When it comes to studying, creating a study space is crucial. It could go a long way in improving your productivity as well as efficiency when studying.
You could have some of your favourite spaces outside, such as at your school library or at a nearby coffee shop like Starbucks. But having a study space at home is definitely advantageous due to its convenience. Below are some simple tips you could follow in creating your optimal study space.
Have a designated spot
Only use this space to study, and nothing else. The purpose is to condition yourself to get focused more easily whenever you use the space. In the long term, this will be beneficial as you would not need much effort to get in the "study mode” in this space.
This is another similar concept, which is to remove as many distractions as possible. This space is only for studying and should not have any items that are not related to what you are studying. Remove the clutter so you do not get distracted when you should be studying.
Of course, we are not trying to tell you to be very neat because everyone has a different style. You may be someone who generally enjoys or is used to being messy. Which in this case, a certain degree of “organized mess” is okay. The key point here is that you should remove all the clutter that is not related to your study.
The main culprit that is taking our focus is usually your phone. Hence, it would be a good idea to turn off or put your phone on airplane mode when you are studying and place it somewhere out of your reach (out of your study space).
Make it comfortable – but not too comfortable
This is pretty obvious; you want to be comfortable to be able to stay in this space for a long time to study. If you are uncomfortable, that is just another distraction and as we emphasized in the previous point, you want to remove as many distractions as possible.
There are different factors to pay attention to. The first one is to have a comfortable seat and a writing surface at a comfortable height level. This manifests as a chair and desk for most of us, but it could be any other thing that works. For example. you may prefer to study by sitting on the floor, then you need to make sure you have a comfortable cushion to sit on for hours.
You should also pay attention to the lighting. You may want to position yourself near a window to have natural sunlight, or a good desk lamp would be an alternative when you are studying at night. Make sure that the light is not too bright nor too dim. Set it at a comfortable brightness for you to read without needing to squint your eyes, and not too bright that you get a headache from studying in that brightness level for hours.
Another thing is the temperature. A number of studies point out that the best temperature to study productively is somewhere between 21-25 degrees. However, I think it really depends on each individual. For me personally, a room that is too cool definitely does not work as I get cold pretty easily. Just make sure that the temperature is an ideal one for you to feel comfortable.
Lastly, you want your study space to not be TOO comfortable. Sure, you want to condition it so that you can be there studying for hours. But you have to get your mind conditioned to be ready to study when you are there. Don’t be going there to study when you are in your pyjamas, only rising from bed a couple of minutes ago. Likely you would not be able to get to your study mode this way. No, you do not need to dress up too much as if you are going somewhere important. But make the effort to “get ready” before studying.
Have easy access to everything
Following on from the previous point, you want to make sure that you are comfortable. Make sure that you have easy access to everything you need before you start your study session. This could include some healthy snacks and hydration, especially if you expect the session to be a long one. Also make sure you have a clock visible, preferably not via your phone or other electronic devices as you would not want to get distracted by your social media accounts when you only aim to check the time.
Listening to Music?
Is it okay to listen to music while studying? Again, there is no one right answer to this question. There are students who could focus better while others struggle more to focus when listening to music. It depends on the student and the music type.
In general, if you need intense focus for certain studying sessions, such as when you are going through a more difficult chapter or when there is extra mental power needed to do some memorisation, I would suggest skipping the music.
However, it may cause no harm when you could actually focus better when you are listening to music. Listening to music has been shown to help in studying as it could help to reduce stress, it could improve your mood and even improve your focus in certain cases. But at the same time, it could also get you distracted and lose focus on what you should be doing: studying.
If you choose to listen to music when studying, you need to be selective of what you listen to. Instrumental music without lyrics may be a good choice, especially those that are calming. You would also want to avoid listening to music you have a strong feeling towards, as it may be distracting instead of helping you to focus.
If you have created an optimal study space, you may enjoy being in that space and be tempted to use it for other things as well, such as watching Netflix or just to chill and laze around. But you should refrain from using this space for things other than studying as it will contradict the concept of creating a study space itself. The idea is to use this space only for studying, and that’s it.
You should also remember, that at the end of the day, the study space would be of no use if you do not use it to study. Do not spend too much time creating a study space as it could be just another procrastination tactic in disguise.
Click here for some tips for fighting off that procrastination urge and for some tips in studying more effectively. All the best, and happy learning!
If you need help in your study, remember that it is okay to get help. Allow MindWorks to help you get the best tutor to your needs by clicking here.