Whether you’re at school or university, you’ll probably have to do some kind of independent work outside of the classroom or lecture hall. Being able to work independently is a skill that can take some people years to master properly, and everybody has their own way of getting work done efficiently.
Keep reading for 5 things you need to have in your study space in order for you to produce the best work possible.
1. Your study supplies
Before you settle down into getting your work done, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything you’re going to need in front of you. Getting up to find something in the middle of doing a task can disrupt your workflow, and make you lose concentration on what you were working on. Spending 5-10 minutes before you start working on collecting the right books, printouts, or opening the right web pages you’ll need can save you a lot of time later on.
2. Good lighting
One of the most important things you’ll need in a study space is good lighting. Especially when you’re doing stuff like reading and writing, it’s super important for your eyes that you’re not having to strain in the dark to read something. On the other hand, if it’s too bright it can often leave you with a headache and make you feel like there’s too much going on in front of you. If you’re getting your work done in the day, try to position yourself somewhere with lots of natural light. If that’s not possible, or if you’re working in the evenings, having a good source of light, like a desk lamp is a must have!
3. No distractions
Do you talk to people a lot about topics that aren’t to do with work? Try and find a workspace on your own, or work in a silent section of a public library where you’re not allowed to talk! Do you find yourself scrolling on social media or your phone when you should be working? Turn off your phone! You can also go into your phone settings to set a time limit on how long you have certain apps for.
Some people find it really helpful to listen to music while they study. According to scientists, listening to music activates both sides of your brain at the same time, something which improves your memory and makes learning new things a lot easier. Certain types of music like classical, or specific study and focus music can be really useful ways of enhancing your concentration for a study session. There are loads of study music playlists you can find on YouTube for free if you’re this kind of person. However, if you know that you can only really properly concentrate when it’s silent, make sure you find a quiet working space with limited background noise.
4. A flat work surface
If possible, try to avoid doing work in your bed! Because your bed is also the place where you go to sleep, your brain will automatically associate it with rest and reduced focus. When you start studying in your bed, your brain will also have a harder time remembering that this is a place where you should be able to sleep, because you’re forcing it to focus while you concentrate. So not only will it reduce your focus, it will also effect how quickly and how well you sleep later on. A desk or table is the best place to study. Try and pick a comfortable chair with good back support. You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time in your study space, so you want it to be comfortable!
In order to stay healthy, humans should drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day. Water is even more important when you’re trying to do some homework or work independently. Even a 2% decrease in brain dehydration can result in short term memory loss. Any kind of memory loss is the absolute last thing you want when you’re trying to study! Make sure you’ve got a water bottle or a glass of water that you can refill nearby.
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