October 20, 2020 6 Tips To Improve Your At-Home Study Session
Reading time: 5 mins.
This Fall, the school season looks a little different for families across Canada, and around the globe. With many parents choosing virtual school for their kiddos due to COVID-19, and university students trading in campus classrooms for Zoom rooms, everyone is doing their best to navigate this new normal as we all go back to school.
Whether you are trying to homeschool your little one, or you’re a student yourself trying to sustain your energy through another extra-long study session, we wanted to put together this guide with our best tips and tricks to improve your at-home study habits.
Here are our six best tips for improving your space to make the most of your next study session!
Did you know that lighting can actually have a significant effect on our productivity, mood and overall well being? If you’ve ever worked in an office setting with fluorescent lighting, you probably know what we mean. Artificial lighting can often lead to headaches, lethargy, stress and eye strain.
That’s why we recommend doing your best to set up your workstation beside a window, so you can make the most of natural daylight for better mood and productivity.
In addition to making the most of the natural lighting, many designers recommend getting ‘task-based’ lighting as well – lighting that helps you focus on the task at hand. Make sure to invest in a good desk lamp with a soft glow, so you never have to squint at your study books!
If you find yourself studying late into the evenings, don’t forget to turn your phone onto night mode. For your computer, there’s an awesome chrome extension that does the same thing called Flux, or you can get blue-light reflecting laptop screens. Make sure to take the necessary steps to protect your eyes from excessive glare and blue light! Additionally, doing so will help you sleep better too, as apps like Flux can help your eyes transition from the blue light of the day into the softer light of the early hours evening.
Invest in a Good Desk and Chair
If you’re finding you finish your work days with sore muscles in your neck, shoulders, forearms and wrists, you probably need to work on your ergonomic setup.
For your desk, your elbows and wrists should rest comfortably on the desk so that you don’t hunch or raise your shoulders. Ideally, you should remain in a neutral, 90 degree position. If you’re studying on a laptop, you could consider purchasing a laptop stand to angle your laptop in the best position for optimal ergonomics.
Make sure your chair is adjustable so that your feet are flat on the ground and your elbows and wrists are in a neutral, 90 degree position. If you are a parent, make sure that the height of the desk is adjustable to suit your child’s need!
No matter how great your set-up is, it’s important to not stay seated for too long. Regular breaks and scheduled movement are important for both our physical and mental health! If you find yourself getting sore, a Magic Bag hot and cold compress is a great way to loosen up and soothe muscle tension.
Gather up your supplies and study materials
We suggest setting up your desk area with everything you need for a good study session. Stock your desk with pencils, pens, sharpeners, paper, post-it notes – whatever you find helps you get your learning on! Once you’re in the zone, it’s distracting to get up and look for supplies, so staying organized and making sure you have everything you need in one spot will help your focus.
Get rid of distractions
A clean space is a clean mind! Clutter and mess around your workspace will only lead to feeling disorganized and chaotic. Keep your space clean and organized, and make sure it’s refreshing and inviting (you could even get a diffuser going with some lemon and peppermint oil for an energizing, refreshing feeling!).
The other major opportunity for distractions is digital devices. One way you can mitigate this is to turn off notifications. Keep your phone on airplane mode or ‘do not disturb’, or better yet, place your phone in a different room altogether!
Set the right ‘musical’ ambience
Sometimes a great study session all comes down to the right soundtrack! Listening to music with little-to-no lyrics, such as ambient, jazz, or even natural sounds will help you focus. Think ‘coffee shop’ tracks; just like they do at your favourite coffee spot!
Avoid listening to lyrically-heavy music, podcasts or having the TV on in the background, as you’ll be easily distracted.
Reward yourself for a good session
One of the best motivators to hone in on your studying is knowing you have a good reward waiting for you at the end of your session.
Make sure to schedule in some fun or relaxation after studying so you have something to look forward to. You could prepare a delicious, home-cooked meal or order your favorite takeout. Or, cozy up with a good book, a cup of tea and a Magic Bag Spa aromatherapy compress to de-stress and let the worries of your day melt away.
We hope these tips make your next study session a little more enjoyable. While we all need to get used to working and studying from home, the right tools and strategies can help us stay healthy, happy and productive!