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I always complete these four steps before studying, and let me tell you, they’re game-changers.

Normally, I’ll instinctively begin studying before realizing that I’m missing some important information, or I’ll go on my phone and spend my whole day scrolling through TikTok and Instagram. After multiple months of searching up “study tips” and “how to study,” I’ve compiled a few steps that allow me to focus on the tasks I need to complete. As a university student, my to-do list has no limit and always seems infinite.

  1. Work at your desk, not your bed

Studying in my bed always led me to believe that it was time to chill and browse through YouTube for the perfect combination of videos that would keep me occupied for hours on end. My bed automatically convinced my brain that I was allowed to doze off and take a nap, because it’s the place I come to when it’s time to sleep and retire for the day. When I switched my study location from my bed to my desk, I was able to focus and finally concentrate on what needed to be done. Being at my desk meant that it was time to do schoolwork, and not waste time.

  1. Don’t study in your room

Working at my desk in my room was helpful at first, but it was always easy for me to slowly transition into my bed and begin the cycle of procrastination again. Studying in my room meant that I was near my bed, which tempted me to just give up and lie down. Removing myself from my room and transitioning to a different location let me focus more. It was like conformity — if I was in an environment where others were studying, then I was forced to be like them and work hard. Not being in my room meant that I had to uphold a public image, and falling asleep in public was not something I wanted to do. This change in location increased my focus, efficiency, and the quality of my work.

  1. Pull out important course information

While studying, I found myself searching for information and documents that I needed in order to complete my work. Compiling all of the information about my project or exam before my focused study sessions saved time and reduced any distractions while working. Now, I keep my notes, lectures, readings, and extra materials accessible so I can effectively and efficiently complete my assignments and tests.

  1. Apply the Sticky Note Method

As someone who’s always curious and has a million thoughts circling at the same time, I always find myself derailing from my work and researching random topics. To avoid forgetting any new ideas, I always embark on a Google search. One single thought can lead to a series of ideas that connect to the next thought, and my curiosity gets the best of me. To combat this, I started keeping a sticky note or sheet of paper beside me, so that I can take note of any thoughts to research when I’m free and done with my task. Forgetting information can be annoying, and as someone with a racing mind, having a sticky note always helps.

These steps helped me complete the assignment I would usually finish in 3 hours in a total of 56 minutes. Preparing before a study session will help you save as much time as possible, and maximizing your day allows for a clearer mind and a happier mood!

Harshpreet Mann

Waterloo '26

I'm a first year Honours Legal Studies student at the University of Waterloo. I am the Social Media Director for Her Campus Waterloo. I love being able to socialize and talk to new people who I have never engaged with before and slowly connecting and building relationships with them. My hobbies are singing, art, and going out with friends. I'm happy to be apart of this team of amazing individuals!
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