Hack #7 – Schedule your time
Being in control of your day and your precious time is key to studying effectively, this kind of links into the structuring of your procrastination – equally emphasises the importance of allocating time for all tasks.
Having a schedule is an art of planning your tasks and activities so you can monitor and achieve your goals. We certainly have goals we would like to achieve in education so it’s the perfect place to introduce exquisite scheduling. Having a schedule guides you in determining what your priorities are so that you can spend the right time on the right tasks. It also reminds you of any forthcoming deadlines. Knowing this, you can block out sufficient time to meet them.
When it’s done effectively, it helps you understand what you can realistically achieve with your time and make sure you have enough time for essential tasks. To plan and schedule effectively, the main objective is to be honest and realistic with yourself, making sure to allocate the right amount of time to the tasks in hand. If you feel one task will require more time than another, make sure your schedule reflects this, so you know what time you have to work.
Hack #8 – Find your study buddy
Whether this is in groups, one other person or even virtual assistants can help you along your way. There are many ways that a study buddy can help; it provides an opportunity to share knowledge with a similar mind, resources and skill sets can be pooled creating opportunity to view in a different light and increase your success rate. Additionally, sharing knowledge and resources and giving each other advice can also introduce you to more efficient study techniques and improve your productivity.
Of course, if this is effective with only one study buddy, imagine how effective it can be with a whole group! Studying with friends can build confidence, provide encouragement, and assist with learning new skills, techniques, and concepts.
If you’re not necessarily a people person but would still like to see the benefits of having a study buddy, a virtual assistant can be of some use here. Although they don’t offer the same level of support as a person studying the same course, they can still give you something to bounce backwards and forwards from. Occasionally, you can find a virtual assistant who is a person, and that is their job, however you may want to look at costs prior to setting this up.
Hack #9 – Don’t delay; just get started!
If you put off your studying, even for a few minutes, you are more likely to put off another few minutes. It is a common occurrence for avoiding a task if you feel overwhelmed by it our productive functioning shuts down when we encounter such feelings. Although this may feel like you are avoiding a task due to laziness or ‘not feeling bothered’, it is usually because you are feeling overwhelmed as the task is very demanding.
To overcome this, break down the task into smaller sections and get started immediately on the first small section. You will find that you will naturally move onto the next small section then the next because the task no longer feels daunting. Putting tasks off allows for them to continue to build causing your task list to grow and grow; before you know it, you’re in a state of overwhelming and panic.
Have you read through part 1 yet?
Hack #10 – Use motivation quotes and music to boost your studying
Print out some quotes and stick them around the room you are working in or play some music in the background if you prefer to work with background noise rather than in silence.
Research has suggested that motivational quotes as stimuli make us feel the same as when we accomplish something. Motivation is a combination of two factors, internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) with the former being a motivation that comes from within (i.e., your own values and goals) and the latter being a motivation that comes from a gain (i.e., a reward/prize and avoiding punishments). A well-placed motivational quote could provide a level of confidence and perspective when needed as it may provide inner gratitude as well as a reward by reaching that goal.
Motivational quotes can also provide a quick wave of wisdom to regain focus and encourage inspiration. Make sure to switch up your posters and quotes however, as they can lose their force if experienced frequently.
As in hack 2, music can increase stimulation, motivation, and attention. It has also had a positive effect on mental fatigue as music can cause the brain to release dopamine which is responsible for feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation.
Hack #11 – Reward yourself
Giving yourself small incentives to get through a large project has been proven to work. Previous studies have shown that when behaviour is followed by a pleasant outcome, the behaviour is more likely to be repeated – this is otherwise known as positive reinforcement. When you receive a reward, your brain provokes positive emotions which in turn connects your hard work to a reward, as this is something that happens continuously, your brain will start to link pleasure to completing the task. Therefore, by rewarding yourself you are creating the connection between hard work and a pleasant outcome, hence using positive reinforcement to build momentum and motivation.
Additionally, giving yourself a reward (i.e., rest break) can also allow for a mental break away from the task in hand which will encourage a fresh view when returning to the task.
Hack #12 – Try a few strategies
Don’t worry if you try a particular study strategy and it doesn’t work for you, there’s always plenty more ideas out there – just try another! By trying several strategies, you are encouraging efficiency as you will naturally follow the more efficient strategy for you.
You may also find that when trying different strategies that you resonate with a strategy that you may never have thought was your way of working. This may mean that the old strategies and old ways of working are what were causing you to struggle – these can then become a thing of the past!
Start easy and use the ‘low effort hack’
Get physical or creative to boost your brain
Create a structure/schedule
Reward yourself – you’re doing a great job!
Good luck with your studying,
The Essay Writer Team