Why Spring Cleaning is Good For Your Study Habits
By Rebecca Alwine
Imagine this: a beautiful spring afternoon when the children are napping, your house is spotless, and you can sit down with a cup of tea and study in a perfectly serene environment. Now that you’ve come crashing back to reality let’s talk about some practical steps you can take to make this dream closer to reality.
There is something so satisfying about a freshly cleaned room. Just the other day I vacuumed the entire upstairs in one go, and the tidiness had me almost giddy. While I’m not naive enough to think my whole house will ever be clean at one time, knowing that half of it is clean and tidy, allowed me to put aside the distraction and focus.
Make a list (or ten) and check it (or them) twice. Lists will keep you organized when you have an overwhelming amount of things to do. Generate lists for work tasks, class assignments, gifts to give, cards to send, groceries and anything else that is running through your mind.
It’s hard to study when you have piles of laundry to sort or dishes to wash. And while doing those household chores may take away from your dedicated study time, doing them will then give you uninterrupted time to study. A shorter period of distraction-free studying will be far more effective than a longer period when you can’t concentrate.
What are the most important things on each list? Put them at the top. Finish, your big project at work or a big paper for school. Students enrolled in MyCAA approved online career training programs have the ability to stop and start classes as needed. Military spouses can take advantage of this flexibility during holiday leave and maximize time with their active duty service member.
Now that the winter holidays are over and we still have a few months before the mad “end of school’ rush, this makes a great time to clean up your calendar as well. Take a serious look at what is on your schedule and determine if it all needs to stay.
Don’t be afraid to remove things or decline future commitments. Yes, we all want to be able to help others, volunteer for projects, and be with friends. But when it comes down to the wire, it may be a better idea to take a break from some of the extras to get in the quality study time you need to finish the semester strong. When this class is done, you’ll have some time to celebrate and relax.
I know it’s dangerous to advise you to spring clean your desk, but it needs to be done. If you’re like me and a general cleaning leads to a purge and organization session, that then explodes into the whole house, don’t let it get that far! Set a timer and spend 15 to 20 minutes cleaning off your desk. Get rid of old papers and trash, put books back on the bookshelf and your coffee cups back in the kitchen. Make the space usable again.
A clean, organized area to study is going to help you the most. By minimizing distractions within your line of sight, and keeping materials close by, you’ll be able to knock out those study sessions in no time flat. Don’t be afraid to remove things from your desk, even if you just pack them up in a box for later. Make this space work for you.
It truly all comes together. A clean house, a clean mind, and a clean calendar can give you peace of mind and eliminate all the (non-human) distractions that keep you from studying.