Guest Article by StatFuse:
If you want to succeed, you have to set up yourself for success.
One of the key parts of being able to focus on the task at hand is the prefect environment. This post is about creating a study place you’ll want to work in. A place where you go to everyday at the same time and get all of your work done in just an hour or two, leaving you with more free time to watch some Vines (or, dare I say it… read a book.)
So what is the “perfect environment” and how can you create it?
1) Where to study
Humans are creatures of habit and we often do the same things in the same place without noticing it. This means that you need to dedicate a place for your work, even if it’s just a certain area in your room. I struggled with this one for a long time. I used to spend some of my free time at my desk, but now that I’ve separated free time and work time, I noticed that as soon as I sit down at my desk I’m ready to work. Pick a quiet, well-lit place with a desk, and make sure people will be less likely to distract you there. Only use this place to do your schoolwork. Got a place in mind?
Note: The kitchen, your bed, and coffee shops are places you where you probably shouldn’t work because you’re either likely to be distracted by someone, or you won’t be in a good position to study.
2) The set-up
Start by clearing EVERYTHING off your desk. Seriously. Go to the place where you want to work and clear everything off the desk. Now add in a lamp, preferably with LEDs to avoid shadows, and a trash can. You’ll want to have a pencil case on the desk with all the you need (pens, pencils, erasers, etc.). The next thing you want to add is a few quotes, your goals or a photo of your dream college to motivate yourself. I have a post-it that says “Thought you wanted to be successful?” and that’s enough to get me working. Transform your study environment into a motivating place.
3) The all important chair
Finally, invest in an ergonomic chair. You may be wondering what in the world is that and why is it an “investment”? Doctors claim that chairs have the damaging effects on our backs. You’re already stuck on crappy chairs most of the time at school, so try your best to give your back a break at home. The first and cheapest option is a little odd: It’s a swiss ball. Go get a big exercise ball at your local sporting good store for a few bucks. Some people love it, some hate it. If you’re going to get a chair make sure it’s adjustable and that it has good lower back support. You can use a small pillow if yours doesn’t. I’ve recently had back problems due to playing rugby. My doctor recommended that I start using a stand-up desk, so I’ll be experimenting with that in the next few months. Try different options out and choose the one that keeps your posture straight. That means having your feet flat on the ground, knees at a 90 degree angle, and a straight back.
4) Add some music
Most people, including myself, can’t work without background music. The problem is that most of them just plug in their iPod and don’t realize most music is horrible for concentration. Here’s the fix: instrumental music. Chill dubstep (emphasis on the chill), electronica, jazz, tribal, movie soundtracks or classical music works just fine. The “Mozart Effect” was a study done on the effect of music on the brain. It turns out that calm music can improve mental reasoning. Search for “study music” on 8tracks or Songza to get you started.
Pick a place to study using the guidelines above.
Set it up as explained in step two: turn on your lamp, prepare your notes, and a few motivating quotes or images, and get to work.
Experiment with different chairs and find a way to sit straight with your feet flat on the floor.
Find instrumental music to listen to while studying.