Whether you are a new student, or a returning student, you need to take some time to think about how you will commit yourself throughout the study process and what you need to put in place to focus on your studies…
Have a schedule, not an excuse
I’ll get to it soon…
I just have to do…
5 more minutes…
As soon as this is finished…
I’ll have more time tomorrow…
We love Netflix as much as the next person, but excuses such as these aren’t helping you to set a study strategy.
Be intentional and plan your study sessions.
What’s in your left hand? It’s your smart phone.
Open your calendar app, (or use a diary or a wall planner) and mark out times you will devote to your studies.
Interruptions and unforseen events happen. And since we all have other commitments – such as work and family, you should aim to schedule study time at least weekly and have contingencies and back-up plans.
Study at your own pace
Do you digest content quickly, or do you need time to let the material sink in?
Only you know what pace is best for you.
Through trial and error, find what works best for you.
Keep brief notes on your Calendar about your productivity so you can track any patterns and key behaviours that may be occuring and holding you back.
Just remember, slower studying will require you devote more time to your study schedule.
Relax and get some rest
Research shows that stress makes it harder to learn and retain information.
Try to clear your head before you begin studying.
The best stress relief methods for studying include:
Breathe and stretch
Take breaks outside
Writing a list of tasks to tackle
Getting enough sleep
Being exhausted doesn’t help when trying to study.
Your body needs rest and getting enough sleep is crucial for memory function.
For this reason, scheduling study time is important.
This way you don’t stay up all night reading and then forget it all the next morning.
You should aim for seven or more hours sleep before assessments.
Ring ring, who’s there? It’s an interruption
Interruptions from your phone are notorious for breaking your concentration.
For each time you check your notifications, you decrease your productivity and will need to take time to refocus your brain before diving back into your studies.
You will also be more tempted to surf Facebook or play with the latest Snap Chat filter before getting back to study.
Consider putting your phone on silent while you study.
You can also download apps to temporarily block your access to social media.
If you are still tempted to check your phone while studying, try switching it off until you finish your study block. Or, better yet. Share your calendar with friends so they know you’re head down, bum up!
3… 2… 1… Let’s go!
Now that you have completed your study space checklist, have collected your snacks and are streaming the perfect listening tunes, it’s time to set a study schedule.
Download your Weekly Planner here
You can view an example of the weekly planner here. There is no right or wrong with your planner.