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How Brock University Students Can Optimize Their Study Space

How Brock University Students Can Optimize Their Study Space

School’s out for summer, but it is never too soon to start thinking about how to make next year even better! Whether you are moving off campus for the first time, or simply trying to shake things up for the new school year, summer is a great time to think about what your space will look like next year.

While stocking up on indoor twinkle lights and posters is important, you might also want to consider what your study space will look like. Having a place in your apartment dedicated to homework, studying, and writing is a huge motivator to stay on track with schoolwork, and it can also add to the whole “I’m a hardworking student” aesthetic that parents really appreciate. Here are some tips for how to rock your study station for next year.

1. Light up your space
One surefire way to kill productivity is by giving yourself a headache from staring at a screen or trying to read a textbook in the dark. Make sure your space has adequate lighting. Not keen on lamps? Take advantage of natural light by studying near a window. Night owl? Look for LED desk lamps with multiple modes (for studying, relaxing, or reading). The type of light surrounding your study space truly affects your concentration, alertness, and how much information you retain, making lighting one of the most important aspects of your study space.

2. Get comfy (but not too comfy)
Being uncomfortable, in a rigid desk chair, or at a too high/too low work space is a huge distraction. If you are focused on how you feel, you can’t focus on your tasks. At the same time, if you are cozy on the couch with a book propped on your lap, it won’t take long for that book to fall to the floor as you enter slumberland, and there goes all your focus and productivity.

Create a space where you feel comfortable, with a chair and a desk you can comfortably sit at for long periods of time. Test out desk chairs at the local home goods store, and find one that works for you. Try to get one that is adjustable, because sometimes sitting in a slightly different position can refocus you. Find an area of the apartment where the temperature remains steady, so you won’t feel hot or cold. If it helps you to have a blanket nearby just in case, get a lap blanket specifically for studying. Find one small enough to only cover your legs, so you are less tempted to snuggle up. Be honest with yourself about whether you will be able to focus, or be tempted to nap instead when choosing your study furniture. 

3. Limit Distractions
Nothing can kill productivity faster than a quick distraction, because most distractions turn into much longer ordeals. Help yourself out by placing your study area away from TVs, video games, or other projects. If you like to knit, for example, but know that knitting will keep you away from your work, keep your needles and yarn in a different room. When you are studying, put your cell phone on do not disturb, then put it in a different part of the apartment. If you need incentives to keep away from distractions, make them your rewards.

Start a “to-do” list on your desk, with rewards for each task you finish. For example, “When I finish assignment one, I can check Facebook for 10 minutes” or “when I finish this research paper, I can watch a movie on Netflix”. This way, you still get to have those distractions around, but they become productivity boosters instead of productivity suckers.

Similarly, making sure you eat before you start studying, and always have a water bottle (or caffeinated beverage, if that’s your thing) nearby can prevent the dreaded food breaks. Once you are concentrated and in the zone, even small distractions mean it will take you twice as long to get back to where you were. Maximize your productivity by minimizing distractions at your work station.

4. Be Creative
Everyone learns differently, has different preferences, and different motivations. Think about what you like, or don’t like, about studying, and tailor your station to fit your own personal needs. Does it help you to write things down? Have plenty of notepads and pens on hand. Are you more productive when you can see your goals? Post them at eye level! Need a little confidence boost? Keep any projects you are proud of, notes from teachers, friends or family, and post them at your work station also! Be as bright and colorful, or as minimal and simplistic as you want. It is YOUR workstation after all. 

Looking forward to decorating a space, but don’t have the space yet? Check out StudentLofts.ca, near Brock University, and find the best space to focus on your degree

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