Organising your workspace

Having a space that is conducive to studying is very important. It will help you concentrate on your work and enable you to learn effectively.

Where to study

Always work at a desk that is clear of everything apart from the 'tools' you need for studying. Ensure that the only thing you do at your desk is study and that this is the only place you study – eg not on the bed, as you are likely to feel sleepy. This way you will get into the habit of knowing it's time to study when you sit at your desk.

Make sure you have a suitable chair - one on which you sit upright, with your feel flat on the floor. You should have adequate lighting, without glare from your computer screen, and the room temperature should be comfortable. Avoid facing an interesting view, as this could easily distract you.

Be prepared and organised

Make sure you have everything you need before you sit down to work so that you won't have to keep stopping to look for things. Ensure that you have all the relevant equipment and reference tools eg paper, pens, dictionary etc.

Have a note pad handy to jot down ideas or remind you to do tasks not linked to your work eg make a phone call. This will enable you to continue working and prevent you from stopping to do other tasks.

Organise your papers, files and electronic files. This will minimise the risk of you misplacing or losing notes and information. Remember to file things straight away. Ring binders with plastic wallets and coloured dividers are useful but if you find this too laborious, at least put all your notes from a particular module into a labelled box file.

When to study

It is important to know when you are going to study each day so you get into a routine.

You will know when you work most productively- some people work best in the morning, and others prefer to work in the evenings. Make sure you are not too tired - if you are not alert, you won't be productive. Don't sit down to work straight after a meal - you are likely to be lethargic.

Minimise distractions

Everyone knows how easy it is to get distracted from work, so try to remove as many distractions as possible. Tell everyone else in your house or on your corridor that you are studying and don't want to be disturbed.

Student working in SportEx