Whether you’re in school, university, or the workplace, optimising your space can be crucial to achieving the results you’re striving for. In the UK, procrastination costs businesses approximately £76 billion each year. Crazy, right? And procrastinating is a key reason we don’t learn to the best of our ability as well.
One way to make sure we focus on the task at hand is to optimise your space. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to learn new skills or putting old ones to good use, being in the right environment can go a long way to successfully complete your objective.
Here, we look at the best ways to optimise your learning space:
Make it personal
It may sound obvious, but a few home comforts and personal touches can go a long way to increasing your productivity levels. Family photos and postcards of your favourite quotes are both great visuals that can help get your creative juices flowing.
Studies have shown that greenery in your workspace can offer a host of benefits. Flowering plants are great ways to increase our concentration levels and lower the sensation of stress. The likes of ferns clean our air space, while the snake plant also cleans up toxins. Succulents such as a cactus are also a useful addition to your space for decoration purposes as they don’t take a lot of looking after.
Let there be light
Nowadays, a lot of our working or studying is conducted on a computer. Natural light is an amazing way to counteract any effects of sitting in front of an artificially-lit computer screen. It is also known to enhance our mood by increasing our happiness. This is because natural sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Without this, some people experience seasonal affective disorder. By being exposed to natural sunlight, you will also have a sense of contentment thanks to the production of vitamin D. It is suggested that a brightly lit room can encourage a critical and analytical thought process.
Clutter is a major downfall if you’re trying to be productive. It’s not a coincidence that a clear desk can represent a clear mind. By ensuring that your workspace is free of unnecessary distractions, you are more likely to remain focused on the task at hand. You can do this by having a bin within reach, setting up a physical inbox for your papers, and scheduling regular cleaning times.
You may not realise it, but the colour of your space can make a big difference. Red has been linked to boost how alert we are. It’s looked upon as the ‘colour of passion’. Elsewhere, blue can help us generate ideas and keeps us focused on the task at hand, while green helps avoid eye fatigue and stay efficient. If you were looking to keep stress levels to a minimum, you should look to include white or beige as this can have a calming effect.
Choose sounds to suit you
This point can differ for each person. While some people work best in silence, others prefer a bit of background noise. Everyone benefits in their own way. Either way, a good set of headphones could be the ideal solution as they can either block out the tones around you or provide the tunes/podcasts best suited to keeping you productive. Other low-level noise could distract you from your studying or work and have a negative effect.
Why not try classical music? Italian researchers found that this genre can significantly enhance your working memory performance, while research in the Journal of Consumer Research also found that a moderate level of ambient noise can benefit our creative senses.
Of course, there is no definitive solution to an optimum workspace. In the end, each of us learns in a different way, but by following the above steps, you will set yourself up nicely to succeed in your end goal and boost your productivity levels.