It is a cold Winter’s day. You have made yourself a cup of coffee, put on your favourite pair of fluffy socks and laid out all your textbooks, notes and laptop on your bed. You cuddle under the duvet and begin to read through some summaries. Two minutes later your eyes feel heavy and you feel a nap slowly approaching, but it’s ten o’clock in the morning and you have work to do! Against every effort to stay awake and get into the books, you fall asleep.
Does this sound familiar? Let’s take a look at the reasons for why studying in bed is not effective and what conditions are optimal for being productive.
What is the Right Position to Study In?
When we get into bed our minds and bodies subconsciously know that we are getting ready to sleep, therefore our eyes get lazy and our minds start switching off.
Instead, according to inc.com, the ideal study position is to be seated with your head directly over your torso (not leaning forward) with both of your feet on the ground. Your computer screen should be correctly positioned so your neck or eyes aren’t strained and you should take frequent breaks where you get up and walk or stretch.
Now that you’re out of bed, let’s look at 4 more tips to smash those books…
A 2019 study at the University of Waterloo concluded that 49% of students using their phones or laptops for personal use found technology to be distracting. We all know the infinite social media scroll. Put your phone in another room or in your cupboard and set clear goals to not browse social media during your study sessions. Keep it as a reward when you’ve completed a quiz or challenge.
A routine is a good habit to put in place at the beginning of your studies. It provides surety and provides guidance for knowing when to study and how long to study for. We all love a good challenge, so why not break your study sessions into specific goals such as summarizing a specific chapter or finishing a topic, and stick to the routine for each session. Before you make a cuppa or message a friend, make sure to complete your challenge.Take it from an , you can effectively study for 8 to 9 hours per day for 6 to 8 weeks leading up to a test or exam. It starts with a routine and continues by prioritising what is important to you. The American Psychological Association suggests 1) Spacing out your study sessions, 2) Interweaving Your Subjects and 3) Testing Yourself to “help the brain cement the new information for the long-term.”
Listening to music while studying is quite the controversial topic. Some say do it and some say do not! Which do you prefer?Study.com says that soothing music can help reduce stress and anxiety as well as improve your focus by improving your mood. Background music can provide motivation and endurance during drawn out study sessions.In contrast with the above, music with lyrics can cause you to be less efficient as you soak in less information and become more agitated, making it more difficult to focus. So be sure to choose the right playlist of soothing songs in your study session. Explore Youtube and Spotify for hours of amazing study playlists.
- Study Buddy
According to a 2014 study, ‘23% of students participating in a Study Buddy Support Scheme passed their test compared to those that opted to study by themselves.’Studying with a friend comes with a world of benefits such as increasing your motivation, creating accountability between you and your friend, and it’s way more fun than studying alone!When the time comes to study again, hop out of bed, sit up right by your desk, remove those distractions and switch on the Mozart playlist on Youtube and get cracking. All the best with your studies!