Whether you’ve got an older student in your life heading back to school, or you’re creating a productive work space for yourself at home, it helps to take the time to really think about what you need out of the space, and plan accordingly. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Distraction: yea or nay?
Some people need absolute silence and privacy in order to concentrate. For others, upbeat music and “house traffic” keeps them focused. Think about ways to deal with distraction.
An open or shared space can quiet down with sound-cancelling headphones. Close out visual clutter with a standing screen or curtain. (Bonus: this works in reverse too! No need to gaze upon a messy work space while you relax after your own long day!) You can also get creative with shelves and other room dividers.
If you work best with others, you can create shared work space, where others’ work habits can be a good influence.
For minds that work best in the midst of things, set up a mixed-use space so one person can study or work while someone else practices music or watches TV nearby. If you find that you’re restless while trying to accomplish tasks, it can help to have multiple options: a desk to sit at, a couch to read on, and so forth. That way, it’s easy to cycle between tasks instead of losing focus entirely.
Bright light, bright mind
If hitting the books means reading actual books, make sure you set up a reading space to take advantage of natural light. The right window treatment can help draw in the sun while minimizing glare.
For darker days, choose lamps that minimize eyestrain. Bright but indirect light is usually your best bet – overhead lighting can cast shadows on your work, and zingy spotlights add stressful glare and contrast. Pick light-colored shades and scatter several lamps around the area. Use bulbs that mimic daylight as closely as possible, too.
An inviting, convenient and comfortable study space can boost scholarly success!For the snack-and-study types, a small side table or short filing cabinet can hold a steaming mug of tea or a bag of chips to minimize the possibility of spills on the keyboard or book.
Hang an inspiring piece of art in a place where it can be seen just by glancing up from your work. Try, for instance, a collection of subject-specific photographs to set the right mood. Or maybe a cushy space is in order, for easy lounging with a laptop. The perfect chair can make your work space feel like luxury.
Setting up the right work space makes all the difference.