In this internet age, more and more of us are studying at home, for formal qualifications, for professional and personal reasons. Being online makes it easy to access good quality information and educational resources, to communicate with colleagues and tutors, and to complete assignments.
However, modern life can also make studying at home quite difficult. Noise, disruption and the pull of household duties can all be distracting and disruptive. That is why it is important to have a dedicated space in the home that is tailored for successful study. Fortunately, that need not be difficult, even in the smallest of homes.
To create an effective study space it is important to make the boundaries of that space clear. That does not mean that the space has to comprise an entire room – many homes will not have enough space for that – but the boundaries must be marked out.
How you achieve this will depend on what else you use the space for. If your study area is part of the living room, for example, it might be useful to buy some screens (these can be purchased at low cost from furnishing stores) that can be folded away when not in use. Another option is to use office furniture to make the area visible and distinct from the rest of the room.
It is very helpful if you can make your study area relaxing. Being relaxed allows the brain to absorb information and work more effectively, and you will almost certainly get more work done.
Cleanliness and order are relaxing, just as chaos and disorganization are stressful. Therefore, it is helpful to furnish your study area with unfussy, simple items that are easy to clean and maintain. For example, why not ditch the drapes and replace them with some stylish California style shutters, which will add to the ambiance of the room while being easy to care for?
You will probably also need a simple, easy to clean desk and chair. Do make sure the chair is comfortable – you will, after all, be spending hours in it! Make sure the desk is at a suitable height so that you can use it comfortably.
Noise is another issue to consider. Distracting and stressful noises are definitely to be avoided, but many people find that music can help them to study. Will you need any relevant equipment in your study such as a pair of headphones and/or an MP3 player?
Next, think about the lighting. You may not have much control over the main lighting in the space, but equally you may be surprised by how much you can achieve with lamps and desk lights. Many people find it easier to read by a directional or slightly dimmed light, while others swear by bulbs that mimic natural light. Whichever you prefer, do take care with light because long hours spent studying in inadequate lighting can cause painful eye strain.
Even if you live in a small apartment or house, with a little flair and imagination it is possible to create a relaxing study space in your home – and then take pride as you reap the benefits in terms of your achievements.