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How to Create A Productive Study Space for Finals

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Between finishing up last-minute projects, writing final papers and staying up all night studying for exams, keeping a clear study space can become difficult. From numerous Starbucks runs, instant noodles and crumpled-up sticky notes, your workspace can become cluttered and distracting. It can be extremely frustrating when you can’t seem to get in the “groove” of writing that essay or studying your flashcards. Creating a productive studying environment is essential for remaining focused and motivated to complete assignments and study for the big test.

One of the biggest factors in creating a productive study space is understanding what environment you thrive best in. There’s no one-size-fits-all environment when it comes to studying. You have to understand how focused you can be depending on where you are and what places you thrive best in. Some appreciate background noise and don’t mind the chatter, so they opt for their favorite coffee shop or lower level in the library. Others can’t work with any noise and prefer to be in their rooms with a clear desk and noise-canceling headphones on. The type of work you are doing also contributes to this, as simple assignments you may be able to complete in a busier location, while more serious assignments and essays require you to be completely alone.

Once you figure out what type of study space you work best in, it is important to limit the number of distractions you have around you. One of the biggest distractions is your phone. With notifications from social media apps, roommate group chats and emails from your professors, you are constantly checking your phone, which can hinder your studying and take you “out of the zone.” Turning your phone on Do Not Disturb or limiting your notifications is one way to solve this. You can even move your phone to the other side of the room or table, where you can’t access it, so you are even less tempted to check your phone.

Creating a realistic study plan will also help you feel more productive and may motivate you to stay focused and complete more tasks. Make sure that the goals you set are realistic and incorporate necessary study breaks. Break the goals down into smaller segments, so instead of putting “write final essay for religion class,” change it into three separate components such as:

  • write a thesis statement and two paragraphs
  • complete the rest of the essay
  • re-read, revise, and turn in

This will help your tasks seem more manageable and easier to complete. If it helps, write out your tasks on a sticky note and leave it next to you on your desk.

There’s no simple way to create a “productive” environment, as it’s really about creating the right mindset in a healthy and manageable way. This can all be enhanced by working in the right environment but making sure you’re in the right mindset is most important. Make sure to take frequent breaks and take a moment to stretch your legs. Keep a water bottle and light snack with you and use your downtime for relaxing a destressing. With time, creating a study space and “being productive” will become easier.

This finals season, make sure to fuel your body, drink lots of water and get a decent amount of sleep.

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Sydney is a Junior at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and is currently studying Media and Communications with a minor in Psychology and International Affairs. She loves anything related to Harry Styles and is working towards a career in the travel industry one day!