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Updated on 7 Jun 2019. Posted on 22 Sep 2016

17 Ways To Make Your Study Space Somewhere You Actually Want To Be

If you have to study, you may as well do it in style.

1. Get a cookbook stand to hold open your textbooks.

Instagram: @_rebecca_allen_ / Via

You can get them in most cooking/baking/homewares shops, like this one from Victoria's Basement. Sure, you can get the same effect with pegs or bulldog clips, but it's pretty good to have the book propped up.

2. Make sure you have some really good pens.

Instagram: @romstudies / Via

It's been proven that you'll remember things a lot better if you handwrite them rather than typing. So if you're going to be writing for hours at a time, you'll need a pen that's easy to hold and writes well. Stick with ballpoint if it works for you, but something like a gel pen or a thin felt-tip might be even better. Or get a pen grip to be more ~ergonomic~.

3. And stock up on lots of coloured pens and highlighters.

Instagram: @inspiringstudies / Via

A great way to organise your notes and keep track of different subjects is with colour coding. It takes a while to get used to, and to remember what each colour stands for, but it's 100% worth it once you've got it down pat.

4. Try to have some space around your desk to stretch.

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This might be easier said than done, but it's good to take a break every hour or so and have a quick stretch of your muscles, to get your blood flowing and keep your brain sharp. Get some stretching ideas here and here.

5. Keep your desk free of clutter.

Instagram: @ eat. run. plan. repeat / Via

If you don't have drawers, or just feel like there's too much crap around, these bar carts are perfect for storing books, notes, and stationery. Then just wheel it under your desk or into the corner when you're not working. This one is from Ikea, though there are similar ones at Kmart.

6. And always clear away books and papers that you're not immediately using.

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If you're studying Biology, put away your Maths books where you can't see them. Only have on your desk what you absolutely need, a cluttered desk will break your focus.

7. Burn a nice-smelling candle while you study.

Instagram: @tarzjadey / Via

The light and the smell of a candle are both soothing AF, which is definitely something you need while hitting the books. Go for scents like peppermint or citrus, which will pep you up.

8. Get some index cards.

Instagram: @hope_foranew_day / Via

They're obviously great for making flash cards, but are also a good tool when memorising essays. Just storyboard the essay, using one index card with dot points to summarise each paragraph or key idea. If you've got space, stick them up on the wall and read through it a couple times a day.

9. Keep water handy.


You need to stay hydrated while studying to avoid headaches. But if you need to keep getting up for glasses of water, it'll be really easy to get distracted. So invest in a pretty jug or bottle that matches your desk's ~aesthetic~, like these ones from Typo.

10. Invest in some noise-cancelling headphones.

Instagram: @allexphillips / Via

This is especially important if other people are home while you're studying. Opt to listen to music without lyrics, like classical or movie scores. The How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack is surprisingly epic. And noise-cancelling headphones aren't as pricey as you'd expect, Sony has some for less than $50.

11. Stash tasty rewards in your drawers.

Instagram: @smiesbeth / Via

If you've got an arduous task to do, like a big reading, or a huge set of maths problems, set yourself goals, with rewards once you reach them. Have a gummi bear or M&M after every two pages, or every five questions. (Though you don't want too much sugar, so maybe reward yourself with dried cranberries or cacao nibs instead.)

12. Decorate your space with positive affirmations.

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Or, if you have a particular score or grade in mind, write it on a piece of paper and stick it where you can see it while studying. A constant reminder of what you're working toward will help you focus.

13. Also stick a study timetable on your wall.

Instagram: @quest_study_skills / Via

Master the art of making a really good timetable for yourself, and that doesn't just mean dedicating five-hour chunks of time to a subject. Detail what tasks you want to get done and set a realistic time limit. You can find some really cool free printable templates online, in heaps of different layouts. Have a look here to find the one pictured.

14. Always have Post-It notes in different colours.

Instagram: @angamangan / Via

Use them when you want to write notes inside textbooks, to mark certain pages, or just to write key notes on and stick above your desk. If you're staring at something every day, you're way more likely to remember it.

15. Or get a whiteboard to write to-do lists, or formulas and terms you need to remember.

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16. Keep a small notepad or paper on hand so you can write down any random thoughts or ideas you have.

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This'll stop you getting off track. Write it down to look up later, instead of getting distracted mid-way through a task.

17. And, if all else fails, just make sure you have really good lighting.

Instagram: @nepokroeff / Via

Natural light is ideal, if you have space for your desk next to a window. At night, you're best off with cool, white-coloured light as opposed to warm. You can just get a cheap desk lamp, and put in your own globe.

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