From education to employment

How to optimise your learning space

Having a study or learning space is great — a little refuge away from the noise and ruckus of everyday life.

A place for you to focus and really knuckle down to work, whether it’s for school, university, or your career. But are you really concentrating?

We’ve all fallen foul to a little procrastination from time to time. But procrastination costs the UK around £76 billion in the workplace every year, and it’s costing you precious time.

Yes, the cat videos are hilarious, but they’ll be just as hilarious once you finish working and won’t impact your learning then!

In order to help keep our minds on the task at hand, an optimised work space can really help.

If you’re looking to spruce up your existing learning space, or are looking to set up a new space, read on to make sure your sanctuary of learning is focused and effective!

Personalise your space

A personal touch can be a great way to motivate yourself. Family photos and postcards of your favourite quotes are both great visuals that can help get your creative juices flowing.

Just be careful not to go overboard — you don’t want to distract yourself!

A touch of nature

A little plant life does wonders for your productivity. Plants are great ways to increase our concentration levels and lower the sensation of stress. The likes of ferns clean our air space, while the snake plant also cleans up toxins.

Succulents such as a cactus are also a useful addition to your space for decoration purposes as they don’t take a lot of looking after. If you already have some garden plants, maybe you could bring a few indoors to help with your learning!

The benefit of natural light

Much of our work is done at a computer screen. Natural light is an amazing way to counteract any effects of sitting in front of an artificially-lit computer screen.

It is also known to enhance our mood by increasing our happiness. This is because natural sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Without this, some people experience seasonal affective disorder.

By being exposed to natural sunlight, you will also have a sense of contentment thanks to the production of vitamin D. Also, it has been suggested that a brightly lit room can encourage a critical and analytical thought process.

A tidy desk

If your desk is a mess, it’s not helping your focus. It’s not a coincidence that a clear desk can represent a clear mind. By ensuring that your workspace is free of unnecessary distractions, you are more likely to remain focused on the task at hand.

You can do this by having a bin within reach, setting up a physical inbox for your papers, and scheduling regular cleaning times.

Inject a little colour

Colour can have a huge impact on your learning space. Red has been linked to boost how alert we are. It’s looked upon as the ‘colour of passion’.

Elsewhere, blue can help us generate ideas and keeps us focused on the task at hand, while green helps avoid eye fatigue and stay efficient. If you were looking to keep stress levels to a minimum, you should look to include white or beige as this can have a calming effect.

A song for every occasion

This one might not work for everyone. While some people work best in silence, others prefer a bit of background noise. Everyone benefits in their own way.

Either way, a good set of headphones could be the ideal solution as they can either block out the tones around you or provide the tunes/podcasts best suited to keeping you productive. Other low-level noise could distract you from your studying or work and have a negative effect.

Classic music is a great choice. Italian researchers found that this genre can significantly enhance your working memory performance, while research in the Journal of Consumer Research also found that a moderate level of ambient noise can benefit our creative senses.

Everyone’s workspace will look different, of course. In the end, each of us learns in a different way, but by following the above steps, you will set yourself up nicely to succeed in your end goal and boost your productivity levels.

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