When it comes to exam season, creating the perfect revision space is essential. You might be the type of person who flourishes tapping away at your keyboard in a bustling coffee shop, or you might need the bookish silence of your university library. Whatever your revision style, take the time to ensure that your study space is maximised for your happiness. Good luck!
Having an untidy desk and room will make it harder to find things, stress you out and present an easy way to procrastinate. Your first priority when setting up a study space should be to get everything as organised as you possibly can.
What are the things that most commonly distract you from work? Write down your answers to this question and then make sure none of them are anywhere near the area where you’re going to be revising. Television, computers and phones are the obvious ones to avoid. If you need to use a laptop, try downloading an app such as SelfControl that blocks you from accessing distracting websites for a set amount of time.
No-one wants to be spending hours every day in a space that isn’t actually comfortable. While it’s not advisable to do your revision in bed, you should definitely be working somewhere that’s comfy enough for you to get absorbed in your work. Nobody wants to be sat on the world’s most uncomfortable chair for hours on end.
Lighting is one of the most important ways to set a room’s mood and you should try and find the right level for you. Make it too dark and you’ll be straining to read your notes and tiring yourself out. However lights that are too bright can leave you feeling overstimulated and may contribute to headaches or stress. Try and get as much natural light as possible to minimise these negative effects.
How your revision space sounds is just as important as how it looks. Some people will find that they need background noise to get any work done while others will benefit from perfect silence. Whatever your preference, you should try and find a place where the noise will be consistent and suited to your tastes. If you can’t find a space with the right soundscape, grab a pair of headphones and listen to some soothing natural sounds.
If you’re going to be spending hours every day in one place, you should definitely add some personal touches to it. Leave some photos or items of personal significance close by to help keep you grounded and inject some colour to boost your mood. Plants add a relaxing touch too. It should be your zone - do whatever will improve it for you!
A clock should be easily visible from where you are sitting, ideally an easy-to-read digital one and not a smartphone (otherwise you may be unable to check the time without checking your Snapchat as well). It is also good to keep a revision schedule close by so you always know what you should be doing and how long you should be spending on it.
Your revision will be broken up constantly if you keep getting up to find stationery or snacks. Ensure that you have everything you will require on a regular basis close to hand and you’ll save yourself time and energy that is better spent studying or taking a proper break. Have some energy boosting snack on hand at all times - raisins and nuts are simple to snack on and will help keep you energised.
Setting up your dream study space is only half the battle. It’s vital that over the next few days and weeks you don’t allow it to become messy and disorganised. Don’t leave out books or work that you don’t need urgently and dedicate five minutes every morning to cleaning up the room you’ll be working in.
It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re being really productive when you’re creating a study space but it can sometimes become a form of procrastination itself! Remember that the most important thing about having an area to revise in is that you actually do some revision. If you find yourself organising your post-it notes for the fifth time in an hour, you might not be getting the best use out of your time.
Dan Lever, Managing Director at StudentHut.
Student Hut is an online resource that has been designed by former students, frustrated with their higher education experience, to help prospective students find highly rated university courses and to help current students find highly rated optional modules.