Studying can be a real Bee. Eye. Tea. See. H sometimes.
^ Am I the only one who laughed at that reference? In case you didn’t get it – it’s a curse word spelled out. Literally.
Doesn’t matter if you enjoy your major or you despise it. Studying is and will always be a challenge, fun or not. As students, I think we can all agree that we’ve all had those classes where it consists of 20+ hours of reading a week and some include a huge exam at the end that sometimes contains details that are not covered in the studying time. Yea, those are real jerks.
I’m STILL learning how to improve my studying habits, and I’m in my master’s program now. It’s not perfect, but it works for me, for now. Here are some tips that I can offer to help create a productive environment and attitude. It’s completely up to you if you’d like to implement them into your study routine….if you don’t already have them!
Make a list for yourself. Believe it or not, these babies come in handy!! After I review the week’s assignments, I make a list at the beginning of every week detailing what needs to be done. And then I prioritize it. What’s the nearest deadline? Can this assignment be extended? You get it 🙂
*Always strike through completed assignments. Ugh, it’s such a good feeling to look back at your list after a few hours and see that you’re more than halfway done!*
This is a big one for me. After you’ve made your whimsical list, schedule each item. What day works best to work on a script? What TIME of day works best with your daily schedule? I’ve learned the hard way that procrastination doesn’t get you anywhere. I think I work well under pressure, but if I wait until the day an assignment is due to finish it, I completely screw myself over. I get it done, but it’s not my best work. It’s definitely good to weigh out the size/intensity of the project. If it’s a big one, start on that EARLY! Just use your best judgment and know what you are physically and mentally capable of.
Stay consistent with your assignments. Get into a habit of turning in assignments on time, if not early. You will begin to create a rhythm for yourself and eventually have no problem knocking study time out the window! After you stay to a specific schedule for at least 2-3 weeks, being consistent will be no problem.
Choose a comfortable place to escape to when you study. Whether it be a coffee shop (the usual student spot), a home office, library, or even the outdoors, just be sure it’s a place that is always available for you and fits your schedule. A coffee shop is always fun, BUT, it can be very loud at times, crowded, and sometimes there isn’t space. The pro of is there is always coffee and pastries!! It’s fun to switch up the location as sometimes the usual can become dull, but I recommend doing it as little as possible. Personally, I get distracted VERY easily. If I’m outside, all I want to do is stare at my pup sunbathing because she’s the cutest damn thing in the world. You may not have this problem, so it’s totally up to you!
*It’s always good to be around people who are working, too. A creative and productive environment is key.*
Like I mentioned in the keynote above^, it’s always good to surround yourself with others who are either working on similar subjects as you or just working in general. Having a creative and productive environment REALLY helps with maintaining your motivation. Put some headphones on and listen to some Hans Zimmer and you’re good to go! Soundtrack music is the best for me when I’m studying. Anything with lyrics gets me murmuring the words which influence my speech and typing because I begin to write/type the lyrics without realizing it.
You are NOT RUNNING A MARATHON. Step away from the screen for at least 15 minutes every hour or so and BREATHE. I understand the intensity of your focus at times. You just don’t want to get up because it will ruin your concentration….like right now…excuse me while I take a 15-minute break from writing this post because I’m already getting fidgety…
It feels amazing. Refreshing. And it also gives your brain a break to cool down. This doesn’t mean pull out your phone and scroll through your IG or Facebook feed. NO. Don’t look at a screen. Go view a tree, flower or something! Play with a furbaby 🙂
Have fun with your studies. Experiment with different techniques, highlighters, etc… Throw some color into your life! Color-coding helps me prioritize things. And I love color. So it’s a win-win. Alter location’s if you really want to (but I recommend doing this rarely). Lounge on the couch or even in bed. As long as you’re comfortable. It also depends on your assignment. Are you reading a book? That’s something you can possibly do in a bean bag or something squishy.
REWARD yourself. You deserve it. After you’ve spent 6+ hours studying, I think you deserve ice cream or even a glass of wine. Don’t forget that it’s about you. Having a reward at the end can sometimes motivate you to finish your study session. Maybe it’s buying a new book? If I complete this week’s readings in a timely manner, I’ve earned myself a new audible book! WOO! It’s something to look forward to, big or small. It helps 🙂
I hope these tips help with any study blocks you may be going through. It helps me and I’m still learning new techniques.
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