Date published 7th April 2021

Finding a space where you enjoy studying is the first step towards doing your best work. However, what looks like the perfect study space for one person, might look very different to another. That’s why you should try different things – you might change the lighting, your chair or even the posters on your wall.

Throughout your studies, you will probably spend a lot of time at your desk, so it’s important to make this space your own. It should be comfortable, as well as personalised. In this guide, we’ve made a few suggestions as to how you can create a study space that works for you.


What does a good workspace look like?

  1. Clean and tidy – Clear the space around you. You might have heard the saying “tidy desk, tidy mind.” When it comes to your work space, this is often true.
  2. A ‘no phone zone’ – Keeping your phone out of sight will mean you are far less distracted. Try leaving it in another room, or even hiding it behind your laptop if you do need it for work.
  3. Light and airy – Lighting is important when creating a good study space. Natural light might be the best, but when you are working late, this is not always possible. Therefore, try to keep your space lit with yellow light. Too much white, artificial light can affect your sleep pattern so it’s best to avoid this.
  4. Personal to you – Although it’s good to keep your workspace tidy, you don’t want to be sitting in a room that feels like a hospital. A plant, some pictures or a couple of one of your favourite books will give your space some life – and most importantly, ensure you’re happy to be there.


Should my space be silent?

The question of noise is personal. Many people prefer to work in silence, whereas others would rather a little background noise. Spotify hosts long playlists of coffee shop background noise, and after research found that ambient noise can help with productivity, the Coffitivity website was born.

Similar studies have also looked at whether music can help us study. One research project found that music makes repetitive tasks easier. It can increase motivation and reduce fatigue. However, if you are reading or writing, choosing music without lyrics is a good idea. Otherwise, your brain finds it harder to process the words on the page.


Are you sitting comfortably?

You might spend many hours a day sitting at your desk, so ensuring you have a comfortable chair is crucial. You should choose a chair that supports your lower back and keeps your upper back straight. Equally important is the height of your desk. If it is too low, you risk hunching your back, but too high, and you may strain your neck.

Although it is good to be comfortable, you should still avoid your bed. Working from bed encourages bad posture and is shown to reduce the quality of your sleep. However, if you can’t resist a day spent working in bed, then you should try lying with a tablet raised above your head and avoid using a laptop altogether.

Creating an effective study space is above all, about trial and error. Sometimes, something just clicks – it might be a new cactus or a good playlist that makes the space. Remember, you should never feel ‘tied to your desk’. Instead, your workspace should be the incubator that charges you through your studies.