The area you choose to study in has more of an impact on your study habits than you might think: if the room is too small, you’ll feel more pressured; if it’s a mess, you’ll feel disorganised; if the walls are covered in posters, you’ll be easily distracted; but on the other hand, if the room is too plain, you’ll lack the motivation to really put your head down and work hard.
It’s a space that needs to be well laid out, tidy and above all, well designed.
First thing’s first, you need a reasonable size desk or table to work on. Enough space to have several books open and still have enough room to write an essay, is essential. You don’t want to feel crowded and you most definitely don’t want to have to keep lifting up books to get to others buried underneath!
The desk chair is the obvious next step. It needs to be comfortable and supportive, to allow you to sit in it for hours on end, however something as soft and cosy as an armchair probably won’t help you get much done. Stools are a really bad idea and simply using a chair from the dining room isn’t a motivating habit to get into either. I would recommend taking the time to look for a decent office chair, nothing too bright or fancy and ideally one that doesn’t have the recliner option. Study session naps won’t aid your productivity!
Another thing to consider is what colour you paint the walls and the things you choose to hang on them. I would have to say that I feel white is too plain. A nice cream or a pastel shade would be perfect, as it gives a bit of colour without being overwhelming and distracting. One or two wall decorations gives a nice touch, however you want to make sure that they are not hung within your direct line of vision, when sat at your desk. Something interesting to look at for when your mind needs a break is a good idea, but you don’t want it close enough to distract you from what you’re in the room to do – study!
The next thing to ensure you have, is an open space somewhere in the room. This will be used, most likely, for pacing whilst repeating notes back to yourself or for exercising when you need to get up and move around.
The furniture you place in the room is also very important. Try to avoid cluttering the room with unnecessary items, like those for decoration. We’ve previously mentioned a desk, but a couple of other “must have” items for the study room is a book shelf and some sort of storage piece for all those other bits and bobs.
This last one may not seem a priority, but I think that keeping the room clean and tidy is crucial, and a place to put all your things helps to do this. Some sort of stationary bucket or holder should have a place on the desk and should also be filled with every type of stationary item you could possibly need, as having to get up and search for a functional pen when you need it could be considered a big distraction.
Finally, take a moment to look at the lighting in the room. Natural light is ideal, but not all rooms have big, open windows. If this is the case with your study area, a desk lamp and other additional light sources are a good investment. A useful tip, as far as lighting is concerned, is not to cover up the ceiling lights with fancy light shades. A simple, cream light shade will do the trick and won’t block out the light that helps you to study.
Hopefully this quick guide will allow you to create a space, that will help optimize your concentration and productivity.