We at the ApaCenter often encourage students to study in a quiet, distraction-free environment in order to maximize their attention and learning. When trying to establish the best setting for you or your child to study, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:
*Are there a lot of visual distracters such as clutter, TV, or too many people walking around?
Many people are distracted by too much visual stimulation while they are trying to study. It may be helpful to have a desk or table that is empty except for the study materials or a room without too much clutter or posters on the walls. Also, it may be helpful to find a solitary area if you or your child is distracted by people walking passed.
*Are there noisy distracters such as TV, radio, or people talking nearby?
It may be helpful to find a silent area to study if you find noise to be a distraction. Be sure to also examine whether less obvious background noises, such as lawn mowers outside, are causing distraction. If you are unable to find a truly silent area, listening to white noise through headphones may help to decrease noisy distractions.
*Are you comfortable?
People can often be distracted by their own discomfort. If you find that the area where you are trying to study is leading to physical discomfort, you may become distracted because you are constantly readjusting your own position. Try to find a comfortable chair and place your materials in a position where you are able to maintain a comfortable posture. Also, it may help to take breaks to stretch.
Visual distracters, noise, and discomfort can have a big impact on our ability to study effectively. If you or your child has difficulty maintaining attention while studying, you may be surprised how much small changes in the study environment can help.