Create your perfect school-study environment
Procrastination is the arch enemy of productivity; people have a tendency to fail to work efficiently and effectively until the very last minute
If this sounds like you, don’t be embarrassed! Some amount of procrastination is somewhat inevitable, simply because of the way we irrationally evaluate the pros and cons of doing something now versus doing something later.
In fact, behavioural economic theory tells us that we have ‘present bias’ in decision making – that is, we value payoffs in the present (like putting off your English essay) more than the future (doing your work first, and relaxing later), simply because of inherent human psychological bias.
Not to worry, though! Our psychology is a double-edged sword; though we tend to procrastinate, we can also manipulate certain aspects of our environment in order to make study more appealing, and limit our tendency to give into procrastination.
Often, the number one underlying reason behind procrastination is distraction. To become a more effective studier, you need to start creating a study environment that stops your mind from wandering. These are our top tips for doing so:
Designate a dedicated space for studying
This can be your room, your local or school library, or another place in your house, but the key point is to create an area where when you sit down, you associate it with studying. Having consistency in the physical space yo do your work in, helps you find the same mentally productive state each time you get to work.
Keep technology away when you’re not specifically using it for the tasks you’re trying to complete
It’s all too tempting to jump on Instagram or TikTok on your phone every so often, but these ‘breaks’ add up in terms of the time you have available, and more importantly, they break your concentration. It’s impossible to become absorbed in tasks with notifications continuously disturbing you, so unless you are making notes on your computer, remove these devices from your study environment. Wherever possible, it can be helpful to print off relevant materials in hard copy, rather than read them on-screen, to remove all temptation.
Have snacks and water readily available
Hunger and thirst are also distractions that can decrease your mental concentration, and keeping full and hydrated works wonders for your ability to concentrate on your work rather than be distracted by your bodily needs.
Let your friends and family know ahead of time when they shouldn’t bother you
If you communicate your study schedule to the people close to you, not only will it help avoid distraction but they’ll help you keep on track! Making a plan and sticking to it, is a really important part of avoiding procrastination. This can really help create an environment where you have minimal chance of being disrupted by others – intentionally or unintentionally.
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