The essentials to setting up your study space!
One of my favourite things about starting my studies after a long-winded break from academia was setting up my study space at home! Having the right study environment really impacted my level of productivity and focus. I was studying full-time, 50% in class and 50% at home therefore it was vital that I was comfortable and organised in and outside of campus. I have put together some of my top tips to get your study space ready.
Choose a spot in your house where you can focus with little distractions. Somewhere people aren't coming in and out, like the kitchen or the lounge room. Some don’t have the luxury to have a spare room in their home to set up, I had an office desk in my room by the window. It was quiet, I had natural lighting and having that dedicated study space, trained my brain that when I was in that space, I was there to study and focus.
Keep in mind everyone is different, you may work best within an open space such as a coffee shop or the library. It will be a trial and error, if you're not sure about what works best for you, mix it up throughout the week. It’s important to ensure the space you find or create is comfortable enough for you to sit in for a couple of hours at a time. There’s nothing worse than trying to focus when you’re not physically comfortable.
2. Motivation & inspiration
Do you have a favourite motivational quote or picture? What do you want to achieve? Write it down, print it out, create a vision board. People often underestimate the power of a vision board (Check out Christine Kane’s blog on How to create a vision board!) Visualisation can be one of the most powerful exercises an individual can do. Every time I found a quote I liked or even a happy, motivating thought I had I would write it on a sticky note and stick it to my mirror. Whenever my eyes wandered away from my computer I would find myself re-reading my little sticky notes and gathering my motivation and focus back.
Before you start your studies, think about what you’re going to need, take a trip to officeworks, typo, or any other stationary store and stock up on those essentials! For me, it was a few notebooks, post-it-notes and highlighters.
I actually created my own Semester calendar, I got an A3 sheet, drew up lines, pop in my due dates, when I needed to go into class, zoom session times and got creative with it! I stuck it on my wall at the end of my bed and was the first thing I saw every morning. I highly recommend you create your own semester calendar, you can make it your own, be as creative as you like and design it in a format that suits you best (In poster form, in a notebook, a digital copy, by days, by weeks, whatever works for you!). Otherwise, there are plenty of semester calendar templates you can download & print.
4.Focus & Routine
Take breaks! It is very important for maximum productivity to take breaks, whether that be getting up for a coffee, a glass of water, a walk around the block or a quick stretch. I have a wandering mind, therefore I would set a timer for an hour or even listen to an hour of study focus music on youtube.
You may work best for 8 hours straight, or 30-minute increments. Set those expectations for yourself and notify others in the house what your routine will be like. There is a range of productivity apps that are worth downloading too!