Six Tips for Making the Most of Study Time

September is back to school and that means studying and homework for many children and some adults.  To start the year off on a positive note here are six tips for making the most of your study time:

1. Clear off the top of the desk to provide enough space to fit an open book and a notebook. Remove unnecessary objects to eliminate visual distractions.

2. Keep all frequently used supplies within arm’s reach either on top of the desk in an organized holder or in a nearby drawer. Keep pencils sharpened and ready to go.

3. Set a daily study time and make it a habit.

4. Use a quiet timer (analog for young children or use a time timer) and set it for 30 minutes of working time. Then take a 5-10 minute break. This helps the brain process information, maintains motivation and improves the ability to focus. Most adults can only focus for 90 minutes without a break.  Work smarter not harder.

5.  Check to be sure the desk and chair are ergonomically correct for the user. If a child’s feet do not touch the floor when the chair is raised to the appropriate height then add a footstool for support. Also be sure to check for proper lighting to reduce eye strain. The light should not be coming from behind as it casts a shadow.

6.  When all work is completed be sure to put back all items that were used. Put books and homework into backpack or briefcase and set it by the door. By cleaning off the desk and putting everything away, you are completing the task, saving time in the morning and preparing your work space for the next day. Happy Studying!

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Quick tip: Create “in” boxes for each member of the family. Use baskets, bins or magnetic magazine holders. Children can put papers that need to be seen or signed in the parent’s box. After reviewing, the parent can place them into the student’s box. Be sure the student empties the box each evening and puts everything needed into the backpack to return to school. Placing the backpack (fully loaded) near the door used will reduce the last minute morning rush.