10 Tips To Help You Study More Effectively

1.     You absolutely must have a planner. There is no way to organize yourself better than having a planner. If you’re like me, then you are used to feeling like you have so many things on your mind that you can’t possibly remember everything. That’s where the planner comes in handy. The second that you remember something, you can write it down. Any upcoming events go inside and it will soon become your own personal Bible. There is nothing as important that I carry around as my planner. It will help you to organize your thoughts and will at least give you a place to start. When you’re looking at everything you have to do for that day and thinking “I don’t even know where to begin”, looking at everything that you have to do for the day all written down in one place will make the process that much easier to start.

2.     Get Concentrate or some other kind of website blocking application. There are lots of these easily- downloadable, helpful, and free applications that are available online. These are absolutely vital. You can enter in all of the websites that you do not want yourself to go on, and enter all of the other applications on your computer that you should not be using and it will block them for however long you are doing homework. Even if the application has a button in which you can suspend the block when you would like, you have to think about it, and that helps. Instead of just thinking “I can just hop on Facebook for a quick second”, it makes you think that you are stopping your homework to get online, and most of the time you will make the decision to leave it alone.

3.     Have a clean area around you. Even if it means going to the library, or somewhere else that you know will not be cluttered, having a space that is free of trash and clutter can greatly improve your ability to study. That means that studying on your bed, or even in your room, might not be the best idea. Having a clean space means having a clean mind, and it will stop you from wandering elsewhere in your thoughts.

4.     Eat before you get started. Have a nice lunch, dinner, or snack before you start your homework or studying. Ending up hungry halfway through your studying will completely de-rail your ability to stay on track. Make sure you have a full stomach before starting. You will be able to stay more focused, and you will not have to get up halfway through to eat.

5.     Switch subjects every little while. Everyone has this problem. They’ve been looking at the notes or readings for a certain subject for a while and nothing is making sense anymore. It seems dull and you are starting to become restless. A great tip is to switch the subject every little while. It will keep you on your toes and you will stay focused and fresh. Try something completely different. If you have been working on a paper for a while, try some Math homework, or something else that is very different. It will keep you sharp while you are studying and will stop you from just sitting there and staring at the same notes.

6.     Take small breaks. These breaks are incredibly important. Any time you feel overloaded, it is never a bad idea to take a short break. Around 5 minutes is the ideal break time. The key part is what you do with your break. It is not good to go on Facebook, instagram, or any other kind of social media because you could easily get sucked in and not be able to re-focus. Get up and walk around, play one short game, get up and get some water, or another physical activity. Do something that will rest your mind, but will not distract you.

7.     Stretch and breathe. One of the things that keeps me at my most productive when I am doing homework is stretching. Look up some yoga poses online or just do whatever feels right for your body. When you are sitting in the same spot for a very long time, it can wear you out. You can start to feel restless and want to move around. There is no way to stay focused in this state. Move, stretch, and do some deep breathing exercises. It will calm you down, make you feel more together, and you will be less restless and more ready to attack your homework.

8.     Prioritize. Do not save your most important piece of homework (ie. The midterm studying, or a final essay) for last. Always do that homework first and get it out of the way. The homework that you do first will be the homework that you pay most attention to and it is the homework you will be the freshest for. Focus your best attention on the studying that is the most important and immediate and then do readings, or other things that are not as needy of your full attention.

9.     If you’re falling asleep, don’t use energy drinks or Five Hour Energy. These sorts of energy supplements may give you the short term effects that you are looking for, but will quickly deteriorate your health. They are not meant for long term usage at all and will leave you with a crash afterwards. They are not very helpful because although you are awake, you cannot stay very focused and you might be energized, but you will also be jittery. If you are tired, it might be better for you to go to sleep and wake up in the morning to finish. If you can not wait until the next day to finish, try some good old fashioned naps or some hot drinks like tea.

10.  Study in groups. The most helpful way to stay on track, make sure you’re not getting distracted, and to get the most out of your studying is to study in a group. The other people in the group will know things that you will not know, and you all will be able to help each other. Studying in groups will make sure that you are the most prepared. As long as you stay on track, groups are one of the best ways to study.