Are you over 50 and have just decided to continue your education? Maybe you wish to secure a peaceful retirement, or you’re just keen on lifelong learning. Whatever the reason, going back to school is not easy, especially when you have been away from an educational environment for some time. Start from the beginning by organizing a study space in your home and creating an environment that will help you achieve your goal.
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Here are some basics to get you started.
1. Organize studying materials
Start organizing your studying materials from day one, do not wait for them to pile up. Organizing your studying materials will keep you from wasting time on going through all of them to find the one you need. Place them in separate binders or drawers and label them clearly so you would know exactly what is in each binder/folder without opening them. Bulletin boards and calendars also help, not only to organize the materials, but your time as well. Post your course timetable and exams schedule on the board as a reminder.
2. The importance of being comfortable
Find a place in your home that you will turn into a study-only zone and arrange it so that you feel comfortable spending time there. One of the most important elements in your study room is the furniture. Namely, a good chair and desk to keep your posture up straight. Straight back will allow the oxygen in your body to flow freely, increasing your circulation and improving your concentration. Maybe throw a thick soft Zado rug under your feet to make them comfortable too. Position your desk so that natural light comes in from your writing hand side. If you study by night, buy a desk lamp and place it on the same side.
3. Keep your books close and your pencils closer
Find a convenient place on your desk for all those books and supplies that you will use most often. Some of the essentials that you should keep at hand are: a pencil holder with at least few pencils, sticky notes, paper clips, and highlighters. Those that you use rarely, get them off your desktop, as clutter is one of the major distractors. Consider placing them a few steps away from your desk. So, every time you need them, you will have to get up and stretch your legs. This will give you an instant boost of energy.
4. Get rid of any distractions
Number one distraction, as we mentioned, is clutter. Before you sit down and concentrate, tidy up your desk and the area around it, and return all things to their designated place. Unplug. If you have a job that requires you to be available all the time, this might be a problem. Otherwise, turn off your mobile phone, your TV, and ask your family for some quiet time. Try playing some soothing background music to block out any distracting noises. If you find the music distracting as well, use earbuds or headphones.
5. Motivation, motivation, motivation
This is not an easy path that you have chosen and no matter how determined you are, chances are that you will occasionally ask yourself if you really needed it all. When this happens, you will need something to motivate you to keep going. Write down your motives on a piece of paper and post them in a place where you can see them. Whenever in doubt, look up and remind yourself that you are doing this for yourself and for a chance of a better future: a new job, a higher pay, secure retirement, or personal growth.
Hopefully, these tips will make your decision seem easier. Test them to see if they work for you.
Lana Hawkins is an architecture student and a food lover from Sydney, Australia. She contributes regularly for Smooth Decorator, and loves reading about sustainable design. She loves spending her free time cooking for her friends, or outdoors, cycling.