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How to set up your study space for online learning

Creating the ideal #usydonline workstation
With classes starting online in Semester 2, it’s a good time to make sure you have all the essentials for the perfect set-up. We’ve put together a few tips and suggestions to help you get comfortable, healthy and productive.

Create a workstation that works for you

Try and find a set-up that is as far removed from distractions and noise as possible. It’s good to be away from your TV, video games, books or any other activities that can disrupt your studies. When it’s work time, you should be as focused on that as possible. Similarly, when you are taking a break, you shouldn’t have study constantly on your mind either.

Keep your workstation as clutter free as possible, as clutter is distracting. You should only have the absolute essential items at your workstation.

Experiment with a few different set-ups, it make take a few attempts before you are comfortable. Everyone is different, so find out what works for you.

Don’t work from bed!

Avoid studying and watching lectures from your bed at all costs.

It might seem like a tempting idea to do everything from the comforts of your bed, but making your sleep space your study space is a bad idea.

It can harm your back, decrease motivation and productivity and can have long-term detrimental effects on your sleep patterns.

Make sure you have the essentials

There are a few must have items you’ll need if you are going to be at your workstation for an extended amount of time.

  • Laptop/computer
  • Any textbooks or readers you need for your classes
  • Stationery, such as pens, paper and highlighters
  • Appropriate lighting
  • An ergonomic chair
  • Plenty of water
  • A mug for your favourite hot beverage (not essential, but highly recommended!)

If you want some more information about how to set up your computer, monitor and chair, check out this handy guide.

Take breaks

It’s also vital to take regular breaks, and to stretch your legs every so often. If you have a standing desk, even better. Get away from your workstation every now and then to avoid burning out.

And don’t forget to look away from the computer screen every 15 minutes.

Have a snack, but strive to stay healthy and active

The lure of comfort eating can be enticing when stuck inside, especially in stressful times like these. By all means, have a snack, but try and maintain a healthy diet as much as possible. If you feel the urge to snack, consider switching out lollies and chocolate for nuts or fruits.

Staying active and getting some outdoor time is a necessity. If you have a backyard or courtyard, try having your lunch there (away from your workstation). If you don’t have either of these, still try and get outside for at least an hour a day. Go for a walk or a run, just make sure you practice physical distancing.

If you aren’t much of a runner, there are plenty of exercise apps that you can download to make sure you are keeping active and fit.

Remember, everyone is different, so it’s important to find what set-up works for you. It might take a while before you really hit your groove, and that’s ok! Experiment and get creative, and you’ll have it figured out in no time.


Think you have the perfect workstation set-up? Share it with the rest of the University community by posting it on your social accounts using the hashtag #usydonline.

18 June 2020