It’s often hard to bring yourself to study instead of doing something else – I know I still struggle with this sometimes. But here are a few things I’ve learned along the way, so try to keep these in mind the next time you’re studying!
1. Create a healthy study environment
Personally, environment is the biggest factor when it comes to my productivity. Everyone has their own preferences about where to study, but it’s best when it’s consistent. For example, I avoid studying in my bedroom because my mind automatically associates it with sleeping and relaxation. Instead, my go-to place for studying is on campus, the library or a cafe. Of course, this isn’t quite possible now, so I specifically designate my desk for studying, my bed for entertainment, and try not to mix them.
2. Eliminate distractions
Distractions are a major cause for procrastination, so it’s best to eliminate them well before you start studying. This can mean putting your phone away and closing all unrelated tabs on your laptop. These days there are also productivity apps you can use to block out distractions. Give these a go if you’re finding it difficult to stay away from your distractions!
3. Take breaks
Taking short breaks is encouraged to keep you more productive and motivated in the long-run. Try to block out a specific amount of time for studying and a short break afterwards. This gives you something to work towards and helps you avoid distractions or multitasking. A healthy break can also allow you to work for longer periods of time instead of draining yourself in one go.
4. Find out your study habits
As I mentioned earlier, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to studying. The important thing is to find what works for you and to stick to it. For example, I enjoy studying by myself or with one other person instead of in larger groups, because I find them more distracting than helpful. But other people may find larger study groups more helpful because they can discuss the material. Your habits can also come in the form of how you actually study, like taking notes, watching videos, or practicing past papers.
5. Plan ahead
It’s always good to get organised and have a plan in mind so that you know what to do next. You can do this in simple forms like making a to-do list, or a more comprehensive study guide with the list of topics you’d like to revise. This allows you to set goals and figure out how much time you have to do something, especially for things like exams.
Again, I just want to emphasise that everyone is different and these are just some of the things that have worked well for me. The sooner you find what works for you the better, and remember to not overwork yourself! Good luck!
Check out Ziao’s top 3 tips for international students
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