As we get further and further into winter, it can sometimes get harder to find the motivation to stick to a study routine. So, here are 5 tips which I find can make studying easier and sometimes, more enjoyable.
1. Make your study area as comfortable as possible
For my study space, I like to have a clear desk when I’m working but I know that some of my friends prefer familiar pictures and lots of stationery to make their space feel welcoming. You might decide to adopt a study blanket or a warm robe for your winter study sessions ahead. I’d say the more personal it is, the better but don’t forget that it has to be practical too. It also helps to work in spaces where you feel most productive, whether that’s a café, library or a study room.
2. Have a pre-study session routine
This isn’t something that I do before every single study session and I’m not sure if it’s possible to. However, on the days where you need to hype yourself up a little bit more before tackling the list of articles and books ahead, it can be really helpful to have a routine which gets you into the ‘I’m ready to do my best work’ mode. This can range widely from starting your study playlist, to a quick dance routine, or making your favourite hot drink. Whatever it is, spend a few minutes (5-20, anything more might start to cross the line into procrastination) getting yourself ready to spend some time focusing on a task.
3. Ease yourself into the task
Over the summer, I read Grace Beverley’s book titled ‘Working Hard, Hardly Working’ (10/10, would recommend) and one of my favourite takeaways from the book is actually similar to the previous point: get your brain ready to take on that particular task. For example, if you’re about to do some reading on the growth of delivery businesses in the past 2 decades, maybe read a short article or news story related to that topic. Likewise, you could spend 5 minutes watching an introductory video on that topic to get your brain interested or quickly summarise the main points from a previous section of a topic before you move on to the next part of it. I like to think of this as the ‘starter’ portion of a 3-course meal. If the task is the main, this is the perfect way to ease yourself into it.
4. Pomodoro technique
I suppose it wouldn’t be a blog post on studying without mentioning Pomodoro. However, there are days where you just might not have the motivation to work as well as you might be able to in other times and need an extra kickstart. I like to use this when I’m finding it hard to concentrate on a task. The technique is simple: 25 minutes of working, a 5-minute break. Repeat twice or three times then take a longer break. The beauty of this technique for me is that you can vary the time limits. Sometimes, I’ll start by working for just 15 minutes and on days when I’m feeling brave, I’ll start with a 35-minute timer.
5. Take breaks!
It’s proven that taking regular breaks whilst studying helps maintain concentration. It’s important (even when you’re in revision mode) to make time for other things you enjoy or which help you de-stress. As they say, all work and no play…