Want to improve your study game? Plan your study time for better results by limiting your exam stress and reducing distractions during your organised study time. What’s the one thing all the great generals in history have in common? A great plan. Improvisation is all very well and good in certain situations, but knowing exactly how your campaign is going to progress means there’s less margin for error and more chance that you will get the exam results you deserve.
Here’s what you need to know:
Schedules create focus:
When are your exams? What format are they (multiple choice, essay, etc)? What are the main areas of focus? Once you know the answers to these questions it’s much easier to create a plan of attack, to discover the areas of weakness you need to address and to keep on track.
Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy study:
Creating a great work schedule, planned at least six weeks ahead, also means you have time to factor in a healthy lifestyle to keep both body and mind running efficiently. This means allowing for adequate sleep, correct nutrition, fun and exercise – the latter helping to reduce stress, boost your metabolism and get your brain firing.
Schedules limit stress:
Having a clearly presented plan of attack, with times set aside for each area that needs to be covered, will actually help make your mind feel safe, protected and in control. This is the exact opposite reaction to what you can expect if you leave everything to a last-minute cram session. Adrenaline is great for getting you away from a rampaging bear, but it’s nowhere near as effective at encouraging your brain to retain pertinent information.
Plans create order:
Your mind thrives on routine. Hanging a planner, colour-coded to make each focus subject area immediately identifiable, on the wall above your desk gives it the structure and predictability it needs for optimum operation.
You can play to your strengths:
Only you know what kind of learning style works best for you. If you’re a visual learner include lots of pictures or graphs in your schedule. If you’re an auditory learner, perhaps listening daily to your schedule would work best.
Get a study app to help:
If you, like the rest of the world, simply can’t live without your smart phone – use it to your advantage and download an app designed to help you plot and prioritise your time more effectively.
Limit your distractions:
Procrastination will always be your number one enemy, but it’s also completely normal – so make sure you limit the ways you can sabotage your own productivity. If you can’t live without social media, don’t even try – it will probably prove counter-productive. Instead, schedule in set amounts of time each day to indulge and stick to those windows.
Top tips to schedule study time:
- Schedules create focus
- It’s never too late to learn study techniques
- Your brain thrives on routine
- Planning reduces stress