If you’re a student studying online, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about how and when you’re going to get all your work done. You’ll consider your schedule and then find an open window to hit the books.
Some students will even map out the specific times they’re going to work each day in their planner. That’s a smart move; I’m for it.
However, have you gone so far as to plan where you’re going to get your work done?
Because most people have the mindset that it doesn’t matter where you work, it’s a non-factor.
I’m here to tell you that where you decide to do homework plays a significant role in how much work you get done, especially as an online student. And what’s the worst place to try to be productive? Your bed.
Here are three reasons why you’d be better off studying anywhere other than your bed:
1. Studying in bed limits focus.
Think about all the reasons why you love your bed. The comfort of warm covers, soft pillows, and putting off responsibility by pressing “Snooze” are highly persuasive on their own, but even more so when compared to focusing on your homework.
Because your bed will tempt you to stop working and sleep, it’s best you don’t put yourself in a position to fail from the start. If you don’t change scenery, you may easily allow the comfort of your bed to suck away your focus. Trust me, I’ve been a victim of this before I wised up.
And if your bed doesn’t make you lose focus, the other things in your room probably will. Your television, smart phone, or laundry will pull for your attention and offer an avenue to procrastinate.
When you’re looking to focus, a chair and desk is the better choice. The wisest choice is a standing desk, but not everyone has one available. Then, after you’ve done your work, you can relax in your bed feeling accomplished.
2. Studying in bed decreases productivity.
Even if you can manage to focus in your bed, it’s not a productive place to get work done.
First, the lack of space to spread out your research for a paper or study material for an exam is a concern. You’ll waste time and valuable energy going through papers to find what you’re looking for. At a long desk, you can better assemble and organize your materials.
Second, you have no opportunity to get the productivity boost from standing when you’re laying on your bed for hours working. I’m a big supporter of standing when I work because standing sends fresh blood and oxygen to the brain, which promotes optimal brain function. Your body isn’t designed to sit all day.
Before you think you need to spend hundreds of dollars for a standing desk, try putting your laptop on your dresser, propped up on books or a shelf, or get creative by putting your desk on risers (just be sure it’s safe and sturdy!). You now have a “standing desk” without breaking the bank.
3. Studying in bed hurts sleep.
I’ve already discussed how working in a place your body associates with sleep can make you lethargic and unable to focus. But on the flip side, working in your bed makes going to sleep harder. Working in your bed is double trouble!
Because you’ve trained your body to associate your bed as a place to study or get homework done, once you lay in bed to call it a night your mind will continue to think. Studying in bed earlier in the day can actually rob you of rest.
Your body needs adequate sleep to stay healthy, retain new information, handle stress, and perform at its best each day. I wish sleep deprivation on no one.
So, to protect your focus, productivity, and sleep, now you know not to study in your bed (or even your bedroom, if possible). Since your study space is important, making an effort to find a quiet place where you’re comfortable—but not too comfortable—can be the secret to success.
And don’t forget to try standing to get the most for your mind and body!
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a guest blogger for American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Behrens, L. (1990). An upright way to improve thinking. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1990-10-07/features/9003250339_1_brain-power-standing-stimulation
Brian Robben is an Amazon bestselling author of three books, including his newest book How To College. You can find more of his college success strategies at his site www.TakeYourSuccess.com
As many students start their second semester, it's important that they finish the school year on a high note. This may mean studying more and altering their homework routine. While some kids work best after school, others may have more focus after a playdate. Here, real moms share their opinion on the optimal homework time.
Right After School
Many moms find that the best time for kids to do homework is directly after school, before distractions set in. As Lori C. shares, "It's a lot easier than pulling them away from the TV or a video game once they've started playing." Janet T. also recommends this routine: "I have my kids do it directly after school. I feel that by doing this I am instilling the 'work first, play second' mentality. I also believe that I am teaching them to be responsible and not procrastinate."
After a Play Break
Other moms find that allowing kids a postschool break for a little play before settling them down to do homework works well, as it helps them burn off bottled-up energy. As Pam C. notes, the wane of daylight may be another reason to consider a play break before homework time. "Once it starts getting dark early, I do let her go out to play first, only because there is limited daylight playtime, and she's not allowed out after dark."
Around Dinner Time
Many moms find that a before-dinner homework routine is best. "We tried waiting until after dinner, but then the homework seems to take twice as long, thus bedtime gets later and later," says Kim H.
But not everyone finds this to be an issue, and many have their kids buckle down for homework right after eating. "What works best for us is to do it later," Theresa P. says. "After getting off the bus, none are ready to sit down and concentrate. I let them have a snack, then go play to burn off their energy, have dinner, then it's homework time." Diane D. agrees. "It's just like when an adult gets home from work, they want to unwind a bit before going out to mow the lawn. Let 'em relax a bit too! School is work as well, they just do not get paid. Their brains needs to reboot, and a snack and play time will help. I say after dinner is the best bet."
Thinking of changing your child's routine? Test out each method for a few days, then switch to something new. Once your child finds a time that works best for them, make sure they stick to it!
What's your child's homework routine?
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