Just when you thought studying at home is a good idea, think again. Though you feel more comfortable and less pressured, with so many ‘tempting’ distractions (i.e. watching TV, cleaning your room) you can easily slip into procrastination and get off track.
Lucky for you, here are a few tips to help you stay comfortable AND productive while studying at home.
Create a timetable
Studying for multiple subjects can become hectic and you’ll likely lose track of your progress. So just like how you have a timetable at school, make one specifically for studying. Allocate sufficient time for studying each subject everyday leading up to your exams and make sure to schedule breaks in between so you don’t burn out.
A short to-do list
There are always a lot of things to do when you’re studying for exams, and if you like making lists, you know that these lists often become lengthy and you lose sight of priorities. To be more efficient and effective, only have three items on your to-do list. These will be your top priorities until you get them done. Then, add three more items and so on.
Get into “study mode”
It’s ok to get comfortable, but don’t get too comfortable because it will cause distractions and make you lose focus. If you like to study in bed or on the couch, make sure you maintain good posture and have good lighting. Otherwise, it’s best to work at a desk or table. Keep your study area organized and have all the tools you need (i.e. a pen that actually works, enough paper, and a functioning calculator).
Use technology wisely
Your gadgets, especially your phone, can be a double-edged sword during study time. Nowadays, there’s no doubt that you rely on your phone to manage the various aspects of life. From social networking apps to video streaming apps to gaming apps, a couple of notifications could immediately divert our attention and it usually takes us about 23 minutes to get back on track – that’s a lot of precious time wasted! With that said, there are many apps that are helpful productivity tools for students. Use these apps wisely and you could certainly get organized and get more things done. The general rule is, use your chosen productivity apps to plan and manage your tasks, then leave your phone alone when you’re working on an assignment or reviewing for exams.
Take care of your health
You’ve probably heard this countless times, but we’re going to repeat it again, “Get a good night’s sleep – about 7 to 8 hours – and eat well.” Constantly pulling all-nighters is often counterproductive because you don’t reach the REM phase (after deep sleep) – during which memory and learning are consolidated. Neuroscientist Dr. Frances Jensen, the author of The Teenage Brain, had explained that sleep can in fact segment, organize, and ultimately prioritize memories according to their emotional importance. As for eating well, if you can’t guarantee three meals a day, at least try to have healthy snacks (i.e. almonds, blueberries, yogurt) on hand to fuel your body and brain throughout the day.
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