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As an adult learner, you will face a unique set of challenges. For you, being a college student is about juggling the demands of education with an existing career and possibly a family. One distinct challenge is finding a space to work where you won’t be disturbed. Follow these 5 steps to help you set up the perfect study space.

Step 1: Choose an Ideal Location

In an ideal world, you’d be able to dedicate an entire room to studying. If this isn’t possible, you should try to find a spot away from the noisiest areas of your home. Choosing the room next to your child’s playroom or a spot on the kitchen table will only lead to frustration. If they are available, consider repurposing an existing guestroom, attic or basement.

Step 2: Create a Clutter-Free Zone

You’ll need to clear away any clutter before you get down to work. An orderly workspace has numerous benefits such as increased productivity and reduced stress. Give some thought to the computing equipment and textbooks you will need in the space and plan accordingly.

Step 3: Put Your Plans into Action

With the clutter banished, it’s time to put your plans into action. The ideal approach is to create a comfortable, stress-free space (but one that’s not so cozy that you’ll be tempted to doze off!). Struggling to find space for your study aids will be a distraction, so you’ll want some file folders or other system for organizing your work. Invest in an ergonomic chair and good lighting, and create a filing system. Having everything you need at hand will reduce the amount of time wasted looking for things.

Step 4: Determine Your Study Schedule

With everything you need for effective studying at your fingertips, you now must introduce some time management. Create a study schedule that works for you. Blocking out time when you won’t be disturbed by family creates a positive mindset conducive to work. If you have children, laying down ground rules such as, "when the door is closed, I don’t want to be disturbed," will keep you from getting distracted.

Step 5: Get to Work

It’s time to make the most of your newfound study haven. Barring any unexpected emergencies, try to stick to your study schedule. Every time you sit down to work, you want to be greeted by the same clean and tidy space that you planned.

Establishing regular study habits can put you at ease as you accomplish your educational goals. Your new study space is the perfect vehicle to help you prepare for the next step in your personal and professional life!