When embarking on an online degree programme, you can be sure that it’s going to take dedication and hard work. Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks you can use get the most out of your course. One of the most important things to get right is to create the right kind of study environment.
Check out our 10 tips on how to make your study space work for you.
You want to be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep (studying in bed is not always the best option). Choose a desk that comes up to between your waist and ribcage when you sit at it, and a simple chair that fits the height of the desk. You want to be able rest your feet on the floor, and not have to hunch your shoulders over your laptop when working.
A study space that is not lit properly may make you feel sleepy and put strain on your eyes. Make sure your screen contrast is comfortable to look at, use a small desk lamp to light your immediate study area, and a larger lamp or overhead light to light the rest of the room. Natural light is fine, but make sure the temptation to look out of the window doesn’t distract you from your studies.
Make sure you have all the study materials you need to hand, and ONLY the study materials you need. Keep traditional school supplies (pens, paper, books) in a designated area on your desk or in a desk drawer. Also, make sure your laptop or tablet charger is nearby (you don’t want to lose work because you were concentrating too hard to notice a dying battery).
A tidy and efficient desktop is an effective desktop, whether it’s your real desk or on your computer. Make sure every item you need to study has it’s own place and everything is labeled clearly, especially computer files and printed materials. The learning platform always keeps you up to date, but a nice wall calendar can also help you know at a glance what you need to do next.
Time management is often one of the implicit skills online students say they improve in the most while doing an online degree. Treat your desk or wall to a beautiful clock. There’s no need to be afraid of having a clock either. When used as a tool for motivation, a clock can provide a very simple way to help you stay focused and get the job done.
Put your phone away
In this day and age it might seem like an unrealistic request, but detaching from your smartphone while you study (unless you are studying on your phone) will allow you to really get down to some serious work. If you can’t bring yourself to turn it off, try putting it in airplane mode. Also, leave social to media one side during your designated study time, and then look forward to sharing your success on facebook and twitter when that important assignment has finally been submitted to your tutor.
You may be the kind of person who enjoys a little background noise when studying. However, the most important thing to do is make sure the noise is YOUR noise i.e. music that you choose or a radio station you enjoy. Noise from your neighbor, traffic outside or television can be a distraction, so try to minimize this as much as you can.
Make sure that the study space you have created is only used for studying. This is quite important because the space physically represents your dedication and focus on achieving your degree. If it’s not possible to have a dedicated space, make sure you can transform an appropriate area to and from your dedicated study space as seamlessly and tidily as possible.
Part of creating a space where you can be comfortable and concentrate on your work can also have a lot to do with aesthetics that please your senses. Don’t be afraid to hang inspiring pictures, use scented candles (but not those designed to relax you too much), and decorate your study space to please your senses and reflect your ambition to succeed.
Remember, this is YOUR study space, so you can make it exactly how you feel it will suit your study habits best. Experiment a little with exactly how you design your study space. If you feel that you would perform better if all your study materials matched, then make it happen. Personalising your study space reinforces focus, and can help you look forward to studying.
We understand that studying online takes dedication and discipline, but the advantages when you get your study method, space, and routine set up are totally worth it. Follow these tips to make sure you give yourself the best chance to succeed when studying your online degree, and make your study space the place where real dreams happen. We wish you all the best of luck.