Are you the type who needs to lock away all electronic devices before studying? Or are you the type who needs to blast loud music to boost your concentration? Different conditions work for different folk; but some things affect them all the same:
- Wrong Lighting
- Keep the Bed Far Away to Improve Focus
- Electronic Devices Should be Locked Away
- Background Noises are Always Distracting
- The Wrong Type of Music
1. Wrong Lighting
Bad lighting can come in different forms, ranging from disturbingly bright lights to cosy dim lights. What makes the lighting “bad” depends on your individual inclinations.
For example: it’s a common myth that strong, bright lights are always “good” for studying. Studies have shown that some people exhibit sharper decision making skills in dim lighting. Weaker light might help them to do better, when it comes to essay writing or maths problems (all of these require frequent decision making).
The amount of light also affects your concentration levels. Some individuals prefer the whole room to be flooded with light (conventional wisdom applies this to all classrooms), whereas others prefer a cosy lamp. The right choice is the one that works for you.
2. Keep the Bed Far Away to Improve Focus
There’s no actual harm in having the bed nearby, or even lying on your bed to read for a bit. This only becomes disruptive if you already have poor sleep patterns (then you will fall asleep).
Also, this myth implies that there’s something inherently wrong in taking naps between study or homework sessions. This is untrue; in fact, taking power naps have been shown to improve memory retention and cognition. Many people have experienced situations where a subject confuses them at first, but enlightenment strikes after a quick sleep.
So there’s nothing wrong with hitting the bed between intense study sessions; feel free to have it nearby. Just so long as you’re already well rested, and won’t be KO’d for too long.
3. Electronic Devices Should be Locked Away
Having electronic devices around may be a little distracting. But on the other hand, you can also use them to reward yourself for certain milestones. For example, allow yourself access to your devices for 15 minute, after the completion of each chapter or subject.
You can also rig the devices to enhance your study sessions instead. For example, a smartphone or laptop can also buzz you when it’s time to switch subjects, or provide hourly reminders for deadlines. Besides, have you considered what could happen if your laptop is in the living room or kitchen, and you need to do some research? You could end up being distracted in those non-study areas, when you leave to look something up.
4. Background Noises
Do you ever feel uncomfortable or uneasy when your study room is in absolute stillness and quietness?
Some people do prefer this type of environment for effective and productive study sessions. However, there are also individuals who require some sort of noise, such as the sound of traffic, or the drone of the air-conditioner. Among those who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) for instance, a bit of “white noise” can actually improve retention.
In general, studies suggest that background noise with a consistent rhythmic pattern is pleasing to most people, and can help focus. This doesn’t just mean music (although that is one form of it). The repetitive whoosh of a fan, or the hum of a laptop, can be conducive. But jarring sounds, like the sudden roar of a motorcycle, are distracting and break concentration.
In any event, don’t feel it’s wrong to be able to hear the white noise from the TV in the next room, or soft music. If you feel comfortable with it, roll with it.
Have more factors that worsen your study room? Voice your thoughts in our comments section or on our Facebook community page.
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