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Why am I able to focus very much in class and unable to study alone when I am in my flat?

17 Answers
Last Updated: 03/22/2021 at 2:23pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
February 17th, 2017 6:09pm
Its because you have associated class with study and your flat for a place of relaxation. As soon as you enter your flat, distractions swarm your mind, eg internet, calls etc. Its because, this is probably what you are doing in your flat. So the key is, turn your phone off, start studying something light and something you enjoy, or maybe do math while watching a movie, just to break the habit of not focusing at flat. With time, you should be fine!
June 14th, 2018 10:27am
Being a student,i can feel what you must be going through.well,the good thing is you can always improve.As some answers over here suggests,your mind has accepted the fact that,you have to study in class so you are able to focus more in class.while your mind needs some time to accept the fact that you have to study in your flat also.start by taking small steps daily.Follow the following steps while studying:1.Switch off your phone,laptop,things that distract you.2.make yourself comfortable when you sit for study,make sure that you have all the things you will need while studying.3.always crave for more,note the timing that how much you studied a particular day,try to study at least 5-10 minutes more the next day.4.start from the most interesting topic for you.BEST OF LUCK.
April 30th, 2017 7:59pm
One of the reasons you may be able to focus in class, but not in your flat is because your brain has paired things from your environment with either studying or not studying. In a classroom, there is often going to be someone teaching in the front, as well as something for them to write on. Both of these things have been paired with focusing/learning in your mind. Many people when in their flats/dorms/apartments are doing a variety of more relaxing activities, such as sleeping, reading, and watching tv. Your brain may have paired "flat" with "relaxation" because of this. One thing you may want to try doing is bringing something specific with you to class, such as a refillable water bottle, and only drink from it during class (don't use it when you're just at home watching tv). After a few weeks, try also putting it on your desk/table when you are trying to study in your flat. By taking something from your focused environment (classroom) to your other environment (flat) you may be able to get your brain to also associate your flat with studying.
July 3rd, 2017 12:22am
First, there could be numerous reasons why you're having these issues. You need to focus on what's causing these issues if possible, it could be a lack of motivation, exhaustion, the instructor isn't engaging enough with you or challenging you in class. Or something else bothering you that you haven't noticed. Try speaking to your teacher about your issue or a guidance counselor. They may have some information or helpful tips for your issues with focusing in class. It could be because your instructor is using a different teaching method that doesn't work for you, try to figure out your desired learning method and how to make their teaching it work for you. Ask your teacher if you can record their lessons that way you can still learn if you're not concentrated enough in class. If your teacher isn't engaging enough with you or challenging you enough share that with them, they'll never know if you're getting the most out of their course or not. They're there to teach you and some teachers are more than willing to take constructive criticism. Find a study group to join if you can ask your classmates to join you at your apartment to study. It could be the way you're studying as well. If you can create or find a study group, try creating quizzes on Kahootcom. One of my instructors used this before our final exams and it helped a lot. Plus it was entertaining. When you study alone try to set an alarm for yourself to study for a limited time, leave your phone alone, turn off the notifications, and if possible turn off your internet or stay off your computer. If you're still having issues try speaking to your doctor, it could be something else affecting your concentration, Hope this helps!
June 5th, 2018 7:39pm
When in class you may be aware what is expected and therefore will feel obliged to focus better whereas at home alone knowing no one is there to notice you are not studying may make you less focused and more likely to let your mind wander off.
January 27th, 2020 3:48pm
I completely understand what you are experiencing, and what I think is that your home environment is your calm resting place. Its where you feel relaxed and safe. Work environments and school environments harness a work ethic that you naturally follow. You don't go to class to sleep, you study. My suggestion to you is to create a space in your home that you can associate with work and studying. Putting up your class schedule or study plan can help you make that work ethic follow you to this space (it can be a study or even a desk in a corner of a room). Once you are done you can leave your work space and enjoy the peace of your home as nurture intended it :)
March 3rd, 2017 10:26pm
Maybe you never learned how to study effectively. When you're in class, the environment helps you. Possibly the library imitates that environment, or you could ask a good student peer to study together some time.
April 28th, 2017 9:25pm
In class, you are surrounded by people, while at your place, you are by yourself. Maybe the pressure of other people being around, helps your study. A simple solution would be, go to a library or do group study sessions.
May 2nd, 2017 2:59am
Home can be a distracting place to study. When you're by yourself at home, it becomes very easy to put off studying and do something else, like go to the kitchen for another snack, or take a nap, or play video games, etc. When you're in class, your only option really is to pay attention.
November 27th, 2017 7:42pm
In class, you're in an environment that your brain has associated with learning. Your flat is likely more associated with rest and relaxation. Therefore, when you get home, your brain thinks it's time to relax rather than to study. It's important to have your own personal space to relax, so I suggest going to the library or a study space at school to work :)
December 5th, 2017 4:24am
As students we often create a space of relaxation at home, whereas in class our brains switch to a studious mode, especially when other students around. I would suggest creating a setting that is similar to your class room (eg a whiteboard, posters, etc) to make your mind think you are at class.
June 27th, 2018 8:41pm
When you go to school you wear more formal clothes that make you feel more professional and more ready to learn. When you are at home, you might wear more comfortable clothing that can make you feel more relaxed and therefore unable to study as you need a more alert mind for it.
May 12th, 2020 7:05pm
From my own personal experience, this has been a common problem for me. Different environments can carry different characteristics, and distractions are one of those characteristics for home unfortunately. Television programmes, games, the ability to cook food, needs to clean, all count as common distractions that can be experienced when choosing to study at home. In the classroom, on the other hand, such distractions arent as a readily available, or encouraged as an alternative to work. Find a schedule that suits you, as a way to get away from these distractions, and focus more on work like in the classroom
June 22nd, 2020 11:20am
Hello. I think it is the difference in the environment and that is what makes you focus in class and not alone. Also, in the class you know you are there to study, so that may be a reason why your mind focuses there and not when you are at home. Have you tried joining some kind of a group study? There you will have an environment of studying too and will be able to focus better. Or maybe the library? My point is that maybe find a place where you see other people studying and focusing on their work and maybe that might be able to convince your mind to study too. I hope this helped in some way. Stay safe!
December 15th, 2020 5:03am
Chances are, you devote most of your time in class (or just school in general) to work and studying, while the majority of your time spent at your flat has instead been filled with activities other than studying. Therefore, your brain has learned to associate a classroom environment with studying and the environment of your flat with the other activities you spend in it. This is a natural phenomenon that happens to all of us, as the brain loves connecting different elements of a given situation together to make life more coherent and manageable. An easy solution to improve your productivity at home is then to make use of this very fact. You can designate a specific room at your flat that you will specially reserve for work-related activities (like homework and studies). An important note: make sure you stick to those kinds of activities when in that room, as doing tasks other than those intended will lessen the association you want your brain to make between that room and the intended purpose gave it. If ever you do feel less motivated or just need a break, do those non work-related activities outside the room and come back when you feel like working again.
January 25th, 2021 3:18pm
In class, you are obligated to listen and process the information because that's the environment you are in and there is not much else to do. Studying at home can be difficult depending on the environment. Also we have much more freedom when we are not in the classroom which leaves us victims to distractions. It is also easier in class because you have a teacher guiding you with your work and questions. Students who face difficulty while at home might feel defeated and lose motivation since the teacher is not there. Teachers very much provide a sense of comfort.
March 22nd, 2021 2:23pm
That's definitely a good question. There might be a lot of factors causing it. One of the commonly seen factors is a distraction. It could probably be a distraction from digital gadgets, social media or even family members. Apart from that, environmental influences do play an important role as well. For example, dark rooms, untidy room, a humid environment, etc might influence your mood to study. To clearly understanding the problem causing it, you could begin by asking yourself "What are the main things that bother you the most when you plan to start studying ?" Hope it helps :D