In order to create a study space, follow these four steps:
1. Remove all distractions.
2. Have easy access to everything you need before you start.
3. Experiment with lighting.
4. Adjust your study space to the ideal temperature
The power of associative learning!
Associative learning occurs when we create or pair a stimulus with a behavior. In the case of learning, we associate or pair certain things such as a classroom with concentration, acquisition of new knowledge and task completion. Similarly, we associate our bedroom or lounge room with relaxation. This can contribute to why remote learning can be challenging; we are asking our brain to do something counterintuitive and switch our learning mode on in an environment we associate with relaxation. Setting up stimuli or cues that we usually pair with learning can be helpful as it can “switch” our brain into learning mode. Some suggestions are:
● Put up a copy of your timetable on the wall
● Keep all your school supplies allocated to one place
● Use visual cues such as a print out of your house symbol, photo of the school or you and your friends in school uniform
● Hang your blazer over your chair
● Basically anything that you associate with school will be useful!
1. Make sure all your study materials are functioning. Do this before you start studying. You can get derailed easily if something stupid happens like your pen isn’t working, your pencil runs out of lead, or your computer isn’t charged.
2. Make your study space ergonomic. Don’t slouch, keep your feet on the floor, position your screen at eye level (otherwise you’ll wreck your neck), and type with your wrists in a neutral position.
3. Keep your study space as clean (or messy) as you like. Some research suggests that messy spaces can be better for creative work, since they encourage unconventional thinking. Other productivity experts swear by a minimalist, decluttered desk.
4. Take breaks every 30-60 minutes. Besides being good for your health, regular breaks also boost your productivity and focus.
5. View your study space as a work in progress. Try one or two things and see if you like them, then add from there. Remember, the ultimate goal is to make your study time more effective, not to create the best workspace just for its own sake.
6. Make the best of the space you have. Especially if you’re in a bedroom with a sibling, it can be tricky to get everything perfect. You have to work with what you have, but don’t let that discourage you–view it as a reason to get creative.