As it’s now day two of study week, it’s probably time you got some stuff done, right? Let’s be honest, Monday was a write-off because you still had a whole week to go…but unfortunately that logic doesn’t stretch much past mid-week!
For your benefit I’ve put together a simple set of guidelines to help motivate you to study and actually be productive as well! Brilliant!
- Find a suitable study space with a comfortable environment. Depending on what suits you, this could either be a quiet zone with few distractions or a cafe with a bit of bustle and background noise – some people find this helps them focus as it drowns out distracting thoughts.
- Equip yourself with all the necessary tools: laptop/tablet, your standard pen and a back-up, a red pen for ‘marking’, plenty of refill, post-its, several highlighters and of course all the relevant class notes. You don’t want to have your study interrupted cause your pen’s run out of ink or you’ve forgotten your notes!
- Make sure you have the necessary supplies – of the food variety. Have a big bottle of water (as well as whatever energy or caffeine drink you may require), and plenty of snacks like nuts, crackers and cheese, dried fruit, actual fruit and granola bars. You’ll want foods that will give you sustainable energy rather than short, sharp bursts. On that note, try to limit your caffeine intake as much as possible!
- Get comfy. Wear your trackies and a hoodie if you need to. Adjusting your tight jeans and constantly sweeping your hair out of your face are little distractions that can potentially cause you to lose focus altogether.
- Remove the obvious distractions: put your phone on silent and turn off wifi/data so Facebook doesn’t bother you. Even put it on airplane mode if you can. You can always have a quick check during your scheduled breaks.
- Schedule reasonable breaks. Think of the lecture structure; every 50 mins of productive study deserves a 10 minute break. Give yourself a decent lunch break, 30 minutes to an hour, in which time you should go for a walk to refresh.
- Set reasonable study goals. Take the time to evaluate what you need to achieve before the exams/assignment due dates. For each subject/assignment break it down into stages and even create a list of tasks to be done within each stage. Depending on the amount of work involved, use your judgement to set reasonable goals for each 50 minute block of study, with an ultimate goal of what you want to achieve by the end of each day.
- Incentivise your study plan. This is the key to motivation. You’ll know what rewards will work for you. I find it helpful to include smaller incentives along the way to make sure you get each stage of your study plan done, as well as bigger ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ incentives. Smaller incentives could be a small bag of lollies or catching up with a friend for coffee. Bigger incentives are things like parties, trips away with friends and so on. You know you can’t enjoy these things until you meet your goals, so just get it done!
Trust me, I know finding motivation to study can be hugely challenging. But just think of the big picture – why are you at university doing what you’re doing? It’s easy to get caught up in student life and forget about your overall reason for being here. So if all else fails then remind yourself of your overall goal! All the best, you can do it!