Thursday, July 16, 2015

Study Time and Space

photo of Albert Einstein in his office, pondering.

Have you given any thought to how much time and what kind of space you should devote to studying? Rio Salado's Counseling team has some advice to consider.

study rule: 1 = 2.  Rule of thumb: 1 hour of class time = 2 hours of study time.
Did you know that college students are encouraged to approach their coursework as they would a 40-50 hour work week?

In terms of study time, the goal should be two hours per unit each week, for a total of 25-35 hours each week.

The question now is where to study so you can make your time productive.

Here are some suggestions to consider for locations and settings.

The Rio Salado Library is a great option. The Tempe headquarters houses our biggest library and study rooms. Please visit for details about library services at other locations such as Northern and Thomas.

The Café @ Rio and our student lounge on the second floor at the Tempe headquarters is another option to consider. All locations provide WiFi access.

Many of you will likely ended up studying from home. Here are some proven ways to make your study space more conducive to learning.

image of a bright and colorful study space.

Keep it fun and interesting. Even though we encourage you to hit the books in a neat and well-organized space, you’ll want to include some kind of pleasing aesthetics and stimulus. Otherwise, you'll probably find yourself face first in your books and swimming in zzzzzzzs. One of the easiest ways to punch up the personality above your desk is to create an inspiration or mood board featuring favorite photos, quotes, textiles, and clippings. This is a great place to shift your attention and recharge when experiencing studying doldrums.

Pull up a comfortable chair. If all you can think about is how uncomfortable your bottom is, you’re not likely to get much work done. Make the investment in a cushy desk chair. Tight budget? Consider one of those flokati fur rugs. They’ll keep you warm too!

A place for everything and everything in its place. We know you probably heard this axiom from your mom one too many times growing up, but we repeat it here just because it's true! If everything from your paperclips to your protractor has a designated space, you'll not only quickly know where to find it, but you'll squander less time straightening up your desk before you get to work.

Consider color. The color orange has been proven to stimulate brain activity—a good reason to dose yourself with vitamin C-inspired hues. Yellow is also known to activate brain waves. Pale blue is another popular color, which is often used in classrooms, because it is known to increase productivity, creative thinking and intuition. On the other hand, it can also make you drowsy, so take caution with this color.

You may have to go through a little trial and error in finding the right study space but don’t lose site of the ultimate goal—to study!   

Time and space are relative. Do what's right for you!

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” ― Albert Einstein 

Contributed by Rio Salado Counselor Autumn Cardott on behalf of Rio Salado's Counseling Services.