This week’s question caught my attention because it’s similar to a problem that I’ve fought with in my own life. While I don’t know of any great solutions, there are a few tricks that might help.
I’ve recently got in a little trouble. Now I need to come right home after school. I used to go to the library to study but now I can’t. The problem is that my house is always busy. I have 5 siblings. The house we live in isn’t all that big either. Every time I try to study I end up freaking out about the noise in the background. Is there any way to handle this?
I sympathize with this problem. After getting used to a silent study environment for so long, I often find even small background noises can become huge distractions. I imagine this is even worse for sounds as unpredictable as a ton of siblings. I can imagine being driven nuts by that myself.
It’s good that you figured out the library to solve your problem in the past. I don’t know the extent of your “trouble” but if politely asking to study at the library might work, that would be my first suggestion. I won’t waste any more time on that idea because I imagine you’ve already considered it.
If you can’t study in a quiet environment (like the library) and you can’t turn your environment into a quiet one (perhaps asking people to shut up, kindly of course,) then I’d consider one of two solutions.
First of all, experiment with the timing of your studying. This is the ideal solution. If you can wake up a couple hours earlier, or go to bed a couple hours later, than everyone else, then you can likely find a much quieter time to study. This will allow you to have your quiet time without sacrificing any study efficiency. If that isn’t possible then you’ll have to sacrifice some efficiency.
While I don’t normally recommend studying with headphones in, there are some exceptions to the rule. Ultimately, these strategies will likely harm your efficiency in studying but they will harm it less than the distraction of other people around you.
Try putting in some headphones and playing some white noise in the background. Turn the volume up to a level where it drowns out the people around you (assuming that volume isn’t too high.) The white noise can be anything from the faint hum of a radio without a station or things like the sounds of an ocean. As long as the sounds aren’t particularly interesting, they’re ideal for studying.
If the volume required to drown out the background noise is at an uncomfortably high level then consider listening to music in the background. This is likely hurt study efficiency worse than white noise but could be better than white noise at distracting you from background noises.
Be careful if you choose to implement these strategies and know that you’re likely studying in subpar conditions. As soon as you have an opportunity to avoid this problem in the first place, you should avoid it and take out the headphones. Headphones can make studying more enjoyable but more enjoyable generally means you’re less focused.
Do you want to know how to study in less than 15 minutes a night? That’s what this blog is all about. Be sure to check out the archives and follow along for all the details. Also, check out the ebooks in the sidebar to learn even more faster.
This is an absolutely essential read for anyone on this blog.
I’m about 4 hours away from something big.
The story began a decade ago when I first started to share my study strategies with other students.
I had figured out the Holy Grail of academic optimization strategies – and every intermediate step to get to it. Using this strategy, I pulled a nearly 4.0 GPA while running a double course load in college – and once I started sharing it.
Droves of them.
And then teachers noticed.
Most of the teachers that were looking out for their student’s best interest got what I was saying and supported the cause. Others… well… not everyone has the student’s best interest at heart.
Early on (even before Smart Student Secrets,) I started writing for average students.
I knew… I was NEVER one of the “smart kids”. I was mediocre at best. And I knew, if these strategies worked for me then they could work for just about anybody. And that’s who I wanted to connect with.
But… There was a problem…
I built an audience giving these strategies away. Sure…
And I’d get messages from them. And we’d talk. And I’d hear their stories.
I’d hear from A+ students that cut their study time by 90%.
I’d hear from B students that took their grades up to A’s.
I’d hear from teachers that were sharing my strategies with their students.
I’d hear from older students how these strategies changed their life.
I love it. I love introducing these strategies that changed my life to other people.
But there was always this… but…
What about the C students?
What about the D students?
What about the students that are currently failing?
Sure… Some would reach out.. but…
They never followed through… They’d take a small step. They’d sign up. They’d learn some killer strategies. Seeing right there how powerful they were going to be…
And then… life kicks in. They lose sight of their goals.
And it’s gone.
Student’s came to this site to improve their life. They see the possibilities. But then… they move on.
In about 4 hours, I’m going to be introducing something – an email subscriber exclusive – that can help change that.
It’s going to make more Smart Students than at any other time in this site’s history.
If you’re ready to take your academic game to the next level – if you want to see it for yourself.
Write your email in the box. Check the confirmation you want emails. Confirm your email. And see for yourself.