UNITED STATES—If you are embarking on the exciting journey of home studying, you are going to need somewhere to learn. Setting up your office is all part of the fun and will help to pave the way for a successful learning experience. Here are eight tips for setting up an office for home studying.
Finding the right space may be your biggest challenge. You need a quiet location where you will not be disturbed by the kids shouting, the dog barking, or the TV in the next room. It is ideal if you have a spare bedroom or a dining room that you don’t use a lot. However, you could utilize a corner of your bedroom or even your basement for this purpose.
Once you have selected your space you will need to organize it. This will help you to organize your mind and make your study journey run more smoothly. Make sure the room or area you are going to use is clean and uncluttered. Once you start studying you will find that having a lot of things around you that you don’t need is distracting, not least because it will make you want to tidy up as soon as you sit down to study. Make sure that you keep your space clean and tidy so that you can focus on your studies.
The desk and chair you use will make a world of difference to your comfort during study time. It is estimated that half of all adults suffer from musculoskeletal conditions and a lot of these are caused by uncomfortable office furniture. You will spend a lot of time using your furniture, so make sure it is right for you.
Invest in a good office chair with a solid, adjustable back and adjustable seat height. You need to be able to see your computer easily without having to move your neck or sit in an uncomfortable position. You may find that you are more comfortable using a chair with arms, especially if you are going to spend a lot of time reading.
Your desk should be solid and well-made. Invest in one with drawers so that you don’t have to get up every time you need office supplies. A wrist rest can help you feel more comfortable while you are using your computer or laptop and a footrest can mean that you are not overstretching the lower part of your body. You should sit with your feet firmly on the floor to avoid pain in your lower joints
If you are looking at accelerated DNP programs or a master’s, which will be studied primarily online, you will need the right technology in your office. Invest in a laptop or computer with good internet speed so that you can work at your own pace rather than being kept waiting or timed out by your internet service. You may find it useful to have a printer in your workspace so that you don’t have to keep getting up and down to get work from it. Personal technology such as your phone or iPad should be banned from your office space, as this will distract you.
Although technology has taken over in the office, you will still need basic office supplies. Think about how you are going to take notes for your course. It can often be simpler to use a pen and notepad, so you don’t have to keep flitting between screens to make notes. Highlighters can be a great investment for any work you have printed out, as this means you can pick out the important bits when it is time for revision, and this will save you a lot of effort. Other office supplies that are great to stock up on before you start include lever-arch folders, a calculator, stapler, ruler, and hole punch. Raid your local office supply store to stock up and keep your purchases close at hand. This is where having a desk with drawers in it comes in handy.
Lighting is very important in your home-study office as long periods of study in poor lighting can affect your eyesight and give you headaches. Your light should be bright enough to see clearly. An overhead light is perfect for this but make sure that it doesn’t shine directly on to the computer screen, as this can make you feel unwell. If overhead lighting in your study space is not practical, then invest in a desk lamp but don’t point it directly at your computer.
Your study space should offer some natural light as this will make you feel healthier and calmer as you study, as well as being a great source for lighting up your work. Place your computer facing towards the window, if possible, as this will give you some great backlight and will not cause you to strain your eyes.
You should keep the room at a moderate temperature. If you can open your window and let in some fresh air, this will be an excellent way of staying energized and alert during your study time. The room temperature should feel comfortable but not too warm as this may make you feel tired and unable to concentrate.
No office space is complete without a few personal touches to make it feel as if the space is your own. A comfortable cushion and your own coffee mug are fantastic touches. Don’t put anything too distracting such as desk toys or lots of photographs in your space, as this will stop you from concentrating. A motivational picture or slogan on the wall may keep you going if you are flagging, but don’t overdo it or you will find it hard to stay focused.
Once you have set up an office for home studying you are ready to begin your learning journey. You have given yourself all the tools you need to be successful and there is nothing stopping you. Good luck.