Study Spaces

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

With a new academic semester commencing in most parts of Australia this week, so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about study spaces, that's because studying and learning should be more than just sitting at a desk in a room. The way in which you study and where you study significantly impacts on how much you learn. This is a blog to inspire ideas on how you can tailor your study space, or change up your study space to enhance your productivity and overall learning process.

Firstly, it is absolutely crucial that the area in which you study has good lighting, during the day, maximise the natural light, and of an evening, make sure the space can be lit well. Good lighting prevents your eyes from being strained. If your desk or study space doesn't have good lighting, try and buy a nice lamp that that brighten up the room.

It is also very important that you prevent yourself from studying on or in your bed. The main reason being that your bed is for sleep, and your brain has been trained to know that bed = sleep. Therefore, you want to avoid confusing your brain. If you study in or on your bed, you run the risk of training your brain to either remain awake when you're trying to get to sleep, or falling asleep when you're meant to be studying.

Attempt to minimise the amount of people sharing your study space (at least your space at home). You also need to consider the space in which you will require, the depth of your desk, the length of your desk, how much room your textbooks and computer or laptop take up, and how much stationery you need access to. It's really important you avoid clutter. I have a very large desk, and I minimise the amount of books and technology on my desk so I can maximise the desk space, all my stationery is neatly stored in drawers and sorted so there is ease of access when required. I may need to have multiple books and print-outs on my desk at any one time for research or class preparation, therefore I need to use my space productively.

Sometimes a change in scenery is also a really good way to keep your study productive. So, if you have enough space at home, or you feel comfortable at university or in a library, have a primary study space and a secondary study space. My primary study space is my home office, and my secondary study space is located at my work. Sometimes I can grow tired of being in the one place, and that can lead to unproductive work and time-wasting, so I will take myself into work and get into the research or work mode there.

A change of scenery can also be a local cafe - this is something I often do as well, the atmosphere although loud can be really comfortable and warm, and I often drown out the background noise as I become more immersed in my research or work. My suggestion would be to find a table out of the way of the main foot traffic, and also have a proper seat, so avoid sitting on a stool. I am also a big advocate for studying outside and getting fresh air, so, sometimes relocating yourself onto your balcony or in the garden can be a nice change.

Little additions to your study space, include having a comfortable desk chair, which is supportive of your back and adjustable for your height and the height of the desk. Another little addition could be a small plant, just to keep your environment fresh and bright.

Having a space tailored just for you can be one of the best ways to enhance your productivity and your ability to learn and revise.

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