My top 6 study tips
Advice from a perpetual student… I’ve done my fair share of study having completed my Bachelor of Justice and currently completing my Bachelor of law and Cert III and IV in Fitness. In my first year of law I learnt a valuable lesson when it comes to study; manage your work efficiently and effectively… or be completely and utterly consumed by your workload. Unfortunately I learnt this lesson the hard way and have dealt with my fair share of all-nighters and pre-exam cram sessions. I’ve had a lot of experience with study and have tried and tested a lot of methods (turns out the energy drink fuelled all-nighters aren’t the most desirable, who knew?) So I’ve decided to compile a list of my top 6 study tips!
Just remember everyone is different and specific study methods may not suit everyone. This list is a suggestion of methods that I have found improved my current studying techniques.
1. Self-control – Stop procrastination
Procrastinators unite! … tomorrow
Self-control, Don’t have any? download it… I use an app called “self-control where you can block websites that you often find yourself scrolling through in times of procrastination. You set the block timer for however long you wish to be blocked from the listed websites and you’re good to go.
This is the one I use:
It’s amazing how often you catch yourself inadvertently going on to websites and scrolling through social media feeds. Whilst you’re at it, ditch your phone (if you can), remove it from your work space because it’s far too tempting to scroll through Instagram… actually my profile is the exception, always scroll through mine (dannibelle). I’ll allow this in furtherance of study.
I know I’ve had a bad study session when I’ve managed to tag my friends in 20+ memes on Facebook but have no idea what the topic of the weeks lecture is. Enter, self-control. Give it a shot if you need a little help staying on track..
2. Stay organized
I believe staying organized is essential for a successful study routine. Use a daily planner and block off time for studying and homework and schedule in leisure time to do something you enjoy. Set realistic study goals, for example, completing all your required reading for that week (ok this isn’t realistic for law students but you get where I’m going with it). I personally work best when I have a solid and well-balanced schedule. A successful routine is not about luck, it’s about commitment. Try working in 45 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals – who knew, study would be so similar to interval training?
3. Work with a friend or in a group
I was very wary about including this in here because I figure this can go one of three ways:
1. This is the best thing ever, you’ll have someone to tackle the workload with, complete your assessment and have enough time left over to watch your favourite TV series
2. You spent the entire just watching your favourite TV series
3. You’re more confused than you originally were about the entire assessment
I have experienced all of the above when working with other students. Be discretionary, if you know you work well with particular people it might be a great idea to form a study group prior to an exam.
4. Choose your study environment based on productivity… not what you’ve seen on Tumblr
Where you work has a large impact on how you work. In my experience working in the silent afterhours lab at my University was the most productive I’ve been. The beach was the least productive, sounds nice, seems like a good idea but it’s kinda like going to an all you can eat buffet whilst on a diet. So much beauty all around but it’s hard to focus on that unpleasant reality.
5. Work the body, work the mind
I’m often asked how I have time to exercise with my study load and the reality is, I make time because exercise and study go hand in hand. Research shows that exercise can improve brain function, assists with stress management and increases energy levels. So before you ditch training to catch up on study, remember the benefits of a good exercise routine in handling your workload. In my opinion exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. Not only does a good workout leave you feeling energized and refreshed, exercise improves your mood, concentration and ability to perform cognitive tasks. Did I also mention exercise boosts the feel good neurotransmitters in the brain (endorphins), which makes you a happier, less stressed student. I’ll squat to that!
Step aside beauty sleep, the benefits of rest for a student extend far beyond physical appearance. Sufficient sleep (7 – 9 hours) is a fundamental component of a successful study routine. Not only does sleep contribute to your physical health, it improves your memory, boosts your energy and helps reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and frustration. So ditch the all-nighters and handle your workload with a clear, well-rested mind.
So to sum it up, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to studying, some people work best first thing in the morning and others thrive at night. You may prefer working in a group or perhaps you tackle your work solo, everyone is different so find what works for you and stick with it!
And if all else fails…