4 study hacks that will help you optimize your study habit.
We all know that studying can be difficult. Sitting down to do work that you do not want to do is hard. An extended period of studying can be very taxing. We either lose focus or get burned out before we get any real work done. Studying is incredibly stressful right now as we head into the final exams. But after 15 and a half years, I think I have found some helpful studying hacks.
Make lists, stay focused
When I am trying to get many things done, I will often jump around to different things. So to stay focused, I get organized and make a general order of the things that I need to do. Sometimes I will do the most challenging assignments first to get them out of the way. Other times, I will do the tasks that will take the least amount of time to get more done. It just depends on what I have to do and what kind of mood I am in. I have issues with concentrating on boring things. So if I do not enjoy it or if there is something else I want to do, I will get distracted and push things off until the last minute. So making a schedule helps me stay on track.
No studying where I sleep
The biggest thing that I do is try to study outside of my room/living space. Studies have shown that you should not study where you sleep because the stress and energy from doing work will be lingering while trying to relax and sleep. So for me, I try to study in my kitchen or go to Panera, Starbucks, or Barnes & Noble, depending on the work that I need to get done. I eliminate the distraction from the comfort of my home. I also try to stay off my phone. When I’m studying outside of my house, I’m less likely to get distracted because I feel like I am wasting time if I am wasting time in one of those places. The pandemic has made this more difficult, but many schools have opened back up, and libraries are available for study hours.
What do I really need to do?
So this next hack may sound obvious, but I try to prioritize the work that I need to get done. Sometimes I find myself doing things that I don’t need to do because I feel more accomplished. In my head, these minor tasks seem essential, but I will not have done the time-sensitive stuff. It can be anything from organizing my textbook to writing a review that is not due for two more weeks. While I will have gotten many little things done that day, I still will not have taken the quiz due for my class the next day.
This next hack is my favorite because it uses psychology. I create rewards for myself based on how much work I get done. I tell myself that when I finish my assignments for one class, I can watch two YouTube videos or get 20 minutes to scroll on Instagram. I will set a timer or a screen time limit. I love coffee, so I tell myself that I cannot get coffee if I have not done something to earn it. It helps me stay driven and focused on my goal and prevents me from getting distracted while studying.
So I hope that you were able to take something away from this. Studying can be very hard and draining. If you have any tips, please share them with me down below! I’m always looking for ways to stay focused while studying.
Katherine George is from the United States and is currently studying mass communications at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida.
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