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  • Writer's pictureMaria Stefanidi

9 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Study Space While Working on Your Dissertation

This post is all about how to get the most out of your study space so you can progress on your dissertation!

You see, your study desk is essential for studying and maintaining focus, and it's a powerful tool for being productive.

Numerous studies have shown that your study environment significantly impacts how well you actually process the information you're studying.

And to be honest, it's a space where you'll be spending a LOT of time each day!

You create a sense of stability by creating your own one-of-a-kind study space. It becomes your "headquarters," your focus zone, your haven!

So, investing time and effort in creating the best one for you is worthwhile!

Tip #1 - Organize your study desk

You may think that you don't have time to organize your desk, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization costs you, you would consider." - Marty Basher, Home Organization Expert

You can begin by decluttering and organizing your study space to promote productivity.

Having an organized study space can boost your motivation and prevent procrastination.

"A messy desk results in lost ideas and documents, interrupted workflow and reduced productivity." - Dorothy Spira, Community Expert at Evernote

Tip #2 - Pay attention to your surroundings

The second tip is to become aware of your surroundings. Spend some time taking a good look around your study area.

Determine what stresses you out the most and why.

  • Is it the cluttered bookshelf?

  • What about the scattered notes?

  • The paper files?

  • Are your digital files scattered all over your desktop?

Keep track of your emotions and thoughts, as well as the changes you need to make to move forward. This will help you declutter your mind first, followed by your actual study space.

You might also re-evaluate your possessions by asking yourself questions such as:

  1. Does this item serve a purpose in my study space?

  2. Do I use it regularly?

  3. Am I keeping it because I need it or because I might need it in the future? Ig I might need it, when is that?

  4. Do I even remember it being here?

Then all you have to do is make the right decision.

Tip #3 - Visualize

Make a plan for your study area. Look for inspiration on social media. Determine precisely what you want.

Consider how you want it to look once completed.

Take each phase of the plan one at a time.

Set aside a certain amount of time each day to create your study space where you can focus and study effectively.

Dedicate just as little as 15 minutes every day, and you'll soon see the results!

Tip #4 - Make a blank slate

One way to reduce stress in your life is to simplify your environment. This includes removing anything that isn't absolutely necessary.

It takes a lot of determination and discipline (just like your dissertation), but the end result is well worth the effort!

Sort through the items to determine what to keep and what to toss.

Tip #5 - Have fun and remember to celebrate your accomplishments along the way

As you go about your day, think of each task you have to complete as a mini-goal that you are working toward.

Find ways to make the task as enjoyable as possible.

Setting mini-rewards for yourself and then enjoying them after completing the tasks you've set for yourself is critical if you want to progress toward your goal.

So, working toward organizing and improving your study space deserves to be rewarded as goals are met. This keeps the momentum going!

Tip #6 - Don't start over from scratch

Once you've created the environment, you desire, maintaining it will take some effort. In other words, you need to create a system to prevent the buildup of unnecessary mess.

This involves regular cleaning, too!

Clearing off your desk weekly or daily will help you reduce distractions and save time accessing the necessary files for your dissertation.

Tip #7 - Digitize and centralize

When technology is used effectively, it can alienate feelings of overwhelm, which are frequently caused by information overload.

Students in a cluttered digital and physical study space have a hard time finding what they need because of the overabundance of files and paper flow.

That's why it's critical to keep all dissertation-related files and other material in a single, designated location in your study space, preferably digitally.

So, if you haven't already done so, now is a great time to create a filing system.

If you don't keep your files under control, they will soon get out of control!

Tip #8 - Create a study routine

The goal is to create a space you love and can retreat to.

Creating a study routine means getting into the habit of studying in your study space. Doing so trains your mind to study while in your study space.

It sets you up for the right frame of mind: "Now, I'm now working on my dissertation. Period."

And the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

This is also significant because the moment you sit in your study place, you know it's time to work on your dissertation. In other words, your brain knows that it's study time!

When you think about it, your study space can serve as a physical and mental boundary between your academic and personal life. It's clear to you (and others!) that once you are in your designated area, you are only working on your dissertation - nothing else.

And ideally, if you want to do something else, such as taking a break, watching TV, calling a friend, or whatever, just go somewhere else.

Get up from your study desk and move!

Tip #9 - There must always be exceptions

I understand that studying in the same place every single day can become extremely monotonous; I get that.

That's why I have one more tip for you:

You can also study in unusual places as long as your study materials are portable and don't require your full attention.

Let me explain.

If you need to read a journal article, you can do so during your lunch break and take notes on your phone. Or you might want to organize your reference list while waiting for an appointment.

So, to conclude, if a task doesn't require your full attention, you can complete it in a coffee shop or while commuting.

Go ahead, be creative!


The environment in which you study is only one piece of the puzzle towards mastering productivity and completing your dissertation, but it is a significant one!

The only reason I decided to write this blog post is that working on your dissertation should be something you enjoy doing. It should be something you genuinely want to do.

It shouldn't be a dreadful experience in which you feel forced to study because you have no choice.

I always say that your dissertation journey can be an enjoyable and pleasant experience. Start by making your study place a special place for you!


If you enjoyed what you just read, please share it with other students who may benefit from it!

And please remember to follow me on Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips and tools to help you hand in your dissertation and actually enjoy the process!

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