Exams are approaching – so I thought it a fitting time to share my personal study tips and discuss the crazy things students do to learn new things. So, here is my checklist for a successful day of cramming.
- Make your bed.
You’ll thank me at the end of a hard day of study when you flop into a nicely made bed without having to wrestle with the sheets.
- Eat a healthy breakfast.
Do not get BIG and HEALTHY confused. Eat something good to fill you up, but don’t stuff yourself or you’ll start the day feeling heavy.
(I’ll probably toss together my favourite ‘Cheap, Easy, Nutritious meals for students (or anyone with limited time and/or money)’ later in my blogging career.)
- Take a cold shower.
Another one you’ll have to trust me on. Cold showers wake you up and focus your mind. If you can’t handle the cold straight up – try having your normal shower and turning to lukewarm/cool water at the end. After about ten seconds it becomes quite pleasant – but I won’t lie, those first ten seconds can be hellish.
- Warn housemates that you will be studying and shouldn’t be interrupted.
- Put your phone in a different room – and on silent.
If you can’t bear the separation anxiety, get an app that blocks social media sites (but they can be costly), or turn off notifications for social media sites.
- Use the 5 minute method.
Convince yourself you’ll start with 5 minutes of study and do something easy to get the ball rolling. The day will seem far less intimidating if you can cross something small off your list.
- Break up the day.
Everyone does this differently. So, here are two ways I like to break up the day;
- Use the Pomodoro Technique (also called the 25-5 method) – google it, it’s magic,
- Split the day into 5: morning – mid morning – afternoon – evening – night – and have a 20 minute break between each. Just enough time for an episode of your favourite sitcom (Scrubs, Frasier, Seinfeld, etc…) and a snack.
- Get the big tasks done first.
Checking small things off your list can be good to get you started – but don’t neglect the big stuff.
- Reward yourself at the end of the day.
Watch a movie, call a friend, go for a run, read a book – whatever floats your boat.
I highly recommend the free SmilingMind app if you have never meditated before. Otherwise, YouTube has a great collection of free Guided Meditations to listen to.
- Get a good sleep.
Try to go to bed and wake at the same time every day. Aim for 8 hours or more – but everyone needs a different amount of sleep so do what you know your body needs.
Extra Useful Tips
- Times new roman is the easiest and fastest font to read;
- PRINT THIS INFOGRAPHIC – it is a lifesaver for research reports;
- Before your day of study, print a few motivational pictures to stick near your desk (try a search for “your favourite show/actor + study motivation” (eg. Jensen Ackles study motivation) – you’ll find some hilarious and weirdly motivating results). Don’t do this the same day as your study or it WILL become a procrastination tool;
- Bribery always works – M&M’s, jelly beans, skittles – select your favourite candy and treat yourself (in CAREFUL moderation) as you progress throughout the day;
- Have snacks ready to go before you start (fruit and sandwiches are best).
So, that’s what I do – let me know what you do to keep focused and get things done in the comments below!