Yeah, we’ve all herd the usual study tips: set an alarm, chunk off your work, schedule your time, etc. But if you’re like me, that all flies out of the window once you sit down and start looking at the work. Here are some new tips that will help you get started and keep on track.
- Have a set of start-up tabs for your browser
Have a set of start-up tabs for your browser and sync your tasks & calendar with your phone. I usually have My Study Life, Quick Note and Google Calendar as startup tabs. Instead of opening up on a new tab page or on Google and then habitually heading straight to Tumblr, my browser shows me my to-do list. This works especially well if you don’t have an agenda or if you prefer web-based task trackers. If you have Google Keep, it works especially well if you can sync it with your phone.
- Run errands
If you’re someone who doesn’t have errands to run, may I ask: who are you and can we switch lives?
Occasionally, I have a chunk of time between classes, and I used to try so hard to sit down in a library to get some studying done. But as I’m more of an evening person, I end up getting absolutely nothing done, except perhaps catching up on sleep. Now, I take a walk around campus to check minor tasks off my to-do list. I like to visit professors, catch up with friends, and clear my email inbox. Walking around campus while completing minor tasks also feels like you are sliding in a bit of exercise into your day. By running errands during your breaks, you will have a few more things off your mind when you start studying that same evening.
- Pack snacks
Pack as many as you can. Without them expiring, of course. Some libraries do not allow food, but there are a few, a beautiful few, that allow drinks and some small snacks. Overeating may very well be a fear of mine, but chewing on something or taking a drink helps me stay awake. Even if you are in class or studying in a cafeteria or a common area, it helps to give your brain a little task to do, even if all it wants to do is take a break. If you study at home, then this is a no-brainer for you! For those of us that study outside of our homes, try packing dry snacks and avoid dairies. Think nuts and dried fruits, juice, crackers , cookies, vegetables, or even small pieces of fruit like berries. You might want to eat the fruit first!
- Trash the study habits that don’t work for you
This is the last, but probably the most important tip. That’s right. It doesn’t matter if it’s supposed to work or not. If working at night works for you, go ahead and work at night. As long as you get enough sleep and avoid morning classes, this shouldn’t be a problem. If setting a work alarm makes you nervous, don’t do it. If you can power through hours of studying, then why listen to someone who says you shouldn’t? It’s important to find study habits that work for you.
When adopting new study habits, give it a bit of time. I would suggest trying one or two study tips for no more than two weeks at a time. Avoid trying them all at once! It’s unlikely for a tip to work after trying it for the first time. If you’ve tried it for a week and nothing is happening, then give a shot at something else. Remember, there is no “best way” to study. Our habits change as we grow.
I hope these tips help out! I myself have spent too much time trying to adopted to supposed psychologically proven methods that never worked for me, and it was not until recently that a counsellor erased all those assumptions form my mind, and helped me develop my own unique study pattern. But I hope it doesn’t take you as long as I did to figure that out!
Good luck with the upcoming finals!!
Image Credits: (hercampus.com)