4 mins read

Creating a Successful Study Space: What to Include & What to Chuck in the Bin

09 February 2022   |   by Explore Careers

Returning to school is a BIG deal! For many of you, you’ll be entering pivotal years of your high school experience – and that probably means some SERIOUS study time!

Throw in the ever-moving goalposts of COVID and the uncertainty that it brings along with it, and making sure you’re well and truly prepared with a robust study space is a must.

You might have already had a lot of practice around this – and you might not.

So, we figured now was a good a time as ever to throw together some of our best advice on creating a study space (we’ve had some practice!) that sets you up for success.

Let’s get stuck in and start with the good stuff:

What to Include

Everybody is a little different, and what helps you study productively might take a little bit of figuring out. But there are some key ideas to adhere to get started.

1. Find a truly dedicated study space.

This should be a relatively private area of your home – perhaps your bedroom, but it could also be an office space, a quiet area of the living room or dining room. You want to find a spot you can make your own, and that you know whenever you’re ‘in it’ that means it’s time to focus and get work done!

Avoid sitting on your bed or the sofa – these are our comfy, relaxing spaces and don’t promote the best mindset for study. It becomes way too easy to flick the tele on or see what’s happening online.

2. Set yourself up for comfort.

Find a chair that supports your posture and fits the desk’s height so you can rest your elbows and forearms comfortably. Extras you’ll need to get comfy could include a couple of pillows, a decent lamp, an easy to reach pot of pens and highlighters, a notebook and a big (reusable) bottle of water.

Essentially – everything you’ll need to help you feel comfortable and ready to get stuck in.

3. Use planners and calendars to stay on track.

Set yourself up with a weekly or monthly printable calendar (there are heaps available for free online!) and keep track of everything you have coming up.

Stick this above your desk, so you’ve got an excellent visual overview of your week and how you need to plan your time.

4. Get inspirational.

Spend a little bit of time sourcing pictures that make you feel good, inspirational quotes, motivational messages and even photos with friends that can help make your study space feel inviting.

The more you make this space your own and somewhere you actively want to sit and spend time, the more encouraged you’ll feel to stick to your study schedule.

Habits to Throw Out

Part of creating a successful study space is consistency – and that means kicking out a few bad habits so that you can really focus and maximise your productivity.

1. Stop snacking in your study space.

We love a good cuppa and a plate of choc biccies at our desk as much as the next person, but all it results in are crumbs in our keyboard and tea stains on our notes.

If you feel peckish, take this as a cue to take a timed snack break. Allow yourself 10 or 15 minutes to get a bite and a drink, and then go eat it outside for some lovely fresh air.

This can help you maintain the mindset that your study space is for just that – study. Not snacking!

2. Break the phone habit.

It’s hard and it’s painful but trust us – if there’s one habit you should kick for successful study it’s taking a break from your phone. Turn it off, put it in a drawer and dedicate at least an hour to studying without checking it.

Especially as you start a new school year, giving in to distractions will be a hard habit to break so dedicate some time to mastering this one – it’ll be worth it.

3. Studying without a plan.

Once you’ve spent some time setting up a great looking study space, you can’t just expect it to magically mean you’ll be a study pro!

Make sure any time you decide to sit down and study, you have a game plan for what you want to achieve. It can be helpful to set goals. For example, three things you must achieve and three things it would be great to get ahead with can work well to keep you focused and on track!

4. Distractions distractions distractions.

The other biggest distraction we bet you’ll come against is your family!

Let everyone know your study plan, and the times you plan to spend in space studying throughout the week. This has two benefits:

  1. You can ask your family to support you in making sure you stick to your plan
  2. Your family know not to disturb you for a set amount of time.

The ultimate set-up for success definitely involves some solidarity from those around you!

What Else?

Like we said, everyone’s version of a successful study space will be slightly different. Maybe you have a mascot that sits on your desk with you. Perhaps you listen to some cool tunes while you’re working. Or maybe you have a favourite ‘study-tube’ channel you like to have on in the background to help you stay focused.

Whatever helps you get in the zone is okay by us, but make sure you give yourself the best set-up for success!

And we know so many of you have already been studying from home so we’d love to hear from you. Weird, wacky or wonderful; what are your best tips for creating a study space that equals success?


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