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Study More Effectively: A Guide to Improve Your Study Environment

Updated on September 27, 2014

To begin with...

“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” Arming yourself with a private and comfortable study space is one of the vital steps to carry out if you seek to achieve higher efficiency in studies hence better grades over the long term. This hub will bring you 8 Useful Tips on how to tailor your own study space. You don't need to be a good designer for this...I am not teaching you how to construct a building, we are just going to improve your current study environment.

Quiet, Private, Comfortable are the three main components which make a good study space. So all the tips that follow are established on the basis of these components.

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

— Confucious (511-499 B.C.)

Tip #1: Location makes a difference

A lot of us love to study on a kitchen counter, on a couch in the living room, or even on the bed! Doing our studies at these places will dramatically decrease our incentive to work and distract us from focusing hence lowering our productivity. Why so? Because you can be seduced by a plate of apple pies in the kitchen, or your Xbox in the living room, and of course, your pillows and blankets on the bed. You might end up either eating, gaming or dozing-off (you choose which one you want to do). Many students are sick of themselves doing these but in fact this is a habit which can be changed by simply moving your study location to a better place.

Work on a proper study table. If you have one, great. If you do not have a study table, you should really consider buying one with your own savings or request your parents to buy you one, because this is a worthwhile investment for your own learning, you will see the positive effects in no time, and so will your parents. Now, pick a place in the house to place your newly bought, well-deserved table. Pick a place where there is nothing to distract you. It can be a corner, or a guest room, or if there is an empty room in your house which can be used as a study room of course that would be the best place.

If you are the type of person who can be distracted where ever you are, then choose a place where the least amount of distractions exist, and try to keep away all the stuffs which can potentially tempt you.

Studying under good lighting can avoid eye strain.
Studying under good lighting can avoid eye strain. | Source

Tip #2: Sufficient illumination

I cannot stress enough the importance of having a study lamp on your study desk. Well, it keeps you awake, of course. With enough lighting you are less likely to fall asleep. Having sufficient illumination will also help protect your vision and avoid you from straining your eyes in order to see clearly in the dark (Reading in the dark is a risk factor of developing near-sightedness/myopia).

A green plant on my desk
A green plant on my desk | Source

Tip #3: A plant on your desk

A small pot of green plant will suffice. A plant does a lot more than just adding touches of green on your desk. First off, plants are manufacturers of oxygen; having a plant at your study table means you will have a constant intake of oxygen, which, as a result, can pacify you psychologically (lacking in oxygen can make people nervous and mercurial.). The inflow of oxygen into our brain allows us to focus more easily while reducing stress, boosting our productivity.

REMEMBER TO WATER YOUR PLANT ACCORDINGLY IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SIT NEAR A WILTING/WILTED PLANT!

Tidiness rocks!
Tidiness rocks! | Source

Tip #4: Utilize Book Stoppers, Shelves and Folders

They are not decors - i repeat, they are not decors! They are utilities to get you more organized. Getting organized is not at all a habit that can be easily cultivated but once you possess the habit, it signifies a big step forward. Nobody wants to work under a huge mess of draft papers, stationaries, and notebooks. Many understand the needs of having a tidy space to study comfortably, and many understand that stuffs like book stoppers, folder etc can come in handy, but yet many are too lazy to organize and as a result, they have vacant bookshelves, unused book stoppers and numerous empty folders piling up.

Tidying up isn't hard and it is NOT something that you need to do everyday. If you are consistent enough, spending about 15 minutes per week should suffice. Just as an example, you can arrange your textbooks in between book stoppers so that they can be easily accessed to, your reference books and novels in a rack for you don't need them as much as your textbooks, and your scattered notes in folder according to subjects so that you won't end up hunting for them everywhere whenever they are required.

My drawer is attached to my study table
My drawer is attached to my study table | Source

Tip #5: Drawer a good idea to keep away distractions

Similar to Tip #4, drawer helps to tidy up our study space, but apart from that, it keeps distractions away from your sight. Of course, your younger siblings and your pets wont fit into a drawer, but stuffs like your gadgets, cables, posters, DVDs and junk food can go in there. It is even better if your drawer is lockable; lock it and put the key somewhere in the house where you find difficult to get access to, just so that you won't be tempted to unlock it before you get your job done!

Tip #6: A space to stretch your body

Sandwiching yourself in between your table and your chair is a BIG no-no. You got to have some space to stretch and move around once in a while, preferably near a window, or even out in the garden. Stretching out periodically can effectively reduce weariness especially for those woking for long hours before a computer screen.

Tip #7: Soft music & small speaker

Many people can't work under complete silence because the quietness may make them feel somewhat awkward and bored, causing them to get distracted even more easily than when there is a little bit of noise in the room. If you are a person of such, feel free to put on some music (i mean soft music, not metallic rock). It is suggested that you play your music out of a speaker instead of a pair of earbudsm because the cables of the earbuds can coil up very easily and become another source of distraction. On the contrary, speakers have shorter and more manageable cable, some are even wireless.

Speakers as small as a fist are widely sold in the market and their sound quality are generally perceived to be good.

Mind you, though, music can deteriorate productivity if you are working on assignments that require memorizing or calculating. Turn them off when you feel them affecting hampering your effectiveness.

Tip #8: Picking the right chair

Your chair should be of a comfortable height for you and your table. Moreover, it shouldn't be too soft/comfy, otherwise there is a big chance of you day-dreaming on there and eventually fall asleep. Lazy peeps should get themselves non-rotatable, non-rollable chairs. I used to sit on this type of chair in which you can roll around and rotate about. Subsequently, kitchen became an easily accessible place for me as I can roll my chair all the way from the study room to the kitchen to steal food. To counter this, I switched to a wooden chair, since going into the kitchen is the last thing I wanted to do if I am to walk there.

"Study Smart, Study Less" by Anne Crossman
"Study Smart, Study Less" by Anne Crossman | Source

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