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I’m lucky to have my own study space in my room where I can do all my creative work, writing and some studying. The thing that is great (or not so great) about my study space is that the WiFi of my house doesn’t reach this part of my room, so I mostly stick to non-Internet work, which is a great way to prevent myself from being distracted from my phone/laptop.

This also allows me to be creative with my desk area, which will – hopefully – inspire my work as well. Even though my desk does seem too cluttered/colorful/whatever, I’m so used to it being like this that it doesn’t really affect me at all. The good overall atmosphere of my desk area is good enough for my taste.

So, below I have compiled several tips on creating your ideal study space, as well as the most suitable study environment, so that you can create the ideal desk area for you:

On your study space…

Choose a place. Ideally, it should be somewhere where you can study and work uninterrupted for periods at a time.

Allow natural light to come in. My desk is directly below a source of natural light, which makes it perfect to work from the morning till mid-afternoon.

Invest in good lighting. This is so crucial for so many reasons. The main one is, obviously, so you can work effectively at night. The second one is that if you work under poor lightning, it will strain your eyes faster. As someone who is (very) nearsighted, I highly advocate investing in good lighting.

Have a trash bin near. This is very important if you really want to keep your desk area clean. I keep mine right below my desk, so it’s always there when I want to throw/recycle paper, random trash, and even dust. Anything that resembles that of a trash can will work.

Keep your desk as clean as possible. Mine is usually 85% clear, except for a few stationery storage pots and cases. If you can, store everything in your drawers and/or on your shelves.

Use your drawers and storage tools wisely. I love these Muji acrylic storage tools and displaying all my favorite stationery and notebooks. I got these recently when I visited my family in Taiwan, and, as you can see… I went a little crazy. Anyhow, I love how these can help you use your space more efficiently as well as give a clean feel to your desk.

I have the rest of my stationery and other materials in the table drawers. These include my journals and other materials that I want to have within my reach, but not displayed on my desk at all times.

Inspire yourself. Look for inspiration around you and online by observing how others organize their study spaces and why. Then surround yourself with inspiration: whether it’s organizing the bookshelf near your study space so it looks more study-friendly, hanging or pasting inspiring photos up on your wall, etc.

Your study space doesn’t need to be fixed. You may have ‘the one’ study space at home, but remember that it’s always a good idea to switch up your environment every once in a while. Personally, I find that studying at libraries and coffee shops – places where you visibly surround yourself with people who are working – forces me to get down to my work more. This is because I’m a very self-conscious person, but I know that this slight discomfort will wear away gradually. And hey – it works.

On your study environment…

Choose soothing, instrumental music. I’ve grown used to working with any kind of (pleasing) music, but the best ones will always be the classical and/or instrumental ones, as they provide a less distracting background noise. If you must listen to lyrical music, however, then choose ones in a language that you don’t understand that well (so you don’t subconsciously follow the music more than what you’re working on).

Have a glass of water on your desk. It is easy for me to fall so deep into my work that I forget to eat, and the best way to remind myself that I’m human is by putting my necessities in front of me. A glass or bottle of water is the #1 essential on my desk.

Put healthy snacks around you! Chances are, if you’re very busy, your mind will be more focused on your work than on what you’re eating. So just like having water on your desk, make sure you have some snacks available near you. Some ideas include: nuts, fruits (already washed and cut), dried fruit, dark chocolate, etc. Make sure to store all unhealthy snacks away, to prevent yourself from grabbing them from impulse.

Lastly, the important thing is that you organize your desk in a way that accommodates your needs and likes the best way. What works for me may not work for you. Having a “study space” is such a simple thing, as it changes all the time, but it’s a fun and easy way to get creative.

-Michelle

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