10 ways to optimise your study space
As an ATAR student, you have chosen to spend a decent chunk of time studying over this next year or two.
Since you're there anyway; the space you study in should help you both feel good and work effectively.
Studies have found that the right study environment can improve productivity and contribute to a more positive headspace overall.
Using this research to find what really works, we've collected these 10 ways to create the optimal study space.
1. Find privacy and peace: Your brain needs to concentrate to learn. Interruptions or distractions kill the vibe - especially from people around us - so find a place to fly solo. Negotiate for 'quiet time' at home; use headphones with white noise; or find a quiet shared study space like a library.
2. Lose your phone: Since learning requires focus, our phones - and other notifications - derail our productivity. To guard your momentum; hide your phone in a different room, or - if you must use it - switch off notifications and use a focus app.
3. Turn off the tunes: Listening to music can actually hinder study. You take longer to learn, and remember less of that knowledge, than study without a soundtrack. For alternatives, try nature sounds; white noise; binaural beats (google it - super cool) or even silence.
4. Sort your lighting out: Visual light-levels affect your brain-wave patterns. Natural lighting is best, but you'll probably study at night too; so a well-lit room without glare in your eyes will keep you alert and productive.
5. Clear your vision: Confused workspace = Confused mind. Keep a clutter-free desk with only essentials in sight to reduce visual distraction and guard that precious concentration.
6. Maintain a noticeboard: A well-used noticeboard (outside your field of view) helps you plan and stay on track. Keep a calendar of deadlines and commitments, pin reminders of key goals or motivations - even rotate some practice questions; it's a literal blank slate.
7. Get some air flow: Fresh air is great for alertness and calm, so let it in if you can! If that's not possible, try periodically studying outdoors or just somewhere more open - it can really improve your mindset.
8. Address the ergonomics: Aches and pains do not make study easier; while good posture can improve cognition, so don't overlook this. Create a comfortable, sustainable space for your body’s needs, and it'll thank you.
9. Colours do matter: You can actually use colour theory to guide your mental state. Red increases energy; blue keeps you calm; yellow will stimulate your mind etc. You could even wear orange whilst writing your essays because orange helps you communicate and express yourself.
10. Consider going public: If you're chronically distracted, don't beat yourself up about it. Instead, ditch tip 1, leave your room and find some accountability. It's easier to persevere when someone's watching - so set up in a living space where people can see your screen/work. Headphones + white noise are hugely helpful here.
We hope these tips add up to help you feel better - and study more effectively - than ever!
Remember, Practice is Perfect, so jump into a practice test or exam on ReviseOnline.