.     Starting without a focus.

If you sit down to study without knowing what you want to accomplish, you may get to the end of the study session without learning what you really needed to.

Do This Instead: Make a plan and set a timetable.

3.     Studying in your bed.

It’s comfy and cozy, but it isn’t the most productive place to be.

Do This Instead: Make your bed in the morning and don’t return to it until bedtime.

4.     Cramming last minute with lengthy study sessions.

Don’t let procrastination get the better of you, leaving you with no other option than to cram the night before.

Do This Instead: Do shorter nightly reviews to stay on track.

Study Smarter, Not Harder

It comes down to thinking ahead.

Start by developing a routine, a time and a place to study, and be sure to dress for success. Plan and prep your study snacks, set a daily study plan, and use timers and sounds to your advantage. Finally, stay active when you aren’t studying to improve your concentration, focus, and overall well-being.

Implement these smart study tips and you’ll be more effective when studying at home.

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Amy Huffmire