Tips for Staying Productive when Studying at Home

Tips for studying at home

Studying at home can be absolute bliss… or miss.

You wake up in the morning at noon, make some breakfast, and hang out in your pajamas all day with a bird nest on top of your head that was once called hair. It used to smell good, too.

In the afternoon you realize you’ve barely gotten anything done. “It’s okay, from tomorrow everything will change!” – but actually, it won’t. Unless you do something about it.

And you definitely should: studying regularly is so much easier than letting homework to pile up. Believe me, I’ve been there and it was not fun. Actually, it was stressful.

There are a lot of benefits of being able to take classes online at home. Here are my tried-and-true tricks to get the most out of learning from the comfort of your couch desk.


Sleep enough

It is said that students should get at least eight hours of sleep every school night.

Well, usually I hardly scratching it but since I am home all day, I can easily sleep at least 10 hours.

Why? Simple: when I go to school I like to enjoy every minute I don’t spend at school. So I go to bed late to stretch the period I am at home and awake. Not a good strategy but I just can’t do anything about it. It makes me feel that the days are longer and I don’t feel that all I am able to do during a day is going to school and doing my homework. I make myself time for falling into the rabbit hole of various social media platforms my hobbies.

Sleeping is the best way to ensure that the brain is refreshed – in theory at least. But even if I am sleeping in, I just walk around aimlessly for at least an hour after waking up. It is a good reason to wake up early around 8.

Study At The Best Time

We all have our daily highs and lows. Some people are night owls while some people prefer mornings. Take advantage of the time of the day you feel most productive (for me it is the afternoon), and don’t try to force yourself to study when your brainpower isn’t at its peak (for me it is the morning).

Eliminate distractions like a pro

There are infinite sources of distractions that can slow you down and make you postpone your studies.

But remember: it is much better to focus and get things done as fast as you can because stretching study time for a whole day is a pain in the ass unnecessary.

So don’t check Instagram, Twitter, emails (note for myself: Google Analytics).

Here are a few things that can help to reduce the noise around you:

Set the phone to Airplane mode. Or at least turn off the volume and put your phone away so that you can’t see it in front of you. Most likely you will be too lazy to stand up and go to the other corner of your room to check it.

Tell everybody you won’t be available in the next few hours. Ask them to inform you when the lunch is ready, though. It is important to get nourished.

Additional tip: try to make your pets aware of the fact that as a human, you need to study and learn a bunch of unnecessary information to have a good job where you will work hard to make their lives better.

Make some noise!

Not any kind of noise nor a dance party, though.

There are many playlists on Youtube that are great for studying. Or use a noise app (Coffitivity for example).

Have a dedicated area in your room for studying

Unfortunately, the bed is already reserved for sleeping. This is the reason why you always end up napping there – it is not your fault.

Avoid it like plague or abort mission – you will not be able to do anything productively anyway.

Keep your study space clean and organized

You can put more time into studying and less trying to find a pen that works.

Big no-no
back to school routine: my cat sleeps on my desk
A bit better

Look presentable

Comb your hair, get dressed, wash your teeth. You might end up feeling more motivated, too.

Eat Properly

Don’t forget to eat!

Eat your veggies and good fats. 


Fuel your body and brain.

The beauty of studying at home: you have a kitchen and fridge at your disposal. The downside of studying at home: you have a kitchen and fridge at your disposal.

Oreos and Doritos are calling, be stronger than the temptation.

Or make a DIY ice-cream (recipe hidden in this post).

Get Chores Done Before Studying

The mess will not mess with your concentration and also, you can look forward to relaxing when your study time is over.

Plan ahead

Use a planner to keep track of your homework and deadlines.

You can use a traditional paper-based planner or use a digital student planner as I do. My handwriting is awful and I keep loose my papers so having everything on my iPad in a digital format is the best solution for me.

Make yourself motivated

Ask yourself before you study: What am I about to learn? What do I already know about this subject?

Ask yourself while you study: How does this information fit into a bigger picture? Do I understand what I have just read? Did I actually pay attention or my eyes just run through the lines?

Questions to ask yourself after you study: Could I explain what I learned for somebody who did not read it? What do I need to review or learn next time?

Study smarter, not longer

How can you possibly focus if you believe it will take you hours to study? That certainly won’t give you the motivation to study for longer periods of time. Instead, try a different approach.

Use a timer to divide up your time so that you allow your brain to focus in a more targeted and effective way. Because no-one can be motivated to study for endless hours. Do not stretch your study time. Ever.

Try the Pomodoro app which consists of 25-minute blocks of time, followed by 5-minute breaks.

It has built-in sounds, too: coffee house, waves, etc. but unfortunately it is only available in Pro.

This technique also helps you to keep break time effective and guilt-free (because you’ve earned it!).

Take a break

Speaking of breaks: our brain can only take a certain amount of information at a time.

Regular breaks will help you to memorize information and will also help you to avoid ending up feeling stressed and frustrated.

For every hour that you study, you should take at least a 15-minute break to do something that takes your mind away from studying.

Try a “mental model”

I heard about this technique. We can use it to tell ourselves a story of what we expect to happen. We just have to imagine in detail how we expect things will happen in a specific, real-life situation. It is said that it can mentally prepare us for our studying day.

I tried. I failed. I went on daydreaming and then I napped. Maybe it works for you, though.

Tackle the hardest study material early

It will feel good and contemplating to know that you are done with the hardest part – or at least that you have already begun and seen when it is going to end.

Create A Timetable

Study at home effectively

Write your schedule down. It is especially useful when you have multiple subjects to study.

Divide all that you have to study into chunks. Set reasonable limits on how much time you spend studying each day. Also, schedule time to revise what you have already learned.

Take notes - seriously, take notes

It doesn’t matter if you are watching a lecture on your computer or study from books.

When you take notes, you must pay attention to the lecture and as you jot it down, it helps your brain to memorize and structure the information.

I always take notes. I even take notes of my notes.

Try to write outlines and structure the information. Don’t write everything down, that is just a waste of time and energy. Use your own words where you can, put similar information and concepts together the way it is logical for you.

Make flashcards

Turn your notes into flashcards: write the definition on one side and the explanation on the other side of the card. You can use paper index cards, mobile apps or digital flashcards. I use the latter.

Rule of 3

Make a to-do list of the next three things you have to do.

Once you’ve finished those 3, create your next list.

Each item should be small enough that you can easily finish it. This will help you to break down your large list of items into smaller ones.

Get a study buddy

You can memorize better if you can explain the new information to someone else. This way you need to organize the main point, structure information and while you explain it to others, you need to recall what you learned.

Pets make great study buddies.

Use a headset

Cancel noise – at least those that not helping you concentrate: the sounds that your family members and their gadgets make.

Preserve your sanity and preserve your love of those around you.

Have a good chair

Or you will end up having an aching back. And who can concentrate when they have pain in their … back?

Reward yourself

Positive reinforcement is a great tool for staying motivated. Pat your own back! You did well!

Watch a movie, play a computer game, get lost on TikTok or Insta, snack on your favorite delicacies.


See? Although it seems convenient, studying at home can be difficult—procrastination and distraction can happen easily.

A little bit of planning and organization can help you tremendously.

Because what is our goal?

To study effectively, learn everything well as fast as we can.

So we can have more time to spend on the things we enjoy.

Thank you for reading my post!

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