Study Less, Study Smart – Tip 2: Create a Designated Study Space

This is part 2 of a series from Marty Lobdell’s “Study less, study smart” lecture. Part one on is on chunking your study time.

Wouldn’t you like to study smarter? Lobdell ’s second tip to “Study Less, Study Smart” is to create a dedicated study area. This means you have to create a space that is only used for your studies. The reason for this is our environment, which is the context (or situation) that we’re in, is very important to determining (or deciding) our behaviour. In other words, we behave differently depending on where we are.

Think about when you’re in class at school. When the professor or teacher asks you a question, she or he wants you to answer. So, if you’re not shy and you know the answer, you going to raise your hand, right? But if the teacher asks you something specifically – just you, not any other student – you will answer verbally (with your mouth), right? You won’t raise your hand. These ways of learning are automatic because over time they have become natural to you.

Well, your study area is exactly the same. If you study in a place where you’re used to doing other things, like playing video games or hanging out with friends or eating, it’s going to be really hard for you to focus on your studies. What you want to do is find an area that is specifically used for studying, so the context (or the situation) makes it easier for you to concentrate (or focus) on your studies.

For a lot of people, this means the library, but it could also be a quiet cafe, a desk in your home, or even a quiet picnic table outside.

So that was Dr. Lobdell’s second tip: create and use a designated study space. Don’t study in bed or in front of the TV or in any place that is NOT made for studying! Next in this series is something called “active learning.”

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