As I come to the end of my third and final term of semester two (crazy, I know), I realise the majority of people are only just beginning their third term, regarding their final deadlines and exams; feels like it’s not going to end, right? These next few weeks can be really crucial, in terms of how your revision and work impacts your marks, so I thought I’d talk through some ideas of making the ideal study space, as I’ve found it can really make a difference to my productivity.
I’ve talked through this before in terms of revision tips, but finding a productive environment is crucial to getting your best work done. Most people simply cannot work in their bedroom, and if they can they’ll instead find it difficult to switch off from work at the end of the day, which was always my issue. There’s no rule that says you must go to the library or even leave the house (although please don’t lock yourself away for days on end, that won’t help), perhaps you could get the coffee table and sofa or sit at a chair at your dinning room table…to be honest, anywhere you’re forced to sit upright is usually a good bet.
In terms of the University of Leicester there’s plenty of spaces besides the library; personally I would highly recommend the slide room (a space on the 17th floor of Attenborough tower currently being used as a history of art and film students study space),or a more general space is the computer rooms in Charles Wilson which are usually far less crowded and a bit quieter than the library social zones.
This one is always a personal preference, and an equal acceptance of one’s own willpower, but it used to really help me to have someone to bounce ideas off or to quiz me on my posters/flashcards. If you know you’ll get distracted by sitting with friends then this really isn’t the tip for you, but personally I think having a very small study group, of four people or less, can be really useful, whether you’re doing the same subject or not; it can be a real encouragement to see others working around you, and may help you knuckle down again when you’re feeling distracted. Either way, be honest with yourself and your limitations, if you are spending hours chatting with a friend you need to walk away.
Yes, that does mean snacks, but I also mean more sensible things, such as spare pens, a highlighter and your chargers. You’d be surprised the amount of time you can waste going back and to for things you’ve forgotten or left elsewhere. Make a list and keep all that stuff together to take to your study space each day. This could even be things that just simply help you focus, for instance you may find if you get comfy with a particular hoodie you study better, so wear it! If you work best with your hair tied back (one of my many quirks), bring something to keep your hair out of your face.
No matter how nice your study space is, and how pretty your revision posters look, you’re probably not going to like your space very much, even if you do find it very productive. Set yourself some boundaries, planning in breaks and specified times each day of when you’ll throw in the towel and go home. For me I find I’m most productive between mid morning and early evening, so I don’t make myself work much outside of those parameters. True, you do need to do a lot of work, but 6 hours spent solidly working versus 10 hours producing the same amount of work but with distractions and getting home at 11pm? No contest as to which option I’d pick.
Good luck to everyone over the next few weeks, it’ll all be worth it in the end,
Take Care Everyone, I’ll Speak to You All Soon!