Being a student can be a whirlwind and extremely stressful at times especially when it comes to exam season. Embarking on this kind of journey is going to take dedication, determination and a lot of hard work. One way to ensure you’ll make the most out of the university experience is to create a good study space.
Do you tend to find yourself studying in your bed with your laptop propped up with the Netflix tab open at the same time? Do you find that after several minutes of putting your head down to work in this kind of environment, you are very easily distracted? Then you may want to reconsider upgrading your study space and routine to help you maximise your productivity and boost your motivation.
Before we dive into the list of tips we’ve put together for you, the most important thing to remember is that you need to find ways that work for you and create the perfect study environment where you know you will thrive in. What works for someone else may not work for you and that’s ok, find your comfort zone and create it for yourself. Figure out your procrastination and demotivation triggers and learn to soothe them by designing the perfect space that will enable you to study hard and absorb the information you need without any distractions or stress.
Tips and Tricks
Keep Distractions At Bay
First things first, you want to get rid of any and all distractions. The way to solve this issue is to first create a list of everything you know will be a distraction for you. The second step is pretty straightforward really, you then remove everything on that list when you need to study. It’s obviously a lot easier said than done but once you get into a routine it will become easier each day.
Schedule your study time by allocating which hours you will put your head down to work and when you can stop for a break. When that break comes around, reward yourself with things like a snack, an episode of a tv show or a walk in the park. Set boundaries for yourself, tell friends and family not to contact you between certain hours and download apps that will block you from accessing distracting websites for a certain amount of time.
A great app to help with constant phone distractions is Forest. It’s an app where you set your desired study time and a forest of trees will start to grow on the patch of land the longer you go without accessing your phone. If you can’t resist temptation then your trees die.
Lighting Is Key
If you haven’t got the right lighting in your study space suited to your needs it can have a really negative impact. Making you feel sleepy and putting constant strain on your eyes. But remember you are in full control of this so adjust your screen brightness setting to a comfortable level and find what works for you. Natural light is obviously great to let in, brighten your mood and lift your spirits. When it comes to night time tastes will vary, some like overhead lighting whilst others can’t stand it and rather opt for a warm and soft side lamp in the evenings. You can even get creative and light some scented candles and choose your favourite smells to add to the comfort of your space.
You can also purchase blue light filter glasses that contain specific lenses that are designed to block out and reduce the amount of harsh blue light your eyes consume. There are also laptop screen covers for this if you are not wanting to wear glasses.
Remember that what works for others may not work for you and you need to figure out what that is for yourself and then create it, you are in control of your space, no one else.
If you concentrate best with loud music then get yourself some headphones, create a motivating study playlist and blast the tunes away. If you are someone who needs a co-study buddy and works better in a public environment then take a friend along to a cosy cafe and study there instead. Maybe you’ll find you have more motivation if you get dressed as if you are going out and about? Or the comfy sweatpants and hoodie combination is the go-to for you. Whatever floats your boat, just do it!
Soothe The Senses
A great tip on how to create a good study space where you can be not only comfortable but motivated to stick around and be productive is to find the aesthetics that pleases all your senses. We’ve already touched on a couple of these in the previous paragraphs but you want to learn and aim to hit all 5 of them.
Taste: Have your favourite snacks stocked up in your home, foods that textures happily stimulate your brain and help you to concentrate, your favourite drinks for hydration and energy and there’s the option of chewing gum if you aren’t in the mood for food.
Smell: Make sure your space is well aerated, open the windows if you can and let the fresh air in, light some incense or your favourite scented candle, diffuse some essential oils and get the perfect smell wafting around your space making you feel calm and comfortable to work.
See: Remember we are constantly taking in our surroundings at all times, if your space is cluttered and messy this may contribute to your motivation depleting and cause you to get distracted. So keep your space tidy and decorate it with the things you love so that when you look around you feel at home and at peace.
Hear: Noises can be the most distracting aspect of trying to study and get work done. You need to find what kind of sound ambience works best for you and be in control of it. If you like loud or any kind of music playing in the background then create a study playlist and let the tunes fill the room. But you may find that you work best with total silence, no catchy lyrics or beat to distract you, I’d suggest noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds as a solution for this if you live in a noisy household or environment.
Touch: This is one of the senses that you may not think is important to hit but I’ve found it extremely helpful when feeling demotivated. Gathering comfy materials for your body and seating area are handy in creating a calm and focused mind such as fluffy socks or a blanket to wrap around you. Maybe grab yourself a fidget/stim toy to help occupy your hands and stimulate your touch sense. These are so helpful in enabling the mind to concentrate on the area you need it to.
So there you have it!
We hope this guide on how to create a good study space is not only helpful but also kick-starts your study space revamp and enables you to maximise your study productivity and find true success in your new personalised environment.
When you’re working hard and striving to achieve these kinds of big life goals, you owe it to yourself to have a space that is comfortable and motivating for you to study in, an environment that contains zero distractions and promotes productivity.
However, if you are interested in venturing outside your house, there are many benefits of studying in London‘s cafes and quiet spots, especially when making new connections who may be able to help with that pesky dissertation!
So remember to get comfy, keep those distractions at bay, control your lighting and soon you will be well on your way to whizzing through those revisions and exams like never before.