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How to optimise study time

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How to optimise study time

Close the socials, open the window, grab a drink and… GO.

It can feel good just to mark off some time for study in your calendar. But the trouble is, you actually have to go through with it. And unlike daydreaming in class, there’s nobody else to motivate you except… you. So once you’re there, ready to crack the books and crack open some wisdom into the cracks of your brain, it’s time to get crack-a-lackin’.

Go in with a plan

You carved out this time to study, so you may as well make the most of it, right? Even if you can hear people outside laughing through a pick-up game of basketball or – okay, shut the window. It’s easier to focus on what needs doing if there’s a plan you can look at. Even if it’s a dodgy checklist on a scrap of paper, working out a plan of attack in advance gives you a guide. So figure out what you want to achieve – your goals for this study session – and work towards them.

Remove those distractions (even the cute ones)

Putting your phone in a drawer is a good start. But so is being in a space away from other people, preferably with the door closed. Letting the other people in your home know that you’re in hard worksmash mode will (hopefully!) mean nobody will be busting in on you with demands, queries or surprise headlock/tickle attacks. This also means picking the right soundtrack for your study – sometimes music with lyrics can stop you focusing on what you need to learn, for example.

Take good notes

It’s useful to read a textbook or play, sure. But it’s even more useful if you’re taking good notes for your future self along the way. What does “good” mean? That’s up to you, and figuring out the answer is a process. Think about what would be most useful if there was a surprise headlock/exam on this topic in one hour. What kinds of notes would help you maximise your result after 60 minutes of revision? Look at this both in terms of raw information and how it’s presented. Some people like to have different colours, or a rainbow of highlighted bits. Maybe you’d learn better if there was a recording of you reading out quotes.

Take a break

If you’ve set yourself up for hours of study, make sure you take a mini-break or two in there to get up, stretch, spy on those basketballers, check the corners of the room for headlock/noogie assassins. Go to the toilet, refill your drink, grab a healthy snack and come back ready for more learnings.

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