Dorms aren’t exactly ideal for quiet and privacy.
Most of us choose to study and get our work done in the silence of a library or in a coffee shop with earbuds in.
But there’s no reason you can’t create a space in your own dorm room to get some good studying in.
If you create the right setup and minimize distractions, you can create a study space in your dorm. Try these four steps to making your dorm a study haven.
1. Eliminate distractions
Put your phone away, clear your desk of distracting items like other books, tablets, and even your computer if you can do your studying with a book instead. If you do need to use your computer for your work, then try a website blocker that can keep you from killing time on sites like Facebook and Buzzfeed.
Eliminating distractions means people as well. Let your roommate and neighbors know that you want some quiet alone time, and let them keep you accountable.
Tell them that if they see you wasting time outside your room, they should give you the boot. They may even want to join your quiet study session, just make sure that they don’t become a distraction as well.
2. Don’t study on your bed
Keep your study sessions away from your bed, where you’ll be more inclined to drift off or get distracted and less physically stimulated. This will also help you preserve that space as one for relaxation when it is time to get some rest.
If you can’t stand to sit at a desk for too long, you can set up a space on the floor to study, get a lap desk, or even loft your desk to create a standing desk.
2. Create the right setup within arm’s reach
If you have to keep getting up to get things you need, you can break your study flow and get sucked in by a distraction. Set up your desk area with the materials you need for studying within arm’s reach: coffee and water, pens and pencils and highlighters, scratch paper, class notes, and notecards. Some people like to chew gum while they study.
Keep your space neat and organized. Make sure you have ample, but not harsh, lighting: avoid overhead fluorescent lighting and opt for a nearby lamp instead. Dress comfortably, set a silent timer for your study time, and settle in for your session.
3. Block out noise
Reduce distracting noise with a few creative options: White noise can help you drown out noisy neighbors and dig deep into a study groove, and there are plenty of free white noise apps that can help you focus on the work in front of you. Try noise-cancelling headphones or even a white noise machine. Listen to a great album or try ambient or classical music.
You can also drown out noise from the hallway or street by soundproofing your room by putting a towel or draft blocker in the crack of your doors and windows, getting a rug, or hanging soundproofing curtains.
4. Don’t forget to take breaks from your work
You’ll burn out and be less effective if you don’t take breaks. A good rule of thumb is to take a ten to fifteen minute break for every hour to hour and a half of study time. Get up, take a walk around the block, do twenty jumping backs, go to the bathroom, refresh your coffee, splash water on your face, chat with a friend—and don’t forget to give your mind and eyes a rest. This means avoiding your phone or computer or looking at other school-related materials.
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