With back-to-school time upon us again, you might be wondering what you can do to set yourself or your child up for academic success.
As back-to-school season approaches, optimizing your study space for academic success is essential. Follow these steps to create an effective and personalized study environment:
- Select the Right Spot.
- Arrange Essentials.
- Stay Organized.
- Add Personal Touches.
- Maintain the Space.
Whether you want to get the edge on your university exams or give your child everything they need for the year ahead, creating a great space for study should be high on your list.
To help you kick-start this academic year, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to creating the perfect study space.
Step 1: Choose the right spot
Before you start picking furniture, colours or designs, the first thing to do is find the ideal environment.
Try to choose somewhere free of excessive noise. TVs, radios and sounds from the street can make it hard to focus and concentrate, which could have a negative impact on academic performance.
If you can, you should try to put your study space in a quiet area of the house, away from hallways or shared spaces. This will make it much easier to avoid unnecessary distractions and pay attention to the task at hand.
Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid all noise and distractions, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dream of a perfect study space. For example, you might opt to use headphones if you need to put your desk in a noisier part of your house.
When choosing your ideal study environment, it’s important to think about lighting. If you can, try to select a spot that has plenty of natural lighting throughout the day. Sunlight doesn’t just make a space feel bright and refreshing, but research shows it can also be linked to increased alertness and productivity!
However, you can’t always study during the day, so it’s vital that your study area has ample lighting at nighttime, too. In addition to your overhead lighting, it’s a good idea to invest in a lamp. This will reduce the risk of eye fatigue, which can be caused by reading in low light.
Step 2: Sort out the basics
Now that you’ve identified the best study environment, it’s time to start building your space! Because you or your child will likely be spending many hours here, it’s crucial to ensure you provide a high-quality desk and chair.
The desk you choose should be of an appropriate height, size and depth for the area it’s in and the person using it. Additionally, you should select a comfortable, adjustable chair that provides plenty of back support.
Ensuring your desk and chair are ergonomic will help prevent you from experiencing muscular stress, strain or pain while studying and can significantly reduce the risk of developing repetitive injuries.
If you haven’t already, you’ll also need to pick up some tech! A laptop or computer is an essential piece of equipment for students today, so it’s worthwhile investing in one that has plenty of memory and a quality webcam.
Think about what other accessories you might require throughout the year as well. For instance, if you spend a lot of time on your laptop, it might be a good idea to purchase a riser and a separate keyboard and mouse. If you regularly have to print assignments or tasks, make sure your printer is installed so it’s ready to go when you need it.
Finally, don’t forget to check your internet connection. With so much schooling taking place online these days, it’s vital that your connection is strong, reliable and secure.
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Step 3: Get organized
Back-to-school is the perfect time to get your year off on the right foot, and luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay organized.
Using a planner or schedule is a great idea, especially for older students or those at university. Juggling classes, assignments and exams—not to mention work and social commitments—can easily become overwhelming, so taking a few minutes to map out your time is a wise investment.
A large schedule can be pinned to the wall and is an excellent way to see upcoming important dates at a glance. On the other hand, a daily or weekly notebook planner can be easily carried around and provides more room for making detailed notes on tasks and deadlines.
Try experimenting with different planners and methods to find out what works best for you!
Your time isn’t the only thing you have to organize, though! To prepare for the year ahead, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to keep your study space clean and tidy.
For those who handle a lot of paperwork, this might mean getting some drawers or filing cabinets so you can store your documents securely out of sight. Bookworms or those who use hard-copy references might benefit from a nearby bookshelf as well.
Step 4: Make it your own
So, you’ve gathered everything you need to make your study space as efficient and ergonomic as it can be. Now it’s time to decorate!
One affordable option is to choose some nice stationery, like pens, pencils and highlighters. You can even pick up some nice desk accessories that match your personal style, such as a pen holder, mousepad or coffee cup. If you enjoy aromatherapy, you might even want to pick up a diffuser so you can enjoy pleasant scents while you work.
If you’re happy to splash a little more cash on making your study area your own, you could even invest in some wall art, fairy lights or a few fun trinkets or knick-knacks.
When designing your space, try to choose things that create a calm and serene environment, as this will make spending time there more enjoyable.
Step 5: Keep it up!
Now that you’ve put the effort into creating your perfect study space, it’s crucial to maintain it!
As the academic year gets into swing, it can sometimes become difficult to care for our spaces. For some people, it’s never too long before papers start being left out, pens go missing and your once-tidy desk is an impossible mess.
Thankfully, now is also the ideal time to start building good habits to keep you on track for the year ahead. Try dedicating a few minutes each day to tidying your study space, and stick to it as much as possible.
Not only will this make sure you stay organized, but having a clean desk can even help you feel more focused and boost your productivity!