How to Set Up Your Study Area for Online Learning Success

Two open laptops on a wooden desk with a paper notebook nearby

Online learners have the advantage of taking class toward their online degree at home, but having a dedicated workspace can be a challenge. Here are some ways to set up your study area for academic success.

Have a “study zone.”
Whether it’s a desk in your house or just a comfy chair in a corner, have a room, a chair, or an environment that always means business. When you’re in that area, you’re in “online learning” mode. Try to keep unrelated internet tabs like streaming sites closed, and don’t share that space with leisure time. Find another place for those favorite-show binges and family time!

Reduce distractions.
Close the door, turn off the TV, put your phone on sleep mode, or put on headphones. These steps can help you focus or discourage well-meaning interrupters from saying “hi” while you study for your online class.

Get your materials together before you start.
Picture it: you settle down to study, but you forget your highlighter. You go to find one, but get distracted by a phone call, and then next thing you know your study session has been completely derailed. Gathering your materials beforehand will minimize chances for you to get distracted and ultimately help your overall organization.

Make a study schedule.
Many distance learning students have a lot of commitments in their lives, so time management is important. If you have a few different assignments to work on or topics to cover, try setting alarms to switch topics after a certain amount of time. When you’re assigned a big project, get out the calendar and immediately plan when you can dedicate time to it, not as the deadline approaches.

Think about comfort.
It may seem obvious, but imagine trying to do anything with a chair that’s wobbly or in a room with flickering lighting. Don’t go so comfortable that you might fall asleep, but do find a comfortable chair in a large-enough work area to get the job done.

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