This is a guest post by Nicholas Randall of StudentSharp
Choosing the right study space might seem hard. Or perhaps you’ve become accustomed to one, but don’t know the pros and cons of it. It can be difficult to decide between libraries, parks, your home, or other areas to study. In this post, we’ll show you five ways your study space impacts you to help you become happier and more productive.
Scents can spark our memories, make us more friendly, and even improve productivity. This is because olfactory bulbs directly interact with parts of the brain that process learning and emotion. Beverley Hawkins, owner of West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy, recommends several scents in particular. Lemon has calming and concentrating properties, lavender soothes nerves and can be used to treat depression, and rosemary fights headaches and mental fatigue. To make portable scents you can take with you to your study space, you can buy essential oils and put a dab of oil on a cotton ball to whiff when you need to perk up.
Feeling connected to nature, at least in part, is another factor in your study space worth checking out. One study showed that students performed better in classrooms with windows versus those without. Another study showed that contact with green space for just 20 minutes significantly reduces stress. This may influence you to try a park for a study space, or a spacious lawn. Depending on the vegetation and weather, you may get the added benefit of fresh smells and plentiful natural lighting while you study, too. To bring a bit of nature into your home, you can grow succulents — they’re beautiful and
easy to care for.
Are you as hyped for nature as this frog?
Technology and TV can be productivity-wrecking when overused or too present in your study environment. You probably want to avoid a place with TV’s, especially those with sound on, because they’re just too distracting. A study (referenced here) found that people exposed to visual soap operas spent more time completing memorization assignments than people exposed to radio only or no stimulus. Sometimes, TV is just more interesting or engaging than whatever you’re studying and you feel compelled to look up. That’s why having the TV on while studying at home is one of the worst study habits you can do. Also, one study found that students that checked Facebook at least once during a fifteen minute study period were less productive than those who didn’t. If you compulsively check your phone for notifications and updates, consider leaving it at home while you study.
That’s pretty much how it works
If you feel that a cluttered workspace is making you less productive, you’re right. Princeton researchers found that an increase in the volume of objects around you decreases your focus because each object competes for your attention. This principle also holds true digitally — a cluttered desktop and full inbox are more distracting as well. I read this book and found it very useful for decluttering and organizing my workspace and my life. Give it a read and see what you can implement! If your room is especially messy, like mine is at the moment, try cleaning it up or choosing a different study space.
5: Social Aspect
Study groups with clear objectives and good organization can be a huge boon to learning and productivity. One reason for this is study groups promote active discussion about the topic which requires creative thought, reformulation, and mastery of the knowledge. The question “Why?” may come up, and research shows that when answering “Why?” a student better understands the material. Another reason is that students hear different explanations of the topics than what was given in class. This may make it easier for them to understand or cover it in a way that gives new insight into what’s being discussed. Also, there may be more motivation to study socially as it’s more exciting than going it alone. It may be helpful to establish some guidelines to stay on topic.
You can do it too!
Having read this, you should have some ideas of what aspects of a study space make you efficient. Did you like the article? Writing it, I felt compelled to clean up my room and take a walk outside to get some benefits of nature. I felt refreshed after doing so. If you liked this article, you also will probably like StudentSharp’s Ultimate SAT Prep Guide. Good luck studying!