Having the motivation and perseverance to study can be tricky under normal circumstances, however the recent pandemic has only made this harder. Have a read of these useful study tips and see if you think any could work for you.
- Engage with your learning
I don’t think there is a more important tip than this one, yet somehow many people don’t always do this: engage with your learning from day one. Attend all your lectures, seminars, and any other sessions, whether they are in person or online. This way you won’t miss any information and you won’t end up falling behind. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your lecturers, they are always happy to help and there’s no harm in them knowing your name.
- Find a suitable workplace
There is nothing worse than not being comfortable or having enough space whilst studying. Choose an area that allows plenty of space to spread everything out, it will be much easier if you can see and access all your textbooks and notes. Try and get rid of any distractions. Everyone has different distractions. For some people this may mean complete silence and for others they may require some background noise such as music. Hide your phone and turn off any computer games and TVs. Take the time to get your workplace in order, it will be worth it in the long run.
- Create a to-do list
At times, you may feel overwhelmed with the numerous tasks you have to complete throughout your time at University. During these times, a to-do list can be your best friend. It is a great way of seeing, in one place, everything you have to-do, and it is extremely satisfying to tick off tasks you have completed. You could split your list into weekly or daily tasks, whichever makes you feel less overwhelmed and more organised and in control.
- Take regular breaks
It can be extremely counterproductive to study for hours and hours on end with no breaks. Studies have shown that if you want to retain the information you are learning then taking regular breaks will really help. Find a routine that works for you. Continue studying for the length of time your concentration allows and then grant yourself a break as you start to lose focus. After a ten/twenty-minute break, go back to studying and you will feel much more refreshed and motivated to continue.
- Eat and drink well
Nutritious foods, such as fish, seeds, berries, and nuts keep the body and the mind fuelled, and have been shown to help with memory and concentration. They are important in helping sustain energy levels, so it is worth taking the time to cook healthy meals. I am not saying only eat healthy foods and never treat yourself, all that studying deserves some treats now and then, but try not to binge on unhealthy foods – your energy levels will be sure to crash shortly after.
- Create your own reward system
This may seem slightly childish, but it is a very effective way of keeping yourself motivated and on-task. Choose a reward you really want, whether it’s a food related reward, an episode of your favourite show, socialising with your housemates or getting out in the fresh air. It can be anything you like. Set yourself a set amount of uninterrupted study time and after you have completed this time, reward yourself. The greater the length of time you study for, the greater the reward. If you study for 30 minutes, reward yourself with a biscuit or a square of chocolate. If you study for 3 hours, treat yourself to a film or a tv episode.
Not all these tips will work for everyone. Give them a try and see which work for you; maybe they all will and maybe some will, and some won’t – but they’re definitely worth a try!