People in business know the value of an office. It’s a status symbol, true, but more importantly, it’s a place of focus. You go into your office, and your brain recognizes that space as a place to work, a place to set aside the random concerns of the day and focus. That is the ideal, of course. We all know you have wifi and Facebook in there…but the goal should be to focus.
There is no reason the same principle can’t be made to work for students! Usually, we make do with just a desk, which might or might not be a dedicated space, especially today with most homework being done on the computer. And computers, of course, are as much toy as aid, so the space around them is perhaps even more important.
So set boundaries. You might be lucky enough to be able to dedicate an entire room. You probably aren’t, so lay claim to a corner, and make that your space. Your work space. Keep your work in here. Notes, textbooks, and binders are all much easier to find if they stay in one place or always return there after class. And keeping them corralled will make relaxation easier, too–you’ll be able to physically leave the workplace and know it will be there when you can come back. Your economics textbook won’t be staring at you accusingly from beside the TV.
Make it your space. Decorate. (Note: This is something to do when you have free time, not when you are procrastinating on homework. Get back to work!) The best decorations are going to be ones that remind you of why you’re doing the work in the first place, but be flexible with that. If you want a life-sized stand-up of your favorite actor staring at you while you work, go with it. Give them a flower crown and a bossy speech bubble. Spock says do your physics homework or you’ll never join Starfleet!
This is a great place to keep reminders of how far you’ve come. Put up your high school diploma or that decorated mortarboard on the wall. Bowling trophies. A good report card. These will help push you forward when you feel like you just can’t take another step.
Schedule a regular time to keep up your space. You can’t work if it’s so cluttered you can’t find your calculator. You won’t want to work if you can’t get your legs under your desk because your recycle bin has overflowed and eaten the space. Pencil in half an hour a week to file everything that’s collected on your surfaces. That clean desk will probably inspire you to open your books.