Of course you can have fun studying and learn while you are doing it. Studying assignments or preparing for exams need not be the frightful, exhausting experience many students have come to dread. Below are some tips shared with me by students who have mastered the art of studying to the point where they are actually getting much better grades and having fun while doing it. Studying should not be an oppressive drag on your time. One secret is for you to not take the assignment so seriously that you close yourself off from the real world.
Control your surroundings. The place where you study plays a prominent part in the outcome. By exercising control over your study surroundings, you are, in effect, adding a degree of comfort to the task at hand. Cramming yourself into some tiny space filled with stale air may not seem distracting to you-but it actually is! To function normally the brain needs a regular blood flow and the more oxygen in the blood, the better able you are to benefit from healthy brain function. Let’s first consider temperature:
• Keep the room temperature at a little lower than normal setting. Being a bit on the cool side stimulates blood flow throughout the body. You know how invigorated you feel on a brisk, chilly autumn day. In summer, set the air conditioning lower than you normally would. In winter, set the heat at around 60-65 degrees F. Crack open a window to get some fresh air and even consider using a fan to draw in more fresh air.
• Peace and serenity are essential to good concentration, but that’s not to say “Silence is Golden.” A little background music is helpful but avoid vocals. No rap, hip-hop or heavy metal selections. And keep it in the background and not window-shattering volume.
• Natural sunlight is the best, most healthful illumination so put up the shades or crank up the venetian blinds. If it’s after dark, use incandescent light and plenty of it. I believe fluorescent light is unhealthy at best, so humor me and avoid it.
• Regardless of the space you use, it should be furnished based upon your own taste. You are trying to avoid distraction so whether you are in the corner of a room or out in the middle of it, surround yourself with what is familiar to you.
I won’t suggest you study will sitting on a wooden bench, straight-back chair or some other uncomfortable piece of furniture. You are not in a monastery or nunnery doing penance. Be comfortable. My favorite choice is my recliner. I have tables on both sides and a table lamp for light. Decide what accessories like pencils, pens, textbooks and notebooks you may need close by before beginning to study.
Wear comfortable clothes. PJs and a bathrobe are good if this makes you feel more relaxed. Avoid anything tight-fitting. Remember-blood flow throughout your body is needed.