In order to understand and retain information, you need to be able to concentrate on what you are studying. This is dependent on you studying in an area that is suited to your learning needs and style, which makes creating a productive study space is an essential element of studying well.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you create a productive study space:
Identify your needs. Some people need absolute quiet when they are studying, while others prefer to have music playing in the background. You know what you need to help you concentrate and stay focused, so set up your study area accordingly. See our Study Skills Checklist
Set up a study place that is equipped for studying. Pens, pencils, paper, calculator, pencil sharpener and other supplies should be within easy access of your study area. If you need to get up and move elsewhere every time you need something, you will not be able to stay focused on studying. For teachers see our Effective Study Skills Lesson Plan or the Study Environment worksheet
Be consistent. Use the same study area every day, and try to study at the same time each day. This establishes a connection between the time and space and studying, and going to your study space at the same time every day will become habit. Use your study area only for studying and you will associate that place with studying. That will help you stay focused on your studies while you are there.Make sure your study area is a place where you can relax, yet stay focused. Your bedroom may seem like a great place to study, but you may doze off continuously while studying there
Set up study rules. If you study better at certain times or when you are able to take short breaks, then make that part of your study rules. Make sure others realize that’s part of your study routine.
Use study totems. Athletes have lucky socks or lucky shorts. You can have a study hat or study scarf. You can use a figurine, a toy, or any other type of object as your study totem. When it is time to study, put on your study item or set out your study totem. A study item or study totem helps you study in two ways:
Once others understand what your study item or totem means, seeing it will tell them you are studying so they will not interrupt you.
When you start having trouble concentrating, you can look at your study item or totem instead of staring into space. It helps refocus your mind on the task at hand.
Your study area should be comfortable. The temperature should not be too hot or too cold. Make sure your chair is comfortable and you have room to wiggle your toes. Being confined or uncomfortable will become a distraction during a study session.
Establishing good study habits begins with setting up a productive study space. Your space should meet your needs, and personalizing it is always a good option. When you have a space used only for studying, it is easier for you to concentrate on the materials and ignore or avoid distractions.