3 Ways to Study Effectively in a Crowded House I Oxford Open Learning
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3 Ways to Study Effectively in a Crowded House


Without access to libraries and other public study spaces, due to our national lockdown, those of you continuing to study and expand your minds may find it hard to concentrate in what is potentially now a crowded and noisy house full of distractions. Here are 3 tips to help you find discover some peace and quiet.

1. Use Ear Plugs

For most people, noise cancelling headphones and loud music can be the cure to working effectively in a noisy environment. Headphones come with drawbacks though, because good, comfortable headphones can be expensive and listening to loud music for long periods is not good for your ears. Ear plugs are a lot cheaper, they cancel out noise and are better for your ears.

2. Do the Easy Tasks When it’s Noisiest

Prepare a list of ‘easy to do tasks’, which are those you can do when the environment is noisiest or when distractions are most present. This could be jobs such as writing emails to tutors, brainstorming ideas, planning tasks, researching sources, purchasing study aids etc. Save tasks that required deep concentration, like writing an essay or calculus for the quieter periods.

3. Study Outside

Most people don’t see the garden as a viable workspace due to the sunlight creating too much glare to read the screen. There are several solutions to this. The first is to buy a laptop shade-cover, which you hook over the device and shades the screen from sunlight but also allows you to use the keyboard. Or for a cheaper option, just place a large cardboard box on the table and place your laptop in this and this will create the shade so you can work. I have tried it and it works!

I hope you will find this useful, as I have. It’s difficult to study in these circumstances, but it’s not impossible.

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I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of thecareercafe.co.uk; thecareercafe.co.uk is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.