There’s just one way to radically change your behavior: radically change your environment.–Dr. B.J. Fogg, Director of Stanford Persuasive Lab
When it comes to your continuing education and study time, you may always immediately default to the same study place—every time. However, a study from a New York Times article found that it’s important to change up your study space scene often for better recall, productivity and learning.
In fact, your study space can be just as important as how frequently or how hard you study. This environment where you hunker down and crack open your books or computer can determine your mood, comfort level and the efficiency with which you study.
Here’s How Your Study Space Can Amp Up Your Productivity
Switching up your study space can dramatically boost your long-term retention of material. One experiment showed that the students who studied 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms did far better on a test than the students who studied the words twice in the same room. Why? Multiple associations—your brain pairs things in the environment with things that you are learning. Changing your environment will help to keep things fresh.
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Changing your study space will help your brain to retrieve the same information in different places and therefore your brain will see that information as more useful and worth holding onto. Our brains crave variation—it wants to move and take breaks.
According to Joe the Tutor, your brain is provided with more memory cues to recall information when you switch up your environment. The more memory cues your brain has to retrieve information, the more likely you will be able to recall that information. Even though your study space doesn’t require any extra work from your brain, it can automatically build extra cues into your brain without even realizing it. If you keep studying in the same place time after time, your brain won’t be able to store any extra memory cues as they will be the same cues as before. If you switch up your study space, your brain will be more apt to recall and retain information because it has additional memory cues.
Mix up your study space! More cues are better than fewer cues. Kick your productivity up a notch and try a new environment the next time you hit the books.