A study space is a special place you put together just for completing the work you need to get done. Instead of working on the bed, near the television, or just about anywhere in the chaos of home life, you can create a place that is best suited to actually do your work and do it well. Most people set a few ground rules for their study space to ensure that they will not have to face the normal distractions while they are busy.
Part of the distance learning experience is the benefit of freedom and comfort. You can take your class in your pajamas with snacks and familiar comforts around you. This is all very nice, but home distractions can become a problem, particularly if you do not have an organised, special place to get your work done. When done correctly, creating a study space can help save you time by letting you focus on your work and finish sooner.
Choose a spot
The first step is organising the place that will be home to your studies. Walk around your home at its busiest hour (when all the family is home). Find the place that is quiet in all the commotion. It may be in the corner of your bedroom or perhaps you have a den or a small room that nobody uses. Some people use a section of their garage. Whatever place you choose, make sure it is large enough that you would not feel cramped and check to see that the temperature is at a comfortable level.
As soon as you find your place, begin organising the materials you will need and set up your study space.
Desk: One of the benefits of using an actual desk is that your work-related materials are always going to be near. Most desks have multiple drawers for supplies and room to hold a computer without getting in the way of your writing area.
Chair: This is one of the most important tools of getting your work done at home. Go to an office supply store and invest in a chair that supports your back. Hard wood or metal chairs are uncomfortable and often prevent people from sitting down for the time necessary to get their work done.
Supplies: Make sure that all the supplies you need each day are easily reachable from your desk. It is easy to become distracted from your work if you constantly have to leave your studies to go look for supplies in another area of the house. Put books, pens, pencils, erasers, and everything else you need in the drawers of your desk. If you study online, make sure that you have all necessary software and passwords available. If you study through mail, make sure you have the needed stamps and addresses at your desk.
Add your special touch. Personalise your study space and make it your own.
If you like to study with background music, bring in you CD player and some of your favourite music. Choose or buy music that will help you concentrate rather than entertain and distract you.
If you like to eat while you work, put a box of your favourite snacks by your workspace. Read about healthy snacks that will feed your brain and not make you feel sleepy.
Put your favourite paintings on the wall. Some people like to hang up inspirational posters or magazine clippings of people who are in their profession.
Add anything that match your personality and will help make your study space feel comfortable and keep you focused.
Once you have created the perfect study space, set a few ground rules for yourself and anyone else you live with. Rules can help keep distractions away and keep you focused. Start with just a few that will be easy to follow. Some examples of rules that people have found useful are:
* Decide on your work time when you cannot have other appointments.
* The phone is always off while you are working.
* When I put a sign on the door, family members and friends should know that you are working and not to disturb you.
* Decide on your break times (long and short).
Study space rules are very personal and should help you work in the way that is best for you. When you decide on the rules that will help you study, talk to the people you live with and explain what you need them to do to help you out.