Now that you've created a pleasant working environment, the next step is to eliminate distractions. In the digital age, we know that that's easier said than done!
1. Find some peace and quiet
You're not going to be able to study productively if your little sister is screeching away on her violin in the room next door, or if various family members (or friends, if you're at university) are constantly distracting you with chatter, arguing or trying to get you to help with the household chores. So lock yourself away with the door shut and put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door. Let your family or friends know whenever you're studying so that they can try to keep the noise down. Alternatively, go and study in the library at school or university.
2. Music might help
Not everyone can concentrate with background music on, but many people find that listening to music can help increase their productivity and concentration levels. What's more, music can also be effective at drowning out the background noise of family members or friends elsewhere in the house. Some kinds of music are admittedly more appropriate than others; heavy metal may be less conducive to concentration than some relaxing orchestral music! If you're really serious about boosting your productivity, you could always try listening to some Mozart, which, it is claimed by some, makes you smarter…
3. Make your phone off limits
There are few things more distracting than the constant receiving of text messages or phone calls from your friends, so for the duration of each study period, your phone should be off limits. Switch it off and put it somewhere where you can't see it. If you're at home, you could even give it to your parents to look after for you so that you don't succumb to the temptation of switching it on every few minutes just to check whether anyone's tried to contact you.
4. Switch the TV off
No matter how well you might think you can work with the television on, the fact of the matter is that you will be far less productive if you try to get some homework done in front of it.
5. Stay away from Facebook
If you're doing some work on your computer, or worse, the internet, the lure of Facebook can be irresistible. One solution is to deactivate your Facebook account for periods of intense study, but a less drastic answer to this problem is to install some software on your computer to create a distraction-free digital environment. Dark Room is one such programme, which fills the computer screen with your text document so that you can't wander off to Facebook every five minutes. Another option is to use the Facebook Limiter to block your access to Facebook between certain times, allowing you to study.
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