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Mr Chen's anecdotes.

How to Create a Comfortable Study Space for Your Homework and Revision

Have you ever tried studying in Starbucks? You probably have your AirPods snuggly nestled in your ears in an attempt to drown out the casual chit-chatters and the barista's 5th time calling out for John to pick up his order. The occasional whirring from the blender spinning alongside your brain while you try to focus on the line on your notes that you've already reread 4 times, while nursing the last 3 sips of your Frappuccino so that you can continue to occupy your seat for at least the next 2 hours.

A busy cafe with lots of people

Well that's quite a situation to be in, isn't it? And worse still, during your test the next day, you find your pen hovering above the blanks on your test paper. You have no idea whether you should skip yet another question or to at least scribble something. Anything.

So maybe studying in Starbucks isn't such a great idea after all.

Where else is good then, you might ask?

Here are 4 great tips on finding or creating for yourself the most optimal study spot to maximise efficiency.

1. Choose a place with little to no distractions

Duh, right?

This one's actually quite obvious. It can be difficult to accomplish for some of us, but it's completely doable!

Where you study should ideally be quiet. You are taking your exams in a silent place after all, so it's best you simulate exam environments as best as you can.

If you like studying at home, make sure that you are away from the TV or noisy siblings.

Set a timer and put your phone away (psst. Have you tried the Pomodoro technique?)

If your home is not conducive, try searching for a place outside. Libraries are great, but there are limited seats so you should get there early. I've personally tried studying in our local community centres in the past (specifically Seng Kang CC, Yishun CC and Bishan CC) and these places are surprisingly conducive. There's aircon and powerpoints around if you need to power your laptop.

2. Make sure there's actually... space

Let's revisit the Starbucks scenario.

Some of the seats there come with smaller round tables. Which means that you may not have enough space to lay out your notes, foolscap paper, pencil case, calculator, laptop or ipad for searching up stuff online, your tall cup drink, without something overlapping.

It's even worse if you are sharing the table with a friend.

So let's face it, a study space that's too small doesn't work. Trust me, I've tried it all, including sitting on the floor in Changi airport with my study materials placed on the seats. The airport's strangely cosy for some reason. It's quiet even though it's supposed to be a busy airport. Space wise? Not the best, if you're trying to do what I did. Highly not recommended.

Instead, look for a space with ample table or desk space. You should at least be able to lay all your stuff out without the danger of anything falling. You want easy access to all your stuff.

3. If the table is important, so is the chair

Well I'm not telling you that you must have a Razer or Secretlab chair.

A chair that is comfortable enough will suffice. One that allows you to sit on for an extended period of time without feeling like your back's going to give way. Or a rickety chair that has 1 leg shorter than the other 3 so you end up spending the entire time trying to not accidentally rock the chair.

A chair with a back rest works great too. There's more support than sitting on a stool.

4. The lighting makes a difference

This one goes without saying.

If you can, sit by the window in the day to enjoy some natural light.

When the sky turns dark, you switch on the lamps. The colour temperature of your lamp is important too, the most recommended being a cool white light with a colour temperature of over 4000K.

This colour temperature mimics sunlight's colour temperature. It also reduces eye strain. This too helps you to study for an extended period of time while reducing discomfort.

If the ceiling lamps aren't sufficient, consider getting desk lamps or LED strips to brighten up your study space at home. These take up significantly less space.

Is your study space comfortable?

If you're looking to maximise efficiency and if your environment isn't working out, it might be time to start looking for a new study space that is comfortable.

What's your study space like?

  • Study Room at home / Bedroom at home

  • Dining table

  • Cafés

  • Library

You can vote for more than one answer.

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