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It's time to finally start the school year. You have all the power to get through this and get the amazing grades you deserve! To get the best results, it's so important to study. Studying can be hard for many students, especially when at home in quarantine, but it doesn't have to be! Here are five ways to create the perfect study space for maximum focus and productivity!

Put your phone away!

If you are anything like me, your phone is your worst enemy when it comes to getting studying done. It is so tempting to check social media, text your friends back or scroll mindlessly though some online shopping site. Every time your phone beeps: there goes your attention. Distractions are way too dangerous. That's why the most important step to creating a productive study space is putting away your phone. Instead, play music through your laptop or not at all. Put your phone on silent and keep it out of sight until you get your studying done! 

Find a comfortable space

It can be anywhere: your bed, your desk, your backyard or a library. A safe, comfortable space looks different for everyone. Think about where you can feel both peaceful and productive and choose that spot to set up your study space. What is important is that you feel comfortable, but not too comfortable where you might fall asleep! Choosing a place that has a cool temperature can help you to stay awake. If you are expecting to be in the same spot for a long amount of time, choose a seating position that will not leave your back, knees or neck aching. Make sure that this place is free from distractions as well. For example, ensure that it is quiet and you will not expect to be interrupted. It is also important that your study space also be your testing space. It is scientifically proven that it will be easier to remember facts if you are in the same place that you learned them! 

Use a calendar or planner

When taking five or more classes, getting everything done on time can be daunting. It seems like assignments are randomly popping up out of nowhere and due dates are a lot sooner than they look. A great way to keep assignments and their due dates organized is by purchasing a planner or calendar. If you are unable to purchase a physical planner or calendar, there are plenty of online options as well! Being able to see everything that is needed to be done in an organized manner can really put your mind at ease. You can ensure that you will not miss any due dates! It may help you to see that your tasks are not as complicated and excessive as they seem to be. Also, it is extremely satisfying to cross tasks off your list as you finish them! 

Play focus music

It seems like parents will be the first to call music a distraction, but that isn't always the case. When studying, having a little bit of controlled background noise can actually be beneficial. Many people like to listen to soothing instrumentals and focus music while studying. It can cancel out background noise and keep you from feeling stressed. If you have Spotify, check out some of their study and focus playlists for some good suggestions. Once you figure out what type of music helps you stay focused and motivated, you can make a playlist of your own. 

Take breaks

There's a misconception that a good study session is a long one. A lot of people save their work for the last minute and try to get everything done in one sitting. If you can do this and not feel burnt out or on the verge of a breakdown, kudos to you. However, I can definitely say I am not one of those people. If you have a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time, breaks might be the last thing on your mind. However, it should be at the very front of it.

Figure out what is a good interval for breaks for you. It could be a fifteen minute break after every page you write. You could set a timer to go off every hour to signal a ten minute break. Whatever interval works best is one that is well deserved. Your studying should not feel like a punishment. It should also not make you feel overly stressed and anxious, no matter how much work you have. Taking a break can actually help your productivity. You can use it to get a snack, catch up on social media or just sit back and close your eyes. Knowing that you have a break coming can be an incentive to continue plugging through. It can also give you a moment to rest your eyes and brain. Whatever you use your break for, know that it is well deserved. You deserve peace and comfort as much as you deserve success. 

Mackenzie Meleski is a passionate writer for Her Campus at VCU. She is currently double majoring in International Studies and Mass Communications. She loves her two cats, Leo and Loki, and her dog, Lucy. You will probably find her online shopping or watching reruns of The Great British Bake Off.
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