Here’s the quick 12 minute video…
Seth’s Student Success Toolkit (SSST)
Tool #2: Sacred Study Space
Summary (if you prefer to read it)
Having a sacred place to get down to the business of studying and homework is imperative. You don’t have to use it every time you study, but there has to be a place to do so when you need it.
How long it takes
A half day for 1 time setup. 5 minutes once a week to tidy up.
I help all of my students to create an SSS, but it’s more important the older they get. Definitely necessary for high school through grad school.
About the students
My students tend to have a few things in common that don’t work for them:
- They often study in places that are not conducive to focusing (in bed, on the couch, etc.)
- They don’t usually have a consistent place, so there is no routine
- They often have multiple distractions (texting, tabs open, distracting music, tv, etc.)
How to create the Sacred Study Space (SSS)
- Plan. Discuss what is the optimal study space. Plan for the senses. In other words, consider what helps focus or what is distracting visually, auditorally, etc. Carefully consider noise, lighting, temperature, or anything else that matters to the student.
- Choose where the BEST place would be.
- Clean slate. Get everything off the study area. Clean off all trash, paper, books, paper clips, everything. Start with a clean slate.
- Begin to set it up intentionally. Make sure supplies are within reach, everything is comfortable, etc.. Take your time.
- Keep a list. As you think of things to buy that would make it better, write it down. Consider calculators, white board, cork board, standing desk, fit ball for chair, lighting, speakers, inspirational quotes to post, photos, charms, earplugs, chargers, reference books, etc..
- Take a break and go get supplies from the list.
- Finish the area.
- Make sure to have a place for everything you need; supplies, recycling, trash. etc..
- Set ground rules with others in the house so they know how to respect your study needs.
Tidy up once a week or so.
Help your child do the overhaul but don’t do it for them or they won’t gain the skill.
- Plan a half day dedicated to creating the ultimate SSS.
- Clean the slate completely and build your SSS carefully.
- Start using it!
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Hey there, welcome back today. I’m going to go on with my next tool for you. And this is the sacred study space, you know, a lot of times adults will have a sacred work area might be a work area in a garage for tools and might be a desk area where they’re doing their bills or it might even be a kitchen area where all everything is very sacred in terms of cooking. Everything has a place in a lot of times adults put a lot a lot of thought and intention behind their own spaces. Now, they may be a complete mess and they may know where things are know how functions or they may be really organized everything in between doesn’t matter. The fact is that by the time we’re at all lot of times we know that we need to put a lot of intention behind the place is where we need to get our work done the work that matters to us or some at all to do work that doesn’t matter to them. They’ve just learn to deal with it. I don’t want that for you. I want you to be doing things that matter to you. So with your schoolwork, you need to have a secret study space all of my students. I I do home visits of my students and I help them set up and design is sacred study space every single one looks different. I’m going to go through some elements of the Sacred study space, but I want you to know that you wanted design one that is tailored to you in your knee. There’s a lot of misconceptions about this and I’ll go into that in a bit. Let me talk about the time that it takes to set up the sacred study space going to take you awhile. I recommend really setting aside a half a day. Maybe pick a Sunday and start in the morning. And what you do is you’re going to totally revamp your space to make it tailored for you so that you can get done the work that you need to get done as quickly as possible so that you can get back to relaxation play quality time with family and friends the things that you enjoy so you want to be able to compartmentalize your your your life so that you can get your school work done and then get on with your life. You don’t want to be drawing your school work out so that you have an hour’s worth of homework yet. It takes you for hours because it lingers in your not being very focused and and I just goes all over the place. So you want to make the environment conducive to getting your stuff done as best you can so again, it’s going to take you a couple hours to set But once you get it set up it only take a little bit of time to maintain it week after week. Now, you’re going to have to deal with the resistance. You’re not going to want to do this. You’re not going to want it. Then the time the do-over hall everything in your sacred study space go through every single drawer or whatever and create this place. It’s not fun. Unless you really enjoy designing a lot of times. It doesn’t seem like something you like, but once you get into it and get the ball rolling, you’ll start feeling ownership of it and you’ll start really knowing how important this has. Now the next thing is I want to talk about the benefits of a sacred studies face. You will spend less time with homework. You will be less distracted. You will get better grades. You’ll feel more confident and you’ll be more organized. Okay. So those are the main benefits only that but this skill actually will carry into your future. Will you let your you will know how to create sacred spaces for whatever your hobbies are your interest or whatever your job is when you get older Now I want to talk about the word sacred. This is a Sacred Space. You’re going to make this a sacred study space. Okay, I think about the most important object in your life. Whatever one of your hobbies is or or something that’s really important to you have a system for managing things that are really important to you. You do not want people to mess them up you you there’s a dentist sacredness to that all you want to do that with your study space you wanted to be sacred whatever your study space looks like you wanted to be sacred. You don’t want to put laundry on your sacred studies face. You don’t want to put the structions on your sacred study space. You want to leave it for one thing that is your space that you know, when you need to get down to business and really focus on certain items and homework, you don’t have to do everything in the secret study space when you really need to get down to business. You know, that that’s the place you can go. That’s the place that’s going to be conducive to you focusing and thinking at your highest level. Now, how do we make the sacred study space while the first thing you need to do is determine where is the best place to put it? Is it in the bedroom? Is it in the basement? Is it in a common area of the house? Sometimes this can be very challenging is it at the kitchen table? I have students that have them in all different places that you will really want to find the best place. You can think of in the house where you are going to be able to focus without distraction. Again, the point is is to get your work done and get back to your life not to let it be strung out all over the place and interfere with your life. Okay. So what you’re going to do is find a place that you want to have be a sacred place. You may want to buy certain things like a new desk or new computer or supplies or something like that. And generally what you’re going to do is this clearway anything and everything from that space and start with a clean slate or away any Trash old papers old pens that don’t work. Whatever. Get a clean slate start with your desk or table or whatever. You want to have things there that you are going to need so you’re going to want to have all school supplies within reach. You don’t want to be studying and then have to go into the kitchen to get something and then go to the office to get something when everything within reach that have one centralized place for your supplies. You’re the one scissors protractor Compass pencil pens markers tape glue. Whatever you feel you need you going to want it in that place that you’re going to add a certain things to your secret study space things that will help you perhaps you like a whiteboard go buy a whiteboard put it on the wall put on the desk, whatever you want. Perhaps you like using sticky notes flashcard. Perhaps you like a cork board. Perhaps you like soft music. Maybe you want to buy speakers for your sacred study space. Maybe you like it silent and you want headphones that are noise canceling cruise tickets that is based where little ear plugs that you can put in perhaps you want no visual distraction to clean wall get all posters and everything off the wall, so they give it Clean area that there’s nothing visual distracting you perhaps colors and pictures and things help you perhaps sentimental things help you a good luck charm or photograph get those in your sacred study space really think about what kind of environment do you work best in and that’s how you’re going to create it. You might also want to sign that says, please don’t disturb. You might want to have a discussion with family members about your focus time in that you want to get your stuff done and get back to your life. You might have discussion with siblings or roommates. You might have to do something with the dog or cat or pet that might be distracting and lock them out of the room or you might want them in the room. The point is is to think about all these things and really take time to create a space where you can get your stuff done. And get it done in a way that optimizes your joy in life. And I know I know you don’t always want to do homework and you’re going to have to do things that you don’t want to do but you want to be able to get it done in that space. I’ll tell you about my sticker studyspace my workspace. I have a standing desk that I got locally and it’s electronic and I can press it and it will raise up to about this High have a computer on it. I have a big screen and the keyboards about this height where it automatically comes up to this height and I have a whiteboard cork board to my right. I don’t have a wall in front of me it sort of an open room in front of the desk. I have a sitting desk behind me, but I can press this desk to go down. And when it goes down I can sit and I sit on one of those fit balls as my chair because standing and sitting on the football both help me focus more. So I know I am more productive with those things. I have a couple of pens pencils and scissors in it. I have whiteboard markers on my whiteboard to my right and every other Supply have in the desk behind your paper clips anything I could possibly need is in the dust behind me. I also have files on the desk behind me and I keep a lot of sticky notes on near me because I use them all the time. So that’s my general set up for my sacred study area. I often will wear headphones with no music if I have music on I off and listen to broke or something without lyrics because I focus better with that type of music, but I actually like the muffling and the pressure of the headphone. So that actually helps me when I really have to focus when I don’t really have to focus. It doesn’t matter if I have music on or if I have the headphones on I-8 doesn’t matter, but when I really need to focus, that’s usually what I do. So that’s kind of what my setup is like so just really think intentionally, what would help you? Now the maintenance it doesn’t take much once you get it set up and you’ve put that much intention into really designed the space then once every week or two taking up a couple minutes to overhaul it and clean it up and tidy up is all you really need to do. Be realistic about this. My students are notoriously unrealistic about what they need. So they might think of yeah, I can I can study with like dubstep music on and I can really focus when I’m looking at that you may or may not be able to I don’t know but just whatever you do just really do realistic because you’re making an investment in yourself and in your life, so just think what do I realistically need? How much time do I need what realistically distract me and just have a realistic dialogue with you and if you use a parent or a good friend or an organized friend to help you they can help you be honest with yourself. That’s not a bad thing. We have trouble being honest with ourselves about some of these things because we want to do what’s fun in but sometimes with fun is not realistic. Finally try this plan a day that you’re really going to spend a half day or so to do this start off in clearway the slate and start with a clean slate and it cleaned asking nothing there and go ahead and start organizing it and keep a list of things that you need. So if you decide all I need a new stapler, oh, I hate my three hole punch. I want one of those expensive ones because you want that object that would actually help your workflow, you know, just think about that and go ahead and try to sign it. And when I want you to do is plan that about halfway through after you’ve done it for about a half hour an hour. You’re going to go to the store the office supply store or wherever you want to go and you’re going to get everything you need to complete it. You might be getting folders new supplies a whiteboard, whatever you decide to put on your list, then go back home. Eat some food, relax a little bit and get back to it. Take all your new supplies and finish creating that space and really honor that time that that day that were that half day is dedicated to the Sacred Space that’s going to last in tear out of adulthood that the skills for creating a place for you to do the work that matters to you is going to that skill is going to last you and carry you into the things that are important to so with that. I hope this tool helps you go try that have an awesome day and I’ll see you soon. Take care.