Good study practice means more than just revision and books. Learn how creating the right space is an important part of academic success.
A study space is a designated area of your choosing that you complete all your work in. Research indicates that your personal study area can have a strong impact on your study success. We compiled a set of tips below that will help you create a study oasis that maximises productivity:
Mark your territory in your home and stay in control of your space to ensure that you can maintain focus. Designate yourself a room, or a quiet corner of a section of an open space at home, and make sure everyone understands you are not to be disturbed! This zone is where the magic begins. Lots of planning, scheduling and organisation will be undertaken here, which will help you stay in control of your daily routine.
Find a good desk and chair! Since you’ll be spending endless hours at your desk, you need to be comfortable. Find a chair that supports your posture, and fits the height of the desk. Ensure that your elbows can rest easily upon your desk, and that you have an adequate workspace to spread out your materials. It is also recommended that you have sufficient lighting that allows you to see clearly, and supports your vision. Use a desk lamp to focus light on your workspace – this will help you get through all of those late night sessions.
Is your desk a mess? Keeping your desk and surrounding study area clean, organised and productive is key to getting your work done.
Firstly, start by doing a clean out of what you need and what you don’t need! It’s important to give yourself as much space as possible. Any unnecessary material will become distracting, and contribute to dust mites (yikes).
Keep your desk tidy by providing a quick, logical space for everything. Make your life less frustrating by placing the things you need the most in easily accessible spots.
Now you have the task of maintaining your desk space. To eliminate stacks of paper on your desk, make sure you get into the habit of storing loose sheets in places where they belong, like a folder, or glue them your in exercise book (your teachers should specify their preference). You should designate specific folders for different classes – this will help you find notes much more easily, knowing that the papers are kept safely.
It’s called a study space for a good reason. Make sure you follow the below:
Your diary, calendar or planner should be with you at all times! Jot down all your assessments, school events, extracurricular activities, and any parties that you have in advance so you can schedule your time wisely.
Whilst you’re studying, have your planner on-site so you can consult it, and schedule your time accordingly.
Write a list of things you plan to achieve every day. Whether you note it on a whiteboard, your phone, or on a piece of paper, make sure you can see it! Your list should have no more than three things on it for any given day. Don’t overload your to-do list and make things harder for yourself. And keep it to tasks you can get done in one day, not lifelong goals. Mark your tasks from most important to least important.
Your list needs to be achievable! Think about it, these tasks need to be completed within a single day, so make your own personal judgements based on your capabilities. Getting organised is all about priorities, and there’s no better feeling than ticking off your set tasks.
Set time slots for individual tasks. This will create a rough guide that will ensure you meet the tasks that you have set out for yourself. Don’t sweat it if you go a little over your schedule. It’s just a means of helping you plan and meet deadlines. Being mindful of the time enables you keep track of what you’re doing and will help you avoid procrastination.
Make sure that you schedule in some time to relax and take a breather in your daily planner. It’s important to find a healthy school-life balance, and that you use your down time to refresh and refocus. Your brain needs rest, especially after a long day after school. Ensure you’re eating the right foods, getting daily exercise and having a good night’s sleep. If you ever find yourself feeling rained in and stressed out, take a step away from your books and computer, and go for a walk or get some fresh air.
We can’t stress enough how important it is that you stay motivated and keep a strong momentum going throughout the year. Hang up some inspirational quotations, or goals that you want to achieve, and read them regularly to keep yourself going.