If you are serious about learning a new skill or achieving a qualification, you need to have a place where you can study effectively. There are as many different living arrangements as there are topics to study. A lot of people share accommodations such as living in a hall of residence or having flatmates while others have to share their living space with families including pets and small children. Very few people have the luxury of having a space entirely to themselves. While it may be difficult to find a great study space, the effort is worth it as you can train your mind that it is time to learn when you are in that place. Here are three tips to choosing the best study space for you.
1. Decide how much space you need: There are many topics that do not require anything more than a computer, textbook, pad and pen but other skills such as learning an instrument or how to sew require space to put equipment. Have a think about how much space your learning materials require and whether these can be packed away easily.
2. Consider location: If there is nowhere in your house you can create a permanent study area, try thinking outside the box. Are there times when the house is empty when you can set up a folding table and not be disturbed? Or can you get the agreement of your family to take over the dining table at set times each week? If there is absolutely nowhere in your home where you can study, think about your local area. If you are studying a formal qualification, your institution may have a study area you can use. If you are undertaking self study, consider the local library or coffee shops. Some people have been known to go into work early or finish later so they can use the office to study (with agreement from the boss of course). If you require space for your learning, you may be able to share the rental of a workshop or studio with others.
3. Influence your environment: Ideally you will have a permanent study area with all your study materials to hand but even if you have to make use of the local coffee shop think about how you can make it better for studying. Do you need to take your iPod along filled with nature sounds or classical music to drown out the background noise? What about a cushion if you are sitting for long periods of time? Having your study materials together and easily accessible is important to avoid procrastination. This may be as simple as keeping everything together in a plastic storage container that you can easily take with you.
While very few people have their absolute ideal study space, it is possible to make studying easier by either establishing a permanent study area at home or knowing two or three other places where you can study. Make sure you engage your family and friends in the hunt for good study locations. They can be your greatest ally in helping you find the study time and space that you need.