If you're a student at the University of Central Florida, you're no stranger to studying. Whether you prefer couches and coffee shops or the libraries on campus, making sure your environment allows you to focus is of the utmost importance. If you prefer to study at home, creating that environment is up to you; so, we've compiled a few tips and tricks to make sure your personal space allows you to get all your work done when perfect napping spots are a few feet away.
Think about what you need
Everyone's "study mode" preferences are different, so start off by thinking about how you focus best. Do you need a space stripped off all distractions, quiet and secluded; or perhaps you focus better with lots of knickknacks and big sheets of paper to get out all your thoughts. Whatever works for you, do that. And if you aren't sure what you need, start experimenting! A good place to start is designating a space in your UCF apartment, minimizing distractions and separating yourself from tempting distractions. Don't feel limited by a fully-furnished apartment, either. There are lots of ways to personalize your space such as moving furniture or adding an ergonomic chair to the mix.
Find your light
Natural lighting is always best, but at the very least make sure you have a desk lamp or overhead light to help you stay focused and keep your eyes from overcompensating. If your apartment near UCF has a balcony or patio, consider setting up your workspace next to an overlooking window to let in sunlight.
Get comfy.. but not too comfy
The chair you choose should be comfortable enough to keep your back from aching, but not so comfortable that you doze off during a long study session. Other options could be a standing desk or an exercise ball to engage your core. Another thing to consider is temperature. Long gone are the days of arctic dorm room AC settings, so go ahead and personalize the temperature in your space. Studies have found that 72°F- 77°F is a good range for peak productivity.
Clear the clutter
Is your UCF apartment getting messy? Clutter in your workspace often leads to wasted time looking for things or shuffling things around. To avoid distraction, clear out anything deemed unnecessary to the studying at hand. This includes mental clutter such as too many open tabs, your phone within reach or a video game monitor. Just like setting aside a study-specific space, respect the time you've set for studying, it'll make you more efficient and productive in the long run.
Stock the Space with necessities
Nothing cuts a great study session short like realizing you left behind something important. Even when you're at home, it's important to stay in the zone by ensuring you have everything you need before diving in. You need different materials for studying physics and writing an essay, but here are a few basic things to keep on hand:
Pad of paper to write down distracting thoughts
Kinesthetic learning aids like Rubix cubes and click pens
Mess-free healthy snacks like granola bars, nuts and dried fruit to keep your blood sugar up
Water, tea or coffee
Your study space is a work-in-progress, so feel free to test out different versions of your space. You might be surprised what conditions you are most productive in. If clutter gets you going creatively, rock on. If a quiet apartment
with minimalist decorations gets you in your Zen zone, all the power to you. The goal is to make your space work for you, so go ahead and get creative!