Last week my sister called me and asked me to give her some tips on how to study. My sister also decided to return to school last year, although she is in school part time while continuing to work full time. She said she was having trouble focusing; she wanted to know what I do to focus.
As a mature student, creating a study space can be challenging. When we come home, we are rarely by ourselves. Husbands, wives, children, pets, cooking, cleaning – all these require our attention. Mature students are often caregivers; a lot of our mind space is occupied with the responsibilities of our home and work life. This can leave very little time to study. When we do get the time to study, it becomes difficult to clear our mind and focus so that our studying can be effective.
So how do we create a study space so that the little time we do have is effective and efficient? In order to figure this out, I began to observe myself to see what places influenced my mind to get into a study mode. When I am at school, I usually go to the library to study. I noticed that all the students in the library we there to study and their collective energy of wanting to studying and succeed motivated my mind to focus. My mind became calm quickly and the time I spent at the library was effective and efficient.
I also did online research to understand what else could help me create a study space. I came across this article on the CBC about how listening to classical music helps you study. According to the CBC classical music helps you studying because of a variety of factors:
1. Classical music’s clearly organized rhythm encourages clear thinking.
2. Listening to sophisticated harmonies helps the brain cope with complex ideas.
3. Slow pieces help you relax; faster ones keep you alert — a good combination for maintaining your focus.
Using the combination of music and the environment I created my study space: at the University library with classical music. With so many distractions at home, I needed to create my study space outside of that environment. This did involve rearranging my schedule a little. I couldn’t do my school work at home because it was not a conducive environment. There were too many factors out of my control as not everyone in my house was present for the purpose of studying; it was unrealistic for me to expect to get the energy I needed to focus from my home environment. So I included my study time in the time I spent at school and all my other responsibilities exclusively for the time I spent at home.
After telling my sister what I am telling you in today’s blog post, she decided to create her study space. From what she tells me, creating a study space has really worked for her. She is able to dedicate a portion of her day to studying because the time she spends studying is now effective and efficient.schedule a little. I couldn’t do my school work at home because it was not a conducive environment. There were too many factors out of my control as not everyone in my house was present for the purpose of studying; it was unrealistic for me to expect focus from my home environment. I created a separation in my environments: school was for studying, home was for everything else.
What do you do to create a study space? How do you manage to keep a balance between your home life and school life? I would love to have your comments and suggestions.