1. Use Study Music to Differentiate Between Your Study Space and Relaxation Space
For the duration of the school year, carve out a place where you can comfortably sit for an hour or two every day. Make sure it’s well-lit, reasonably comfortable, and as tidy as you can manage. Having a dedicated workspace is a powerful cue to the brain to help stay on task.
Setting up your workspace can also include focus music for studying. Calm Radio has an entire section devoted to study music and another to concentration and focus music. Choose from study music channels like Study Piano, Chillhop, Movie Scores, and more. These channels use a variety of classical music, focus beats, and modern instrumental music to help keep your mind focused and sharp.
2. Organize Your Life
An agenda, desktop calendar or a wall planner can help you stay organized and keep deadlines front of mind. At the beginning of the semester, start with great habits and write in all of your assignment and project deadlines, and note dates for midterms and final exams. Colour code them by subject, make this a tool you’ll refer back to every day to see upcoming deadlines at a glance. Take an hour at the start of the semester to plan out your time and note your responsibilities.
3. Prepare for Your Study Session
Set up your workspace with everything you’ll need for this study session. Collect all of your notes and textbooks, have a pad and paper at hand, make sure your laptop charger is plugged in, have a glass of water, and you’re ready to go.
Scrambling to locate a pencil, your calculator, or having your laptop suddenly power down can knock you off track and take away from valuable study time.
4. Determine Study Priorities and Set Goals
- How long do you plan on working for?
- What are your top priorities, what is due first?
- Which subjects will you be tackling, and for how long?
5. Eliminate Distractions
A noisy environment can be a huge distraction. If you live in a busy household, try sound conditioning. We wrote about the applications and benefits of white noise and pink noise here. Streaming Calm Radio’s white noise channels is a great way to mask the clatter of dishes or voices in the next room.
Put your phone on silent, out of reach, and out of sight. Your phone will be your biggest distraction by far. If you’re a heavy cellphone user and the thought of not having your phone gives you anxiety, give yourself a 2-minute screen reward for every 15 minutes of solid studying. Gradually increase the time in between breaks to 20 minutes and work up to a half-hour.
Rather than giving into the temptation of checking your phone, close your eyes and take a deep breath. In for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds.
6. Stick to a Study Schedule
Make it a habit! Set aside a period to study around the same time every day. Whether it’s after school or when you’re done supper, having a regular study time with great study music makes it less of a chore. Some days you’ll need less time, some days you’ll be studying for a few extra hours.
7. Give Yourself Breaks
Taking breaks from studying helps reset your brain, especially if you’re feeling frustrated or low energy. Get outside, move your body, get a snack, or check your phone. Just make sure to set a timer to signal the end of your break and return to your study spot.
Practice patience with yourself; if these strategies don’t come naturally, don’t worry. Testing out just one of these tips for your next study session can be a great start! Try out different focus music and study music channels and see which work best for you.