How to create the best study space at home
Picture this: It’s the night before a big exam. Where do you find yourself studying? If your answer is at home, in bed, with your laptop propped on your knees, it might be time to revisit your study space. Not everyone has the luxury of a dedicated home office, but there are still ways you can make your at-home space work for you.When it’s time to study, try these suggestions to improve your environment.

Designate an area
The first step begins with designating one room or area of your home for studying. Whether it’s an office, extra bedroom or corner of the living room, having a dedicated space for studying is key. Not only will all the study materials you need be in one place, but when you enter that room, you are psychologically (and physically) in your study zone. This is why studying in a bedroom or kitchen, both of which have distinct purposes beyond studying, can be distracting to your mind.

Eliminate distractions
Everyone has different requirements for what they need in there study space. But there are a few key items that should be left out for everyone. A phone, video games, unnecessary apps or programs open on your computer screen, extra computer monitors, messy food and other people are all things that can distract you during study time. Instead, you want to focus on creating a simple space that will allow you to clearly focus.

Incorporate essential items
Now that we’ve discussed what to eliminate, it’s time to outline your must-have study items. Here are some items everyone should include in their study space, and keep close at hand. These include: a comfortable chair, notebooks, pens, course material, computer mouse (versus a trackpad on a laptop) and highlighters. You may also benefit from headphones, ambient music, water and healthy snacks at hand.

Let the light in
Natural light is known to be energizing and can increase your concentration. If you’re studying in a space with windows, draw back the drapery and let the natural light shine in. If you need a lamp for extra light, hook it up to a dimmer. This will allow you to play around with the brightness until it’s just right instead of the typical on-off, all-or-nothing approach.

Adjust the temperature
In addition to lighting, the temperature in your study space is a contributing factor to concentration. Researchers report that, on average, productivity levels are highest at the 22 to 25°C range. You won’t always be able to fully control the temperature, but do your best to attain that range. If your space is exceedingly hot or too cold, it may be time to relocate to a more comfortable room.

The most important take-away is to make the most of the space you do have. If you live with family or roommates, it can be difficult to create a quaint study space. Try not to let others discourage you. Instead, get creative with what you have to work with and invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones.