Getting your learning environment ready

Before you embark on any period of concentrated learning, it is worth taking stock of your immediate environment.

If you were getting ready for a holiday, you would be thinking about the clothes to take and the equipment you needed, and beginning to imagine yourself in the environment you had chosen to visit. You need to exercise at least the same care over your own learning, wherever it happens.

You should think carefully about the kind of environment that makes you feel both emotionally secure and intellectually stimulated.

Most of the questions below apply at home, although you probably have even more factors to consider, not least of which is what the rest of your family or friends are doing.

A If you are learning at work, do you like to be sitting alongside a colleague, round a table, in a classroom situation, taking part in operational activities, going off to a hotel to reflect? Do you like a noisy or a quiet atmosphere?

Do you like background music? Do you find that music helps to tune in your mind? Do you like to be in a well-lit area or working under low light? Do you like to be sitting at a desk? Walking around? Sitting on an easy chair? Lying on the floor or on a cushion?

Do you prefer early starts or sessions after work?

Do you like to have posters around you with key images or sayings?

Do you have evidence of your own success that you could display in your chosen environment?

How warm do you like to be?

It is also important to make sure that you have the right equipment around you. Use the following checklist as a starting point and add your own preferred items to it:

✓ Other colored adhesive strips of paper

✓ Large pieces of paper

✓ Colored paper

✓ Voice recording machine of some kind

✓ Laptop computer

✓ Access to the internet

✓ Highlighter pens

✓ Posters with quotations

✓ Posters with pictures

✓ Reference books

✓ Paperclips

✓ Stapler and staples

Switching On Your Mind

✓ Range of folders

✓ Range of clear plastic wallets

✓ Any equipment specific to what you are learning

What else do you like to have with you?

These suggestions may seem obvious, but I am surprised at how often people I work with simply have not thought about some of the most basic equipment for their learning. I am sure you will want to add many other items to this list.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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