Your Study Habits

In fifty years of solitary work—researching and writing—I’ve discovered that some environments put me in a more productive frame of mind than others. When the conditions aren’t “ideal” for me, I get distracted easily. Disarray puts me in a jumpy mood and I don’t stay on task very long. A review of the literature suggests that I’m not alone.

According to behavioral scientists, several conditions influence your motivation to study:

Regular Routine

The demands of everyday life can be distracting, making it easy to get sidetracked into extraneous tasks. This is why it’s crucial to create a daily routine, with time clearly allocated to study.

Claiming set times in a routine is particularly helpful if you live with someone who needs to learn when to leave you to yourself. Your special time allocated to studying should be clear to everyone.

Ambient Noise

If you live someplace surrounded with noisy friends or family, you won’t be able to hear yourself think. You may find yourself getting irritated and distracted. If this happens, it’s wise to scout around for an alternative study space where you’ll get peace and quiet as you concentrate on your notes and books.

If worse comes to worst, get some earphones that block out environmental sounds. And disable your phone for a while.

Although some people can stay focused when surrounded by chaos, noise generally disrupts mental processes. Many students vow that soft music or a television set turned on low keeps them on task and in no way hampers their concentration. Researchers would challenge that claim. They have found that environmental noise—background music, city sounds, people’s conversations—leads to a decrease in performance for most people. While these things can improve positive emotions, increase performance in sports, and make people complete tasks a little faster, they have disruptive consequences for reading and studying—a chilling finding for students addicted to ambient noise.

Personal Space

Whether you are in your room in a dormitory or in a public place like a library or a coffee shop you need to create your own space. Set some boundaries between you and the outside world with familiar personal objects. If you’re in a coffee shop, find a table by yourself, discourage visitors by filling the table with coffee cups, napkins, notes, etc.  This not only discourages intruders, but it creates peace of mind. “This space is mine alone.” Embellishments make the workplace inviting to you and discourage outsiders who might otherwise interrupt your work.

By returning to or recreating the same work environment over and over, you help safeguard yourself against blocks to studying.

Tidy Work Area

Many students pore over their books in a messy environment. It’s not what they prefer, but it’s what they do, mostly out of task avoidance or downright laziness. If you belong to this category of students, you’d best tidy up your study area before attempting to work. It’s surprising what a salutary effect this has on productivity. You don’t have to break your concentration looking for items you’ve misplaced. A tidy desktop clears the mind.


Your desk chair should be large enough to take your full weight and support your back. Backaches are not conducive to good study habits. You should have a desk that will give you plenty of clean space to work on. Your computer screen should be adjusted to the correct angle and distance for easy viewing. The room should be tidy and air-conditioned, or heated to a temperature that feels comfortable to you.

Students’ Accessories

If you use the internet for research, you need a reliable and fast internet connection for easy access to information. Your laptop or desktop computer should have a keyboard that’s comfortable for typing. If you take notes while working, have a writing pad and pens or pencils handy. In other words, create an efficient and well-stocked study center,


Wearing pajamas may work for some people, but it makes many of us sleepy and tired, wanting only to retreat to our beds for a short restorative nap. Dressing to the nines has the opposite detrimental effect. We’ve prepared ourselves to go out on the town, not work at our keyboard. Wear garments that make you feel presentable, clean and alert, but not all dressed up with no place to go.

Shoes? By all means, go without. Based on observations of thousands of children from 25 countries over 10 years, academics concluded that children who slip off their shoes are more likely to arrive at school earlier, leave later and read more widely. Comprehensive new research suggests that “shoeless” kids are more engaged in lessons, leading to better concentration and test results.


There are times when attempting to study is just not a good idea. One thing is clear – if you are angry or upset, the last thing you should do is to try some serious studying. It requires a clear mind, unclouded by negative thoughts. Wait until your feathers are no longer ruffled. Then go for it.







INFJs and ENTJs are on the same wavelength in many ways. They enjoy spending time together and sharing creative, stimulating conversations. Superficial topics bore them. Both have excellent intuition and can size people up accurately on short acquaintance. They share the ability to comprehend complex situations that baffle others.

ENTJTraitsWhile the two types can become close friends, INFJs should be mindful of the ENTJ’s rough edges. This type can be blunt, with little tolerance for mistakes. Sometimes their tempers flare because they don’t recognize the effect on others. As the ENTJ’s friend you may take offense at some of his or her remarks. Refusing to engage in an argument is the most effective way to deal with this.ENTJTraits

ENTJs have a high regard for their own positions. INFJs must be the ones to establish limits in the relationship, firmly but tactfully setting their boundaries. Most ENTJs have sharp enough intuition to recognize the need for tact if they want to keep the INFJ’s friendship.

Because ENTJs can be so intimidating, many people hesitate to be open and honest with them. This deprives ENTJs of important information. Surprisingly, they respond best to those who stand up to them quietly but firmly. ENTJs have little regard for people they can push around. Eventually, most friends and co-workers learn that the ENTJ’s bark is worse than his or her bite.

While ENTJs may seem like pillars of strength, most have a sentimental side that they try to conceal. They believe that emotional displays are a sign of weakness. When ENTJs are sad or worried, they seldom talk about it. Sensitive INFJs can usually pick up on their troubled feelings and offer compassion while not intruding with solutions.

The major difference between INFJs and ENTJs lies in their need to influence or control others. INFJs lack the ENTJ’s leadership drive. In a work setting this need not be a liability, because the INFJ is comfortable letting the ENTJ take charge as long as the two parties agree on objectives. INFJs don’t have the same ego investment in running the show. They like credit if it’s due, but they won’t ask for more than their share. At home, the issue of control may become troublesome. The INFJ is likely to tire of the ENTJ’s tendency to micromanage and, when things don’t go as planned, to lose his or her temper.

Falling in Love

ENTJs are usually drawn to attractive partners. This preference is a reflection of their high standards. Most ENTJ men prefer beautiful women and most ENTJ women like handsome, confident men. To get along with an ENTJ in a relationship, an INFJ needs a well-developed sense of self. It helps to have a sense of humor.

If you’re an INFJ man, you may find ENTJ women intimidating. They are hard for many men to accept. In fact, women of this personality type can be quite nurturing and caring. Their femininity isn’t expressed in traditional ways. When their confrontational style surfaces, the most effective way to avoid conflict is to deflect arguments with humor and good will.

The partners of ENTJs will find themselves on their own much of the time. An INFJ shouldn’t expect to take top priority in the partnership. While it may seem possible at first, it won’t last. The INFJ will be expected to fit into the partner’s ambitions. Some of the INFJ’s intimacy needs will have to be met by family and friends. Otherwise, the INFJ is likely to feel emotionally short-changed.

ENTJs tend to see their partners as extensions of themselves–as supportive characters in their life scripts. They expect them to honor their commitments and respect the ENTJ’s need for autonomy. Failure to do so will make the ENTJ angry.

Family Life

ENTJs and INFJs share a love of family life. They invest themselves fully in their children, see that they get a good education, and emphasize responsible behavior. As conscientious parents, they make sure their children do their homework and sign up for extracurricular activities.

Friction can arise between the parents when the ENTJ parent takes charge too much. ENTJs prefer a domestic autocracy, with them at the head. An INFJ entering a long-term relationship with an ENTJ, including plans for marriage and children, should have a strong self-image and be able to set clear boundaries.

An ENTJ’s family can expect to have their playtime and vacations structured. The children won’t be encouraged to lie on the beach doing nothing. ENTJs don’t approve of pursuits that have no goal. In their view, leisure activities should be productive. Not only that, it’s preferable that they be scheduled. INFJ partners are likely to share this view to some extent, but they’re less intense about it.


ENTJs are career-focused and fit well into corporate life. They’re quick to solve problems and have an uncanny sense of where business decisions will lead. They aspire to leadership roles and enjoy competition.

INFJs share the ENTJ’s gifts of highly developed intuition and creativity, but they aren’t interested in the power needed to run things. Because they find conflict unpleasant, it’s hard for them to be forceful. Also, they treasure their private time too much to participate fully in the social aspects of business.

In business settings, the two types complement each other. INFJs make good advisors to ENTJs. INFJs have the social sensitivity needed to help ENTJs avoid problems in the workplace that might result from heavy-handed decisions. They can express their hesitation about the wisdom of an ENTJ’s decision and have their opinions respected. By complementing the ENTJ in this way, the INFJ acts as an effective buffer.

Famous Examples

thatcherroosevelt-3Eleanor Roosevelt, an INFJ and the wife of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a renowned humanitarian and U.S. Peace Ambassador. Margaret Thatcher, an ENTJ, was the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain.

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