Create Your Own Study Space to Maximize Your Study Time
Order and simplification are the first steps towards mastery of a subject. - Thomas Mann
Tailor Your Study Space to Your Own Needs
When we are learning new things, it helps if we have the optimal, motivating environment in which to study. It's important to give some careful thought as to what works best for your own unique personality. Some people need a window to look out of and some people need a closet with no distractions. Do you want to emphasize quiet or do you wish to include music? Some things to consider include:
- Colors (What mood do you wish to create?)
- Artwork (Inspiration or decorative?)
- Storage space
- White Boards
DYI Your Way to a Custom Study Space
This Old House has a really great selection of ideas to get your creativity in gear. Check out their article, 27 Inspirational Homework Areas and Study Stations, by Tabitha Sukahi. The article/slideshow includes tips for creating and building a variety of options including:
- Armoire Office
- Cozy Corner
- Plugged-In Study Nook
- Budget Home Office
- Space-Saving Station
- Hidden Study Station
- Walled-Off Study Station
- In-House Computer Lab
Wikihow also has some good advice on how to create an effective study space. Wikihow makes an especially good point about organizing your computer files as well as those files and papers that physically surround you.
Being organized should extend to your online stuff as well as whats physically around you. Have you ever looked for a draft of that essay you were writing only to be unable to find it? Or lose the notes you needed to study for your psych test because you couldn't remember where you saved them? Create specific folders for each class or subject and keep all your files in the right place. Label things clearly so you can use the search feature to find them. Skip cutesy names in favor of descriptive titles. And label drafts!
Another great tip from Wikihow is to reduce desk clutter.
This ties in with the need for proper desk organization, but also means that you need to keep tabs on the mess of papers, pens, open books, and so on that may build up on your workspace as you study. Too much clutter can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, which will put a damper on your study session. It is a good idea to take short study breaks along the way anyway, so when you do, take a moment to tidy up your workspace before resuming. Excess clutter can lead to unnecessary distractions. Keep only what you need at that time in front of you. A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind.
Guard Your Territory
Once you have created your own study space, guard it jealously. Do not allow your space to become repurposed into a craft station, or a sewing room. Your space and its purpose must be respected. You may even wish to create a Do Not Disturb sign when you are 'in residence.'
What do you think?
- Do you feel a personal study space is important?
- Do you currently have a personal study space?
- How would you describe your optimal study space?