Just as with learning processes, everyone studies differently. Creating the best work study environment for you is crucial. Factors that create the perfect study space, include lighting, sound, and smells. What works best for you may vary depending on your phase of life or generation. Let’s look at how mature age or working parents differ from millennials in creating study environments for success.
Working parents and mature age students
When you have kids, especially if they are young, it is important for them to understand that mum or dad need time to get their work done. Don’t choose a place in the house to study that is typically loud and has lots of foot traffic. For example, the kitchen or living room is not ideal. If you have a spare bedroom that is available for use, consider converting it into a study space. Consider having your young kids share a room for the 6-12 months you need to complete your study and use the free room as your study space. If you have older kids, they might like to put their desk in the room too and study when you study.
Use this space to create peace and serenity that will help your frame of mind while you study. As a parent, you are most definitely dealing with a busy lifestyle! Between taking kids to school, picking them up, cleaning, cooking, working part time or full time, and making sure your kids get their homework done, spare time can be very precious. Use your study space to create a calm, clean atmosphere.
Lighting and sound will also be important for you. Bright fluorescent lighting may be distracting and harsh on your eyes, making it hard to concentrate. Soft lighting will be more neutral and easier on your eyes, making it easier to focus. Make sure the family know that when you are in your study space, you need to be left alone and that they need to make a conscious effort to keep the volume lowered outside the room.
Ideas that add to a clean, organised workspace, and act as a peaceful contrast to your busy life include:
- A calendar for due dates, assessments, tutorials etc.
- Separate folders for each different subject
- Shelves to keep your books in order and easily accessible
- Candles for a calm ambience
- An array of stationery on hand for whenever you need to replace a pen or use a sticky note
- Inspiring artwork
- Quality natural light and window coverings
The online environment can be a distraction for Millennials that needs discipline to manage well. With constant and easy access to phones and social media, it can be difficult for this generation to switch off and focus on study when needed.
There are several solutions to this:
- Download an app that will disable your access to social media for a designated amount of time so that you can study in solid chunks. Download options are available for laptops so that you can’t access socials on your computer either.
- Turn on the Do Not Disturb function of your phone so that you do not get notifications but will still receive calls from contacts you have favourited.
- Leave your phone in a separate room or with someone who will not give it back to you until you have completed your work. Or try leaving it locked in your car.
Millennials want to feel comfortable, and like they can fully concentrate in their study environment. They can usually study in a more dynamic range of places too. For some, it might work better to sit on their bed, for others, the preference might be a couch, and many will find that a conventional desk and chair suits their learning style the best.
Make it your space to succeed
Ultimately the study environment needs to suit you as an individual. If you need background noise, play music or a video that you can easily tune out. If you like more light, then add lamps to your space. If you like to eat while you study, have a selection of healthy and tasty snacks ready that you can pick at as you go so you aren’t tempted to raid the kitchen mid-study. Remember that you want your study environment to be comfortable, quiet, clean and organised, to facilitate a productive space.
Setting yourself up for study success can sometimes be a challenge, but if you curate the perfect environment for yourself, you will find that it is easy to accomplish your tasks efficiently, and you’ll finish your diploma faster, having enjoyed the experience too.