How to be Productive in the Library
You have a super important deadline coming up or a very difficult exam, and studying has proven to be quite the challenge. Sitting in bed with your laptop and study notes just doesn’t cut it anymore, and the distractions are just too much, we’ve all been there. So, what can you do? Most students opt to study in the library as it tends to have the ideal environment, plus being surrounded by fellow students hard at work will only motivate you, right? Definitely not. If you don’t want to or feel like studying, suddenly your pen will come the most fascinating object you’ve ever seen! We've come up with a few tips to help you ensure your study sesh at the library is as productive as possible...
Personally, this is one of the most important tips, and one we’ve found can result in a preference to stay at home in our pyjamas than have to leave the house and wear jeans. Make sure you dress as comfortably as you can when heading to the library to study. You’ll be sitting down at a desk for hours; if you’re uncomfortable then you won’t get anything done and feel uncomfortable the entire time.P.S. Girls, leggings are your best friends, just sayin'.
Depending on how long you intend to stay there, make sure you bring food with you to keep you going, because surely no one can study when they have food on their mind? Right?! This will also prevent you from having to pack all of your things up to grab some food when you get hungry. You can even use your favourite snacks as a way to motivate yourself. Every time you finish a paragraph, reward yourself with a Haribo (or something healthy like a strawberry, though we definitely prefer the Haribo’s).
Book a study room
If you are someone who gets easily distracted or you prefer to work alone but can’t seem to do it at home, try booking a study room at the library. Especially if a lot of your friends happen to be in the library too, as before you know it, you'll be deep in conversation about where you should go out on Friday night. Spend an hour or so in a study room so you don't isolate yourself and still get things done.
Unless you’re working on a group project, try to go to the library alone or sit separately to your friends as this way everyone will get on with their work but you are still in close proximity to enjoy your study breaks together.
Pick a location ideal for you
Ensuring you’re sitting somewhere that can allow you optimum studying is key. Therefore, if you’re going to be working from your laptop, make sure you are seated near an outlet. If you enjoy people watching, try to sit away from windows as this could prove to be too much of a distraction. Remember, everything is a distraction when you’re trying to study!
Be close to any books you might need
When choosing where to sit, it is also important to bear in mind where any books you may require are located. This way, if you were to need a book you could quickly grab it rather than search the entire library for it and lose your motivation.
Make sure to bring everything you need
Things like chargers and earphones are a must have, but don’t forget the basics like a notepad and pen, highlighters can also be very useful (just don’t get carried away and turn your revision notes into a work of art).
Though not for everyone, some prefer to listen to music whilst studying, some even like to watch something, of course this depends entirely on what works for you and what doesn’t distract you. If you’re bad at multitasking, I’d give this one a miss.
If you have a big project or essay you’re working on (like your dissertation, ugh), give yourself small deadlines to complete during your time at the library. This way, not only do you have a goal to work towards, it also makes you feel accomplished at the end of the day when you tick that list thing off!
Switch your phone off or put it on Do Not Disturb
Phones are the devil when it comes to distraction-free studying. Suddenly, every video on Facebook seems interesting and Instagram stalking ends up being all you can think about doing. What’s worse than all of that? When your friends are out and Snapchatting the entire thing while you’re stuck having to study. FOMO is real, guys. Either switching your phone off or putting it on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode will help you with that, especially the latter, as your phone is technically still on.
Make plans for the evening
If you have something to look forward to after studying, some kind of reward at the end of it, then that may motivate you to get things done quicker and with less distractions. Of course this depends if you’re someone who prefers all nighters and sleeps during the day (which I personally do not recommend). If you study during the day and hang out with your friends in the evening, not only is it a great incentive to study, but it means your social life doesn’t need to suffer.
Treat it like a 9-5
Depending on how much work you have to do, one method that can work for you is to be at the library from 9am to 5pm, getting into this routine will ensure you make full use of your day and get stuff done (obviously adjust and change this according to your needs and how much work you need to get done). Going to bed earlier the night before, waking up and going to the library in the morning, as you would a job, will make you feel more productive and you’re far more likely to enjoy your much needed me-time once you’re done rather than feel guilty.
Make sure you aren’t stressed as this can also be a distraction, being stressed about all the work you have to do will only stop you from doing it. Destressing is a different process for everyone, so do whatever you can as you don’t want to stand in your own way! Remain positive and believe that you can do it, the more you think positively the more you’ll feel ready all obstacles that may come your way.
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