The wrong ACCA revision environment can undo all your hard work.
One of the worst ACCA revision habits we see students make is to study in the wrong environment. ACCA revision takes commitment and concentration. If you’re not working in the right environment you’ll end up spending hours staring blankly at notes, instead of absorbing and retaining everything you need to know.
Your ACCA revision needn’t be a slog. You simply need to know how to make sure your revision time is efficient, so you get the most out of the time you put in. To do that, it’s important to create a revision environment that allows you to be productive.
The important proviso is this: everyone is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, although we can certainly give you some ideas to think about. Without further ado, here are some pointers to discover the optimum ACCA revision space for you.
Most people find it harder to concentrate if you can’t spread out. For example, at a tiny table in your local coffee shop or wedged between three others students in the library, or balancing on the corner of your kitchen table.
If you’re struggling to focus on your ACCA revision, consider looking for a more spacious study area so you can display and flick through all your revision materials.
Permanent Vs. Temporary Study Space
When you’re deciding on the perfect ACCA revision space, think about permanent desk space versus temporary – your home study versus the library, for example.
Some students prefer a permanent base where you needn’t pack up your things every time you stop revising, while others find actively ‘going to work’ fosters a productive ACCA revision mind-set.
Keep It Tidy
You stride purposefully to your room and get out your laptop and your study notes. This is it, now. Focus. Except then you notice what a state the room is in. And how long has it been since you last hoovered?
Fast-forward three hours and your room is spotless, the washing up is done, the laundry is in, your pens are colour coordinated, and you’ve done absolutely nothing for your ACCA revision.
The point is this: if there’s any excuse not to work, you probably won’t. Keep your revision environment tidy, and you’ll be more likely to actually revise when you’re there.
An uncluttered house is an uncluttered mind, or something like that. Seriously though, having an uncluttered ACCA revision space is important for almost everyone. You’ll be able to easily find the things you need, you won’t be distracted by the mess and you’re setting up the right, professional, mentality for work.
Check The Temperature
Temperature can have a huge impact on your concentration levels, but it’s often one of the elements of our environment we forget.
This is completely down to personal preference. Some people start dozing off if they’re comfortably warm, while others are hyper sensitive to the cold.
Personally, socks on and window open is the way to go but experiment. As with many of these tips, the key is to be mindful and discover what works for you.
Designate A ‘Work Zone’
Some people can happily lie on the bed and flick through their ACCA revision notes, but mostly you’ll find you’re more productive if you have a designated revision space.
This might only be a desk in your room, or it might be a different room altogether, or it might be a completely different location. Whatever your set up, having a work zone can make it easier to snap into ‘revision mode’ and be focused and productive.
Pick The Right Chair
There’s nothing like an aching back and stiff neck to stop you concentrating. If you invest in one thing this century, invest in a decent ergonomic chair to help maintain your posture. Your ACCA revision will thank you, as will your body in five, ten, fifteen and fifty years time.
Take Joy In Stationery
You’re either nodding along with me here or shaking your head in disdain. If you’re in the former camp, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Good stationery can genuinely motivate and inspire you. Go on; buy the multi-pack, multi-size, multi-coloured post-it notes. The ACCA has nothing on you.
Ambient Noise Vs. Silence
Again, this is deeply personal. Some people work best in complete silence, while others thrive surrounded by the gentle hum of activity.
Scientifically speaking, ambient noise has been shown to aid focus and productivity so it could be worth giving a try. You could head to a local coffee shop (cafes in bookshops are always a great bet, in my opinion) or try an online noise generator. They’re more restful than they sound – try Coffitivity if you want a café buzz without the sociability.
Get Green Fingers
According to a 2014 study, adding houseplants to your study space can increase productivity by 15%. In particular, memory retention was shown to improve significantly – which can only be good news for your ACCA revision.
Visual prompts can play a critical role in your ACCA revision, helping improve your memory recall. Try sticking important mnemonics or formulas on the walls around your space, or using a whiteboard or pin-board.
Plus, you’re creating a revision-centric study environment that feels professional and productive – so you’ll likely be in the right frame of mind when you sit down to work.
Work Out When To Work
Are you a night owl or an early bird? Working at the right time for you is critical to ensuring your ACCA revision is focussed and productive.
If you’re working while you study for your ACCA, you have less choice over when to revise but you can still tailor your schedule. If you’re more productive in the morning, for example, you could get up an hour earlier and squeeze in time before work.
What do you prefer? Spread eagle on the bed with the heating blasting and notes spread out in front of you, or too-cold café and noise-cancelling headphones? Let us know in the comments section below, or share any of your own top tips!