Where you study can be just as important as what you study.
Due to its solitary nature remote learning can present a unique challenge for many students. Quite a few learners find it difficult to create an effective quiet zone that puts them in the right mindset to concentrate. The good news is that because you have a lot of control over where you choose to study there are many simple steps you can take to optimize your environment to get results.
This page will show you how with a little forethought and planning you can create a whole room specifically dedicated to your education.
Why is a good study space important?
Used properly a separate room, space or desk can become a perfect personal classroom that appeals to all your senses, saves time, makes you more receptive to information and allows you to get started straight away. Apart from reducing the chance of you experiencing any discomfort, an optimised learning space is also linked to good mental, physical, and emotional health. Additionally, having a convenient, comfortable and organised place can help you look forward to studying by making your academic life less stressful.
Tips on creating an environment for studying;
Create a dedicated area just for your studies
In a house, bedrooms are associated with sleeping and kitchens with cooking etc, so why not have an area just for studying. By doing this you can enter study mode more easily when you need to get work done. You should avoid all non-studying-related activities there such as using your phone. eating, sleeping, web browsing or receiving visitors. Having a separation between your course work and personal life is also beneficial for a good work-life balance. Limiting your activity in a study space to learning will also let anyone living with you know that you are serious and consequently they’ll be more likely to refrain from disturbing you when you’re seated there.
A minimalist design and environment can increase your ability to focus because there are less things you can be distracted by.
To save you from having to get up and leave the room (and thereby break your concentration), it’s also a good idea to keep the following relevant materials, accessories and essentials within easy reach;
brain food snacks
Customize your space
Personalise it with your favourite colors, soothing lighting, decór, furniture, fragrances, and rugs that appeal to you. Anything that can enhance the mood should be used. For instance, fresh flowers can improve the air quality while also adding a touch of freshness to a room. Even limited spaces can be made to look appealing and given character with;
Try to study in areas with as much natural light as possible. Apart from boosting your alertness levels, mood and productivity, it is also healthy for you both physically and emotionally. Additionally it can also support good vision hygiene during extended periods of study and reduce fatigue. At night time ensure the place is well-lit as too little can lead to eye strain, but not too much as that can cause headaches or create uncomfortable heat in the room. If you use artificial light i.e. small desk lamps, then ensure that it doesn’t shine directly into your eyes.
Your body loves natural light.
Make sure your laptop or tablet charger is nearby (saves you from coming out of the zone because of weak battery). Also have available;
- External keyboard
- Wrist rest
- Laptop riser or laptop stand, to raise the level of your screen.
You want these to be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you start falling asleep on them.
Organize Your Files
Any course material you produce or have should be easily accessible whenever you need them. Therefore, get a filing cabinet and have a system that organises your files in folders by using descriptive names to identify them. This applies to paper files as well as memory sticks etc.
Space and place for paperwork
Make room for your folders, textbooks, and all the paperwork that you will accumulate. Ensure they are filed away in an organised manner.
Do not to place it in front of a distraction-filled window. This way you will avoid the temptation to look out of the window. If possible also have it near a power plug and internet wall socket, this will save you having to use long extension wires that you could potentially trip over.
Try to avoid the need to stretch a power cord across the floor it clutters the place up and may cause a tripping hazard.
Rooms tend to become cluttered because we put things down with the expectation that we’ll find a place to store it later. Avoid this by having a routine of putting everything away at the end of each study session. Aside from being unattractive a messy room can also demoralise a person and lead to developing more bad habits.
It’s good practice to clear your desk of anything that can visually divert your attention from studying. A clean table means your mind needs to do less to stay focused on the task at hand.
Improve the air quality in your room by opening the windows for set periods or installing a cooling unit. Also stops the room from becoming stuffy and smelly.
- Fresh air can help you stay alert.
Comfortable but not cozy
Don’t make the study area to comfortable, look at it as a place of ‘work’ and not somewhere to relax or lounge around.
- Avoid giant bean bags or comfortable couches that can make you drowsy and lazy.
A hot room can make it difficult to concentrate but easy to fall asleep. Try and work somewhere that’s well ventilated and were the temperature is slightly on the cool side.
Experiment and change if necessary
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to study space. So, if a particular layout is not firing you up, then do not be afraid to keep changing things till you find something that works.