Creating Your At-home Study Space & Routine

By: Claire Wei (she/her/hers), Peer Success Leader, 2019-2020 

Read time: <4 minutes

Many friends of mine have been complaining to me that it feels so weird to study and work from home.

“I have three dogs at home.”

“My bed is right next to my desk.”

“My room is a mess.”

“I used to be a morning person, but I sleep till noon now.”

How about you? Are you also struggling with finding a place to study or creating your WFH routine?

To be honest, in the beginning, I did not really understand why people find it hard to work from home. As a commuter, I am used to studying off-campus, and I actually feel that I am more productive when I study at home. Why is that? Here's my breakdown on how I made myself comfortable working from home.

First, I took a day to organize my room. Like most college students, I normally do not care if I have a pile of clothes on my bed or paper all over my desk. We are too busy with everything else, and we only use the room to sleep and change anyway. However, after moving to online instruction, I realized that I would spend most of the time in my room studying and working, and a messy environment is not going to help.

Second, I created my own study space. After putting clothes back on hangers and cleaning my desk, I made a list of tools that I would need in my desk drawers, such as calculators, notebooks, binders, colored pens, index cards, headphones, and even bottles of lotion. I made sure that I can reach these tools without leaving my desk, so I wouldn’t be distracted during online classes or have any excuses to walk away. Here are some more tips for creating your ideal study space.

Third, also the most important one, I like the study space that I made for myself. It is essential to make the study space comfortable and satisfactory for you to spend hours every day. For example, I changed the photos in the frames that are in my room, got my favorite scented candles, and  put decorations on the desk to make it more aesthetic.

Working from home also means that, outside of the online classes, you are responsible for allocating your time and designing your own work schedule. Before getting into a daily routine, it is crucial to know how much work you can realistically get done each day. Making a to-do list can remind you of important deadlines and help you stay on top of everything. Some of the schedule/ to-do list websites and apps that I usually use are Google Calendar, Sticky Notes, Microsoft To Do, and Asana.

After deciding how much time you need to sit in front of your laptop, ask yourself if you are a morning person or evening person. For example, I am a morning person. Although I don’t have any early classes this semester, I prefer to go to bed early, around 10:30 or 11 p.m., and wake up early, like 7 or 8 a.m., to utilize my morning time. I know many people would say that they are late-night people. However, I would not recommend them burning the midnight oil because our classes still take place during regular hours, and staying up too late may interfere with your regular class sessions. Also, if you live with other family members or your roommates, when you are designing your routine, you should take their schedules into consideration.

It is a difficult time for everyone, but we can do it! Create a study space and set your WFH routine today, and, most importantly, STAY SAFE!