Design Your Own Study Space
It's not kid stuff
By Brack Johnson
You've made the decision to go back to school. Ever organized, you move on to getting your ducks in a row.
Enroll at one of the Triangle's institutions of higher learning? Check!
Arrange to leave work early on certain days? Check!
Carve out personal time to complete coursework? Check.
A room at home to call your own?
Virginia Woolf might not have been talking about Triangle women going back to school in her famous 1929 extended essay "A Room of One's Own." But she might as well have been.
In the best scenario, you'll have a dedicated room to use exclusively for your studious pursuits. If that's not feasible in your house, you can still have a pleasant and functional spot to call your own.
Here's how to carve out a hard-working zone:
1. Claim an area of a larger room. Ideally, make it one with a door that you can close or, at least, a divider. Use a large closet or space under stairs, if necessary.
2. Be certain it contains ample territory for:
–a desk and chair appropriate for your height
–a computer or laptop with secure Internet connection
–a clear main work surface
–shelving for books, binders and other learning materials
–a high-quality reading lamp
–a bulletin board or dry-erase board
3. Paint and accessorize. Use neutral colors if you concentrate best when it's calm or vibrant hues if you need a little zip to work better.
4. Think of typically neglected areas to make up for limited space. Look up! Are you using the vertical space (great for shelves)? How about the corners (just right for a desk)?
5. Make certain you have good lighting. There are many good resources on this subject.
6. Add whimsical touches or other elements of your personality. Also post reminders of why you've gone back to school.
7. Keep supplies handy. Leave your desk stocked with whatever you might need – for example, notebooks, pens, highlighters, printer paper and ink.
8. Maintain cleanliness and organization to avoid distractions. Take a moment at the end of each study session to tidy up a bit.
9. Consider posting a "Do Not Disturb" sign while you're "in class." It's not just for others. It'll motivate you, too.
10. Take your space seriously. Do yourself this favor to lessen the stress in your hectic life.