Where do you study?
Stop and take a good look at your study area. Ask these questions:

  • Are all the materials available I might need?
  • Does the area have good lighting? What is the temperature?
  • Can I be comfortable without falling asleep? Is there adequate room?
  • Is the area relatively distraction-free during the times I plan to study? Do I use the area for other activities (eating, sleeping, letter writing)?

Make the adjustments!
Once you've taken stock of your environment, make adjustments.

  • Stock your study area with the basics -- dictionary, thesaurus, paper, pens, pencils, highlighters, correction fluid, index cards, calculator, snacks, drinking water. Before any study session, ask yourself if there are other materials you might need.
  • Make sure the area you will be working in is well lit but does not have an uncomfortable glare.
  • Check the temperature. Regulate to help you concentrate and stay alert.
  • Assess your comfort level. Does the chair you are using put you to sleep? Does it make you uncomfortable? Does studying on your bed put you to sleep?
  • If your area is too cramped to be comfortable, consider finding a larger area. If that is not possible, look again and see what you can eliminate.
  • Eliminate any distractions you can, or consider moving. Schedule study time when the children aren't around or establish an absolute no-interruption rule. In other words, notice what is really getting your attention.
  • Try to find a place that is just for studying. If you can't, use an object to signal you that it's time to study and nothing else. Train your mind to focus on that object before you begin. After a time, the object will act as a trigger to you that it is now time to study.

When all else fails, go away! When nothing seems to work, either for the day or over the long term, find another place altogether. The library is fairly free of distractions. Pack a backpack full of study necessities and take your study area on the road.