Master your Set-up

Master your Productivity

What will this lesson achieve?

Learn how to create a custom study zone to maximise your productivity

Why is this important?

Having a dedicated study zone customised to your preference is key to maintaining productive habits

Suggested Time

20 minutes

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Commonly used study materials. Laptop, notebook, pens, highlighters etc.

Workshops recommended

Master your Productivity: Habits for Success
Master your Productivity: Productivity Techniques

What is your current study set-up? If your answer is “lying in bed with my laptop balanced on my knees” then you might want to consider revamping your study set-up space to promote productivity.

What is a dedicated study space and why do I need one?

A dedicated study space is an area (often in the home) which is generally separate to your communal living spaces, which is used for the primary purpose of studying.

It is important that you create a separate space which is assigned to your studies to help you to develop healthy study habits which promote productivity and focus, and to reduce the chance of interruptions or distractions.

How to create a custom study zone:


Study environment:

  • Use a quiet space (or listen to some music if this can help you to concentrate).
  • Use a sturdy desk and a comfortable chair.
  • Ensure adequate lighting.
  • Declutter the environment.
  • Have all necessary resources on hand e.g., textbooks, notepad, pen etc.
  • Remove distractions e.g., put your phone on silent or turn it off.
  • Make it your own. Add colours and objects which help to calm you and promote focus i.e., add a house plant.
  • Use a study playlist. Top tip: Search for ‘GUGC Student Guild’ on Spotify.


General study tips:

  • Use noise-cancelling headphones to block out distracting environmental sounds.
  • Try using the Pomodoro technique:
    • Pick your task and break it up into smaller tasks.
    • Set a 25-minute timer and start working through the tasks.
    • Take a 5-minute break.
    • Repeat these steps four times.
  • Colour code your notes using highlighters and/or coloured text. The contrast of colour on white paper gives your brain a better opportunity to successfully remember the content.
  • Study with a candle burning. Since scent is the only sense with direct connections to the brain, smell during study (especially rosemary) can improve how information is organised and retained.
  • Listen to classical music while studying, which may lower stress and improves focus.
  • Set firm boundaries with family, friends and/or roommates to minimise disruption to your study time.


Mental preparation for study:

  • Prioritise getting enough sleep and eating well to recharge and fuel your body.
  • Use mindfulness breathing techniques to help you to focus before tasks and re-focus if you start feeling distracted.
  • Write an achievable to-do list the night before.
  • Get all the study resources you will need ready the night before, such as relevant lecture notes and textbooks.


Common mistakes to avoid:

Get to know your productivity style

Download a copy of the Master Your Set-up Study Checklist.


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