It’s exam time; or there are two research papers due. You know that the next several days are going to be consumed with long periods of work, as much sleep as you are able to get, and eating in between those times.
This is not a new scenario for most students. And it is one that they will experience often during their college years. What many don’t think about is how they manage their physical environment – specifically, their dorm room – during these stressful times.
It is easy to just let everything go and to wallow in some mess. The problem with this behavior is that it actually slows you down. Your physical environment can impact your efficiency.
Here are some suggestions that should help.
- Don’t let the dirty clothes pile up
It’s easy to just throw them on the floor where you take them off, and that goes for your bathroom too. The clutter is a distraction, and scientific studies show other negative impacts of a cluttered workplace:
- It promotes negative feelings and moods
- It causes a reduction in focus
- It causes a lack of motivation
- It can increase stress levels
- Fill your space with healthy snack items
While these are not substitutes for balanced meals, the food you put in your body can also impact your performance, and some of it in a negative way. Here is what research says results from consuming junk foods:
- They can lead to greater fatigue
- They can cause irritability
- They can increase stress
- They decrease energy level
- They lower ability to focus
And while you are avoiding junk foods, drink plenty of water. Dehydration can also cause fatigue.
- Eliminate distractions
Distractions are actually personal and subjective. Some people work best with background music and headphones on. By far, the biggest distraction, though, will be that computer. If you do not have the willpower to stay off social media or other favorite sites, you need some software that will block you, at least for a certain sustained period of time, while you work.
- Know your limitations
You may be in over your head with multiple exams and papers weighing you down. This can cause “burnout,” no matter how clean your room is and no matter how much you have done to maximize your study space. Recognize this and make a decision to get some help, perhaps by finding a legit site to buy a research paper online. With one of those tasks off your back, you will be far more productive on the other tasks.
- Know your learning style
There is also a lot of research on learning styles and physical environment preferences. Noise has already been noted. But there are other preferences. Some students need warmer temperatures; others need cooler ones. Some students need a social environment of studying with others; some prefer to be isolated and by themselves. Lighting is also a factor. Make sure that you know how you work best and that these environmental factors are in place.
- Set times when you are not “open for business”
It’s hard to deny your friends who enter your room for “social time.” But you must do this, at least for certain periods of time when you need to get to that work. You can let your friends know not to disturb or put a funny sign on your door (e.g., “closed for repairs”) with a time you will “reopen.” Every knock on your door is a distraction and will take your focus away. Returning to focus always eats up time.
- Get out of your space periodically
You can begin to feel like a prisoner at times. When this happens, you will not be at your best. Get out of your room, take a walk, go get a healthy meal, or engage in any other activity that will help clear your brain.
- Keep your personal hygiene up
You’ll feel much better with regular showers and other personal hygiene activities. These things promote a more positive outlook, and that positive outlook can increase productivity.
Check out these 8 tips – you may find that they will promote much more productivity and positivity in your approach to heavy coursework loads. Keep your space tidy, honor your learning styles, eat well, eliminate distractions, and watch your personal hygiene.
Author Bio: Mark Blackwood defines himself as a lifelong learner interested in all things to research and blog about. He is a frequent contributor to many popular blogs, writes, and edits for some online writing services. He is also an accomplished guitarist, and works with animal rescue groups.