Even though you have an exam next week, you just can’t concentrate on studying; you quickly doze off or get lost in thought. Managing your study space better might be the answer. Designate a study-only area in your room or home, and with the right furnishings, some planning, and a personal touch, you will create a studying paradise that will help you improve your results. Use these 5 tips to organize your study space better.
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1. Personalize the space
Decorate the space to motivate you. Put up photos and posters that will give you the “push” when you feel like giving up. Depending on your personality, opt for positive or negative motivators. It can be a photo of an exotic destination where you hope to travel after you pass the final exam, or the last essay you failed. Add your favorite colors, keeping in mind the psychological properties of colors, or play with scented candles and essential oils.
Organize study materials in separate binders by course or subject. Mark them clearly so you don’t waste time searching through all of them every time. Organize your computer files as well, and use descriptive names. Use a bulletin board, cork tiles, and wall calendar to post notes and assignments. Organizing your time is as important as organizing your materials, so consider placing a clock on your desk, but make sure it does not produce the annoying ticking sound.
3. Make yourself comfortable
It is crucial, though, not to make yourself too comfortable as you don’t want to fall asleep. Therefore, your bed is not the best option. Think of your study room as your home office, and apply some office design rules. Find a desk and chair that allow good posture. The desk top should rest somewhere above your waist, and your feet should rest flat on the ground while you’re sitting.
If natural light is not available, use a desk lamp. Place it on the opposite side from your writing hand. You might want to consider facing away from the window, as staring out the window can be tempting.
4. Eliminate distractions
Tidy up your study space before each study session. Excess clutter will make you feel overwhelmed and you don’t need unnecessary distractions. Detach from your phone. If you are using the phone as a studying tool (e.g. as a calculator) put it in airplane mode and silence it. Block out any distracting noises by playing your own background music. Experiment to see what suits you the most. It can be rain sound, classical music, or white noise.
5. Keep things at hand
Have all studying materials and supplies close at hand to avoid getting up from the desk too often. If you don’t have enough space on the desktop, keep the supplies and books you use regularly on the shelf above it, or in the top drawer.
Try different tactics to see what helps you the most. Just don’t spend too much time setting up, spend it on effective studying.
Lana Hawkins is an architecture student and a food lover from Sydney, Australia. She contributes regularly for Smooth Decorator, and loves reading about sustainable design. She loves spending her free time cooking for her friends, or outdoors, cycling.