How to Create a Study Space in Your College Apartment

Studying in college is challenging and we’ve all been there.

Which is why creating a study space in your college apartment is a great idea. It can be the best place to get your most productive studying done. All it takes is some organization and creativity.

1. The actual space

If you’re lucky enough and have unused spaces in your apartment, like a small nook or closet, consider arranging that area as your quiet study zone.

Try not to use your bedroom as your study space since it may have too many distractions. Don’t use your bed as your study zone either. It may limit your productivity and it’s just too easy to fall asleep.

If your only option is your bedroom, designate an area within the room. Move furniture around as you see fit. If your desk faces the call, move it so that it’s near a window. The window provides natural light during the day, plus, it gives you a view of the outside.

2. Clear out clutter and remove distractions

Get rid of all the items from your desk and the surrounding areas that you won’t immediately use for your study session. Remove physical distractions, including books, magazines, electronics (tablets), video games and mail.

Then, organize the essentials so it’s easy to reach for things you need while you study like your headphones, textbooks, highlighters and notebooks.

Tidying up and organizing your space gives you room to spread out while you study. If you can’t be bothered by constantly cleaning up, keep a clutter box near your desk and put items in there instead of letting it pile up on your desk. Just remember to pick a day and put away (or throw out) the stuff that’s in the box.

3. Consider a standing desk

standing desk

Some say the option to stand has been a game changer for them, in terms of work and productivity. If you can’t afford a standing desk, you can create one by adding a smaller table (i.e. an IKEA side table) on top of your desk.

You can also mount a small shelf to the wall and adjust it to your standing height. Use a rug or yoga mat to stand on to help take the pressure off of your back.

Pinterest has plenty of DIY and inexpensive ideas for how to build a standing desk.

4. Improve the lighting

If you’re studying in dim lighting or an overly bright spotlight that makes you feel like you’re being interrogated, you need to improve the lighting, pronto. Make sure there’s sufficient, even lighting so you don’t have to strain your eyes while you study. Natural light is always best, but if you’re pulling all-nighters, you’ll need good indoor lighting.

Picking the right color temperature of lighting is important and according to the experts, “You can select an LED bulb with brighter white color temperature which ranges between 3,000K to 4,500K and is equivalent to natural daylight. This range is better for studying as it provides optimal illumination which doesn’t strain your eyes.”

5. Productivity tips to maximize your studying time

Once your study area is efficiently organized, cleaned and lit properly, try the following productivity tips for making the most of your time:

  • Use the Pomodoro Method (timed study): Use a free app called Tide to time your study. This means during this block of time, you’re only focused on the task at hand. Figure out what timing works best for you. Many use a 25-minute chunk of time to get work done, followed by a 5- or 10-minute break.
  • Disconnect: Put your phone on Airplane mode and remove all notifications from your laptop so you can stay focused.

A study space supports your habits

No matter how clean or pretty your study space is, the hardest part is actually getting yourself to study. The trick is to set up the space to get motivated and minimize distractions. Bring out your best study habits, whether it means creating a standing desk or moving some furniture around.

You know yourself the best and what environment gets you in “the zone.” Set yourself up for success and get going on creating the ultimate study space.

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Claire TakClaire Tak is a writer who previously served as head of content and chief editor for FinTech companies in New York and San Francisco. Her work has appeared on FOX Business, Bloomberg and Forbes. She writes regularly about travel, money and being a good human. Traveling and snowboarding are her two favorite things to do.

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