How I Focus – OurWarwick

How I Focus

Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

Hey guys! As of yesterday, I’ve officially submitted all my work and finished my first semester here at Queen’s. It seems wild to think I’m already halfway through my time here, but really cannot wait to go home and see my family. I’ve changed my flights to be a week earlier to maximise my time at home, whilst exams are going on here (luckily, my courses had no final exams). I thought it would be fun to share my way of focusing on assignments and studying with many people at Warwick still having essays due in and possible exams after the Christmas break!


I find that where I study really impacts my productivity. I’ve found I’ve been making the most of my desk in my room, or a comfortable sofa somewhere around campus recently (and my bed, as much as I dislike using it as a study spot). Either way, comfort is definitely high on my list for being in the right mindset! I really like making sure that I have a tidy and clean space to work, so I always end up having to clear my desk down before I work (my housemates from last year know how badly cluttered I used to have it, so it’s a big change!)

I’ve also found the lighting situation is really important – I have fairy lights around my desk and will be bringing my small desk lamp from home to make sure that I have enough light, especially as the daylight goes around 4:30 here in the winter. 


I use several apps to make sure I’m focused. My favourite is Forest – the basic app was free for me on Google Play but I believe a version is available on iPhone too! The concept is a timer that runs so long as you don’t leave the app and keep it open on your phone (it works if the phone is locked). As you make your way through your time off your phone, it also grows a tree in your ‘Forest’ so you have something to work towards, which can also get you coins to buy further types of tree, or even put towards a donation to plant a real tree. It’s something that keeps me off my phone, and even is a browser extension that can blacklist several websites – so no Facebook whilst studying for me!


I am someone who really needs background noise to study, silence is not my friend. I’ve started to listen to either a study playlist that I made on spotify, or one of their premade ones, and have begun to make use of podcasts on the Google Play store. My friends here introduced a podcast called “Not Another DnD Podcast” which has been my background to listen to, although there have been several others on rotation, that vary from 10 minutes to an hour plus in length. I’ve been challenging myself to study for as long as the episode is, and have enjoyed the change in sound from just piano music whilst studying, so have found I’m even more productive!

Food and Drink

Finally, I found that I always need some form of drink nearby. I’ve been really missing squash whilst in Canada but the little I have has been helping me stay focused and hydrated, alongside water. Hot drinks in the winter have been really nice to have too, so coffee has been keeping me company as I study in the mornings. 

Hopefully this has inspired you all to think about what keeps you productive, and maybe given you an idea to try something new to see if it helps you!

See you all later,

Meredith 🙂 

Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

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