Don’t panic, but exam season is looming. The time has finally come to open up those textbooks and get to work, and in order to avoid some stressful late night cramming, it’s probably best to start soon. The library can be a great place to study, but it also comes with its own distractions. If you’d prefer to avoid exam hysteria, or simply enjoy studying from the comfort of your own home, we’ve got some great tips on how you can transform your apartment into the ultimate workspace, and maximise your studying efficiency.
Designate a space
As tempting as it sounds, studying in bed is going to have a huge negative impact on your productivity. Your brain associates that space with sleep, so will find it almost impossible to re-interpret it as a workspace. If you don’t have a desk in your apartment, you can easily transform an area around you into an ideal study spot. Try setting up all the stationary you require on your kitchen table, and clearing away any distractions (like the dirty dishes you’ve been avoiding), to help you get in the zone.
Keep it organised
A cluttered space means a cluttered mind. Investing in some binders or wall calendars can be a great way to organize your space and make you feel on top of things. The same goes for your computer: we’ve all rushed to complete a document, saved it under a random name, and then struggled to find it later on. It may seem simple, but organizing your files is crucial to avoid any further unwarranted stress.
Limit your distractions
This may be hard, but go unplugged. Your phone is the ultimate distraction, and it’s all too easy to accidentally spend 45 minutes scrolling through Instagram. Put it on airplane mode, hide it in a draw and do anything to keep it out of reach. If you’re still too tempted to check it, the Forest App is a great way to turn your phone into a study tool. It encourages you to stay focused by planting virtual trees and letting them grow bigger the longer you resist checking your phone for. If you live in a shared apartment, you can also play music to eliminate background noise, or even listen to ambient noise, which has been proven to improve your creative cognition.
Get some light
Not only will artificial light give you eye strain, but it is also known to affect our melatonin, and can consequently end up making us more tired. Natural light is contrastingly great for making sure we stay alert and awake. If positioning yourself by a window is simply too distracting, make sure you step outside everyone once in a while to soak up those rays.
Manage your time
While everyone is different when it comes to studying, most of us are unable to concentrate for hours on end. Having a clock visible to monitor your time can be a great way to help you study smarter, not harder. The Pomodoro Technique has gained a lot of popularity, as it encourages you to revise for short periods of time, with frequent intervals. When the time does come to take a break, make sure your apartment is stocked up with all the essentials you will need. Treat yourself to a snack or cup of coffee, and even drop in on your roommates for a quick chat- you deserve it!