Do you find yourself surrounded by clutter or do you have a clean slate when it comes to studying?
Whether you work best in a bit of a mess or a state of domestic bliss, a dedicated and effective study space can increase your productivity and learning ability. Of course what exactly a dedicated and effective study space is differs depending on you as a person but some things still remain the same.
A bright, well-lit, welcoming space that is neither too cold nor too warm and blocks out just enough noise is the perfect place, apparently. Right, did you get all that? We hope you did.
Obviously meeting all those requirements can be tough, but is mostly achievable when you work with what you already have. Here’s how you can renovate and reinvigorate your study space and start kicking goals for your education and training.
Sprucing your space up with photos, posters or odds and ends is a good starting point. It’s cheap and easy and often reminds you of some of the reasons why you are working so hard. Getting personal can also make you comfortable and feel at ease, taking the stress out of the situation of studying. Though, it’s important to not get too comfortable and slip into an unproductive cycle.
Creating a personal space can inspire ideas too. If you’re surrounded by inspiration then it’s only a matter of time before the lightning strikes and you have a new idea to work with.
Getting some greenery into your study space is also great for boosting concentration levels, reducing stress and as we all already know, plants are important for our general health and well-being.
Though, don’t get too comfortable if you’re in a public space. Be mindful of others and your surroundings and maybe keep the motivational music and mess to yourself.
Follow the Light
Studies have found that natural light can have a huge impact on your productivity and effectiveness. In recent times, it has been discussed that artificial light can lead to drowsiness and decreased output. It’s believed that the artificial light messes with our bodies natural cycle of releasing Melatonin – the hormone that tells our body what time it is and makes us feel drowsy when it’s time to sleep.
Placing yourself in view of plenty of natural light when studying can help keep you alert and awake, effectively making your more productive – or at least, make you feel more productive. The idea is that by putting your body back into its natural sleep cycle you will feel better rested. Natural light has also been linked to increased happiness so it’s time you broke free from the dungeon.
Of course, if you can’t position yourself in the light then try taking regular breaks outside. Unless your vampire. Then in that case ah, don’t bite.
Even changing your light bulbs can have a difference. Try finding the right amount of light between harsh and ambient lighting.
Temperature, "Just Right..."
Just like Goldilocks, finding the right temperature is important because you don’t want to be a blue-lipped chattering ice cube nor a cosy-cat when you’re studying. Finding the right balance can keep you awake and alert which is important for maintaining concentration levels. A Cornell University study found in 2004 that a slightly warmer office bred higher productivity – and fewer typing errors. When the office temperature increased to between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius, so too did employee output.
Everyone’s idea of comfort is different however, so try to find your balance. If you can control the temperature of your space, try setting it around standard room temperature (between 20 to 26 degrees Celsius). If not, put on another layer or set up in a warmer pocket.
Brighten this Place Up
Colours, as we already know, connote different feelings and emotions. Different colours do different things. Yellow can have you feeling cosy, but it is also stimulating. Red can be hostile but also signals alertness. Whereas white and neutral colours can queue calmness and help reduce stress levels.
If you can’t redecorate and re-paint then try putting up colourful art and placing bright objects around your study space. Improving your mood and changing your mentality can have positive effects on your productivity and even your creativity.
So next time your find yourself starting at a blank wall feeling uninspired, do something about it and inject a bit a colour- “let’s brighten this place up a little.”
Noise is a difficult factor. Some people find complete silence best when it comes to concentrating while others find background noise really helps. Blocking out excessive noise is effective, while finding the right levels from there can be hard.
While music can help some to concentrate, sometimes it can hinder your performance. What has been found is that new information is best learnt without your headphones, but tasks that you are accustom to could be helped by some music.
Ambient noise, or white noise, has been proven to be “conducive to creative cognition” too. Somehow, a small amount of distraction from the task at hand allows our imagination to run wild and that’s when we have our lightbulb moments. Coffivity is a great site that plays background noise like the sounds you would hear in a café or restaurant. Plug some speakers in and have the chatter and clanking of plates lull you into creative state.
Finding your favourite spot to study or overhauling your space at home could make a massive difference in your education and training. By enhancing your learning environment, you can increase your productivity and become a better student. Injecting some colour and allowing natural light in is the best way to boost your mood and energy levels, while personalizing the space and finding a groove with some noise is a surefire way to start making progress with your creativity.
Looking for more tips on making-over your home office, try these hacks.
And here's how to make the perfect study session.