• Study tip 6 - protect your study environment

Week 6 of BPP’s study tips series uncovers the importance of a comfortable study environment. Follow the conversation on twitter with #bppstudytips.

The people and objects of your study environment have a massive impact on your productivity.

Imagine being in a dark room, perched up on a high chair, hunched over a desk that is too low so you curl spine and digits over the work station. The 10.1 inch touch-screen burns a rectangular hole in the darkness. It only takes ten minutes for your neck to stiffen and your eyes to strain.

Your whole study routine relies on a productive environment, regardless of your exercise, food, drink and sleep.

YOUR PHYSICAL STUDY ENVIRONMENT

There is a whole science dedicated to making people more productive. The International Ergonomics Association (yep, there is one) defines it as follows:

“Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance”.

Ergonomics is pretty much everything in your surrounding environment; music and sound, lighting, your chair, desk, computer, phone, and the distance to your keyboard.

Compare your work place or school with your home work station. Schools and workplaces benefit from your productivity, so they invest in it; a mix of fluorescent and natural light, postural chairs, a constant temperature, and equipment positioned at optimum distances.

At home, it might be a bit more ad hoc.

Strain will hinder your productivity, and something will need adjusting.

Check you can sit comfortably with a good posture, the light source is strong enough to avoid eye strain, and equipment is properly spaced so you are not hunched. eHow provides a neat little workstation checklist.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SMART PEOPLE

Look beyond your physical space and into your social environment. Seek people who encourage and propel you to greater mental heights. Surround yourself with peers who are smarter than you. Ask your teachers questions. Spend an hour or two studying with a smarter student. Search YouTube for keynote speeches to expand your perspective. And use the feedback of others to refine your ideas.

GET A GOOD STUDY PARTNER

Study partners are a great idea too. You can create and share quizzes, help work through tough problems, utilise each others unique strengths and help remember key dates (source http://homeworktips.about.com/od/teamwork/a/studypartner.htm).

But choose wisely; aim for people on a similar level. That way you push each other and stay motivated. If one is better than the other, the better student may get bored, or lesser student may be disenchanted with the knowledge gap.

Be sure to choose someone who won’t distract you; two chatterboxes will end up distracting each other from study. Similarly, don’t choose someone you are really attracted to!

GET INVOLVED

Share pictures of your study station with your peers on twitter, using the #bppstudytips hash tag.


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