Finals season is upon us, and if you’re like me, it takes some serious motivation to start. I procrastinate, then procrastinate productively (like taking a shower or cleaning my room), and then eventually freak out when too much time has passed. I think what we all need in this desperate and stressful time is some random, out-of-the-box tricks to make our time studying that much easier, happier, and well-spent.
- Put candy on your textbook pages
I’m a strong believer in using food as motivation, and this trick does just that. If your textbook pages are boring you, as mine often do, liven up your reading by throwing a skittle, M&M, or whatever your favorite treat is on every other page. Nothing will get your reading done faster than knowing there’s candy waiting for you on the other side.
- Get as far away from home as you can
Obviously I’m not saying take a roadtrip to get your studying done, but staying close by or inside your house makes taking breaks more acceptable. Sleeping on the couch; watching TV; or just messing around the kitchen are all super normal at home, but not exactly things you can do at the local coffee shop five miles away.
- Put something in your mouth
If you doze off easily or you’re a restless worker, start chewing gum or working on an Ice Breaker to keep yourself awake or calm your fidgeting. The bonus here is that if you chew the same flavor of gum when studying and taking the exam, your brain can recall what you studied that much better.
- Make it British
We’ve all heard that reading your notes out loud is beneficial. Your brain retains more information when it sees and hears the notes, but the only downside is that it’s boring and pretty easy to zone out. Reading your notes in an accent (I can only do British) changes the whole game.
- Take 20 minute walk
This tip is lacking a little bit in the random category, but fresh air and some movement will do you a whole lot of good when you’ve been cooped up at your desk for hours on end. Science tells us that just 20 minutes outside increases the amount of oxygen in your brain which enhances memory and makes you feel more awake.
- Snack the right way
The best study foods are berries, citrus fruits, dark chocolate, nuts, eggs, and avocados because of their key vitamins, healthy fats, and protein that keep you fueled, boost memory, and get your brain working at top notch speed.
If none of these tricks work, I’ve had a lot of success picking “B” on multiple choice exams in a time of need. If you haven’t heard it enough already, the worst is almost over. All the sitting on the couch you could ask for is waiting on the other side.