Here's How to Create the Ideal Home Study Space

Your home can sometimes be the best place to study, but it might also be the only place you have. Whether you choose to study at home or you just have to make the best of it because you have nowhere else to go, there are a few things that you can do to set up the perfect study environment. Everyone has different preferences for their ideal place to study, but there are some things that most people will want to have to make their study experience better. You don't have to have a whole office or study of your own, but being able to carve out a small space for yourself is helpful.



Get Comfortable - But Not Too Comfortable



When you're studying, you don't want to be so uncomfortable that you can't stay sitting down. However, you also don't want to be so comfortable that it's easy for you to get distracted. When you're setting up your study space, make sure you have a supportive chair to sit in. Rather than lounging on the sofa, at least consider sitting up in an armchair so that you're not at risk of accidentally taking a nap. If you're going to be typing a lot during your studies, you should have a desk or other surface and consider having a support for your wrists.




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Remove Distractions




There are so many distractions that can stop you studying, especially when you're at home. It's so easy to wander off and grab a snack, start watching TV or even start cleaning the house when you don't feel like studying. If you want to create the perfect study space, you need somewhere that has as few distractions as possible. That's why it's useful to create at least a small area of a room, if not a whole room, where you can remove distractions as much as possible. Try to get rid of anything that you might be tempted to fiddle with or even look at.




Store Some Snacks




Some people like to get snacks while they're on their breaks so that they have something to get up for. But if you study better when you have snacks next to you, you should have somewhere to keep them. Use a cupboard or cabinet to store a few snacks so you can easily reach for something to give you energy when you need it. You could even have a mini fridge for cold drinks if you don't want to go too far to get one.




Ensure a Strong Connection




It would be great if you could turn off your internet connection to study for maximum concentration. Unfortunately, you often need to be connected to the internet to study. At least if you can't prevent the internet distracting you, you can at least avoid being slowed down by an unreliable connection. One of the benefits of getting high speed internet is that you won't have to deal with dropping out and slowness when you're trying to be productive. A fast connection can help you to get your studying done quicker and easier so that you can get on with other things.






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Get the Lighting Right




The lighting in your study space can make a big difference to how well you can work. To begin with, you don't want to have any glare on your computer because it could be very distracting. You don't want it to be too dark or you might just feel like falling asleep, but too much artificial light could cause eyestrain. Try to maximize natural light when you can and use a warm but bright light when there's no sunshine to rely on.




Create a Comfortable Temperature




Temperature can also affect how well you are able to study. If it's too warm, you can feel hot, sticky and frustrated, or perhaps like you want to take a nap. Too cold, and you might be using up all your energy trying to stay warm, so there's none left for your brain. Set the temperature in your study space at a comfortable level so that you don't have to think about it while you're trying to study. If you're trying to save money, put on an extra layer when it's cold instead of turning up the temperature.




Choose Between Silence or Music




Some studies might show one way or another whether silence or music is best for being productive. But it often just comes down to personal taste when you're studying. Total silence can be hard to get at home anyway, so you might prefer to create a setup for listening to music instead. For a balance between the two, try ambient sounds or instrumental music. If you do decide that you would prefer quiet, you could create a study space that helps to block out and absorb sound. Soft furnishings help to prevent echoing noises, but closing your window and door will keep sounds out.




Bring in Some Nature




Having plants in your study space can be a great way to make it more calming. House plants can help to improve the quality of the air indoors too, so it could even help to make your study space healthier. A couple of plants can give you something to look at when you want to rest your eyes and remind you to take a breather now and then.




Use a Clock




Studies have shown that working in short bursts can be a good way to be productive. A 20 minutes study period, when you concentrate the whole time, followed by a short break of a few minutes can help you work in short but intense chunks of time. Hanging a clock on the wall or having one on your desk can be a good remind of the time, instead of just having a computer clock which you might block out. It's also a good idea to have an alarm that you can set.




Create the perfect study space by setting up somewhere comfortable and free of too many distractions.

Things You Can Do To Help With Boredom When You’re Broke

We’ve all been there, right? We’ve spent a little too much money, and it’s a few weeks away until your next paycheck. So now you’re broke and bored, so what can you do that’ll help with the boredom but not cost you money? Here are a few suggestions!

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Play Video Games

You can spend hours on a video game, living out a fantasy life and there are so many to choose from. Driving games and adventure games will keep boredom at bay and doesn’t cost you any money to enjoy them...unless you buy more of them.

Invite some friends round, cook a big meal that costs very little and have an evening of gaming. It’ll be as much fun as it would going out and spending money.



Start A Blog

If you enjoy writing, then you might want to consider starting a blog. It’s a great platform to get your voice and opinions across to a wider audience and with blogging becoming even more popular, you could even make money from it.


It’s very simple to start a blog, and you can write about any topic you like from beauty to health, cars to gardening. The opportunities are endless!




Do A “Spring Clean”

Unless you’re one that hates tidying up, doing a spring clean can be a great way of decluttering your home and getting rid of stuff you no longer need. You can always sell anything of value too, so it’s a win-win situation.


Put on some music to get you in the mood and take your time with it. You can waste away hours tidying.




Work On A Skill

Perhaps learning a language is something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. With so much available online for free from videos to articles, developing a skill has never been so easy to do.

Think about what you’ve always wanted to do, write a list and get started.




Take Advantage Of Free Attractions

You’ll be surprised by just how many free attractions there are in your neighborhood, just waiting to be explored. From parks to museums, there’s plenty to do that won’t cost you anything at all. Check out local venues for free concerts and seek out food markets as they’ll tend to offer free samples that you can take full advantage of.




Have A Movie Night

Explore your DVD collection or see what films are available on any streaming services you may have like Amazon Prime or Netflix. A movie night is the ideal night in whether you’re on your own or with friends and family. Buy some cheap snacks, curl up in a duvet on the sofa and watch a film or two. Have a movie themed night where you watch films in the same genre or trilogies.



The best things in life are free, so when you find yourself struggling for cash, there are plenty of things you can do to help with the boredom and save on spending. It’ll bring around payday a little quicker, that’s for sure.

Excel in Your Exams: Preparation and Reducing Stress are Key

Exams are always going to be stressful. After months and months of study and hard work, it all comes down to how well you do in this set amount of time, which really does put a lot of pressure on you. Some people just naturally aren’t good at exams, and even the most level headed students can have an off day, and so if you have the date looming- chances are you’re going to be worried. Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to get yourself as prepared as possible, reduce stress and go into the exam on the day knowing you’ve done everything you can. Sometimes, this thought alone is enough to give you the confidence to go in there and do your best. Read on to find out more.



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Draw up a revision timetable

To properly revise a subject, you need time. Leaving it until the last minute and cramming is only going to add to stress levels, so get prepared and go about your revision in the right way. Once you’ve got an exam date, you can work out how much time you have to revise each topic, and set out a timetable giving you time each day to put in the work you need.



Find a method of revising that works for you

We’re all individual, and each of us will have our own methods of revising which work best for us. Some people are very visual, and find drawing up spider diagrams, posters and post it- notes to stick around the house can be effective. Others do better listening, you could read out all of your notes and record them on an app on your phone, and then listen back to them. Some people find that physically writing out all of their notes again with a pen and paper helps to secure it in their mind. And others might do better with things like flash cards and getting quizzed by others. Find a way to revise that works for you, and the information will sink in and stay in your mind much more easily.



Keep stress levels down

Stress makes everything worse. An anxious mind is far less likely to retain information from revising, and it can stop you from sleeping well. And we all know that when you’re tired, learning can feel impossible. While there’s always going to be an element of stress when it comes to exams, it’s important to find ways to cope. Have a relaxing bath, do some exercise or meditate as a way of managing the symptoms of stress and clearing your mind. You’ll do far better and will be able to focus more. Herbal remedies and over the counter medicines such as Rescue Remedy and Kalms can be effective if you’re really struggling. If your stress levels are impacting your life, you might even need to speak to your GP.



Take mock tests

A great way to test yourself, practice for the real thing and have a ‘test run’ of the exam is to take a mock test. These are often papers from previous years, and will give you a feel for the wording and what exactly it is the exams are looking for. Some companies offer specialist mock exams for specific subjects, you can find out more about this here. See if there are any online mocks as part of your revision materials from the school you’re studying at. If not, ask your tutor for some past exam questions and have them go through your answers with you to see how well you did. While the same questions won’t crop up again, if you’re able to answer these it shows you know the material well, and should be able to do just as well in your own exam. If you’re doing well in mock exams, it can really give you the confidence on the day to do your best on your own. If you’re struggling, you know that you need to put more work in. Better than turning up on the day and realising you weren't as prepared as you thought!



Speak to your tutor

If you’re able to get in any one-on-one time with your tutor, definitely use the opportunity to do so. Go armed with questions, and have them explain in more detail anything you’re not sure about. Classes in schools, colleges and universities tend to be fairly large and so it’s not going to be often that you get this kind of time with your tutor, so if you do, make the most of it. They should also be available via email to get back to you with any questions you have too. Don’t be afraid to ask, it’s their job to make sure you know the information. So if you’re stuck or unsure, let it be known.



Think about the day of the exam

On the day of the exam, you want to walk in feeling refreshed, well rested and confident. Do your very best to get a good night’s sleep, which will improve your mental clarity. Eat a light breakfast and make sure you’re well hydrated, since dehydration can lead to reduced mental performance. Have everything you need to take with you packed the day before, and even lay your clothes out. That way you can get up, get ready with no stress or messing around. Plan your route so there’s no risk of running late or getting stuck in traffic. This can help you to get off to the best start, so you can breeze in, do what you need to do and then breeze back out. You could have a notebook with a few points written down to revise on the day, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. With the right preparation you’ll have already covered everything you need to do and the knowledge will be in your head and ready to be used.



Do you suffer with bad exam stress? What do you do to ensure that you keep stress levels down enough to perform well?

Mobile Games That Give Your Brain a Workout

Mobile games are brilliant. They are a great way to escape your stress and leave the real world behind. They give you a way to meet new people and have some fun. They can be fun, exciting, terribly frustrating and incredibly addictive. They can even improve your concentration. Now that we’ve all got a phone in our pockets, we can play games wherever we are. We can lose a few minutes while we wait in the doctor's surgery, or we can spend hours giving them our full attention.



Games like these range in styles and types. Some, like online Bitcasino games, give us a chance to earn a little money while having some fun. Others are simple and addictive, a great way to kill time. Others are more serious. You can play shoot ‘em up games. You can play classic arcade fighting games. There are platform games and building games. You can even play mobile games that give your brain a bit of a workout. Here’s a look at some of the best mobile games that force you to use your mind.


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Lumosity



Lumosity is a proper brain training app. It focuses on games, tasks, and puzzles that each train different areas of your mind and different thought processes, giving you an all over mind workout. You can personalize your account for how much time you’ve got, and Lumosity will set you challenges each day.



Words with Friends



Words with friends is a bit like good old fashioned scrabble. But on your phone and with an added social element. This incredibly popular word building game is easy to play but forces you to think in a way that you might not usually. Now that we all rely so heavily on autocorrect and spell checkers, actually stopping to think about forming words is something that we rarely do, so despite its ease, this game can give your brain a great workout. It’s also pretty addictive, so you’ll be keen to play it as often as possible, and it’ll never feel like a chore.



Flow Free



Free flow is such an easy game at the start. The graphics are simple, there’s no flashy bells and whistles, but it’s a game that gets you thinking, and progressively gets harder as you play.



The simple premise is a grid of colored dots. There are two of each color on the grid, and you have to join them to each other using colored lines or pipes. The catch is that you can’t go through other lines to do it. So you have to find creative ways around the board to link your dots. The first few grids are easy, but it quickly becomes much more challenging.



The Room



The room is more visually appealing than the other games on this list. It’s a beautiful game, with much more complexity than a simple puzzle game or brain training app. But, the challenges offer the same great mind workout. It’s an adventure game, with a plot and story, that uses games and puzzles to forward the narrative. Think grown-up Professor Layton.



Challenging your mind as often as you can is proven to reduce your risk of memory issues and mental health problems. Things like learning a new language and reading are great, but playing games on your phone that make you stop and think can be equally effective.