Finding a favourable study space during the pandemic can be difficult. No longer can you escape to a favourite coffee shop or the library, you are homebound. You may be by yourself, with roommates, a partner, or your entire family. Regardless, you need to readjust to the new challenging situation.

Here are 8 tips to help create an effective positive study area, whatever situation you find yourself in.

Communicate your schedule

If you share space with others communication is key. Let them know, verbally, when you will be studying. Then, follow up by posting an actual study schedule in a central location, like the fridge. These communication tips may help ensure that you are undisturbed.

Set an ideal environment

If you have a workspace in your own room, that is a great beginning. Ensure that the area is free of items not directly related to the task at hand. Ensure you have adequate lighting; an actual desk lamp can be a big help when reviewing paper documents or books.

Keep materials in one place

If you are sharing table or counter space with others in your household ensure that it is clutter free and quiet during your scheduled study time. Remove all your study material when finished. Keep study material together for next session.

Access campus spaces

Quiet bookable study spaces are available on campus so you can focus on your learning in a safe environment. The McKinnon lobby is also well setup for social distanced study opportunities.

Reduce noise

You may need to cancel unwanted noise. A pair of headphones and/or ear buds connected to your favourite study music will help you tune out distracting sounds and provide motivation.

Set up blocks of time

Focus your attention during your chosen study times and your studying will be more effective. If you are finding it difficult to focus, then take a short break. Try studying in blocks of 25 minutes, then take a short break (grab a coffee or tea, stretch, or go for a short walk). Every four study blocks take a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes (The Pomodoro Technique).

Remove distractions

It is a good idea to manage other distractions. Remove personal electronics that may distract you from studying. Turn your phone off. If using your laptop, then close social media pages and turn off reminders. Remind roommates that you are studying.


Write a list

Create a to-do list and set deadlines. Define what and when you will be studying particular identified subject matter.

Want to learn more about studying effectively?

Contact one of the Learning Strategists to get specific learning needs and resources from developing best practices for studying online, adopting test taking strategies, building productivity as a student and refining literacy skills.

If you are needing additional support, UVic has several virtual services for students offered through University of Victoria Student Support Services.

We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.