If you’re struggling to settle into online uni life, it may have something to do with your study space. Tips for building a home office aren’t covered in lectures, so we’ve put together our top 5 must-haves to make your space more productive.
- Quality desk/desk chair/monitor
The best-kept secret to good grades is having a proper study setup. You can’t be productive if you’re lying in bed with your laptop on your lap – because your brain associates that with rest. Setting yourself up with a separate study environment will help you switch into an academic mode.
You’ll want to order a nice desk that’s in proportion to your room, pick out a comfortable desk chair (bonus points if it’s ergonomic) and a monitor. Monitors are great if you use a lot of separate windows when you study, they allow you to look at multiple screens without the hassle of opening and closing tabs.
This may cost some money, however you’re investing in yourself -and you’ve already spent thousands on your degree, so why not. If you put this combo together, with some additional touches of your personality (e.g. photos, a plant, or some colourful stationery), you’ll be good to go.
Location of your setup is also important! Find a spot in front of a window and build a study space that will help keep you in a positive mindset. A view of the outdoors may just be enough to refresh the mind. If it’s a nice day, open the window, and let the fresh air do its work.
- Noise-cancelling headphones
We can’t rave enough about noise-cancelling headphones. These beauties are a procrastinator’s dream!
When you’re working at home it’s easy to get distracted by noise. , Whether you have parents home with you, boisterous pets, or even loud neighbours, it makes studying difficult. Unfortunately, when studying in a noisy environment, your memory performance is only half as good.
So block out the world, listen to your favourite tunes, focus, and get more work done in less time.
If you’re a person who needs to read something in hard copy to digest the information, it’d be worth your money to invest in a printer. There are plenty of affordable options available, which means you can add it to your study space without breaking the bank.
Some people find this useful for their lecture slides or readings. For visual learners, printing these out and putting them into a display folder makes organising weekly content a breeze.
This also comes in handy when you’re editing an assignment. Printing a draft out and working through it with a red pen allows you to see your mistakes, instead of backspacing on a computer.
- Blue light glasses
One aspect of online study that we’re all familiar with is eye strain. When you’re staring at a screen for hours on end the light emitted by your laptop can cause problems for your eye health. To make sure you’re taking care of yourself, try blue light glasses.
This nifty technology blocks blue light from reaching your eyes, and will therefore help you get better sleep, have less eye strain, get fewer headaches, and reduce the risk of eye disease.
Everyone needs to take care of their vision, regardless if you’re fresh out of school or a mature age student.
Our final essential for online study is a whiteboard. Having an erasable board propped up over your study space is the perfect tool to organise your tasks.
If you’re a colour coding fanatic, as a lot of us are, you can buy some colourful markers and categorise your topics.
Aside from task planning, it’s even a helpful tool for brainstorming assignment ideas. You can mind map with ease and rub out/add-in points as you go! This is super helpful for the days where you’re staring at an empty page, unsure where to start.
Online learning is here to stay, so make it worthwhile and build yourself a productive study space with some of these essentials. If you’re still struggling to focus at home, drop into your local Murray River Study Hub campus to get all of these facilities… for free! Find your local hub here.