Do you ever find that your mind wanders when you study? Or that you finally got the motivation to study but once you start it’s so boring that you want to quit within 5 minutes? Well here are 5 study hacks to combat this and keep motivated while studying.
1. Your environment
The first thing to consider is your environment. Will you be easily distracted or interrupted? Will there be any loud noises? If so, then consider moving to a different area in your house. If there are still distractions, see if you could study at a library. I also love to use lo-fi music or ancient library sounds on YouTube to block out noise without distracting me if I can’t get to the library.
2. Reward Yourself
If you struggle with motivation or find you’re getting distracted, pick a reward you could give yourself. For example; sweets, a show or talking with a friend. Then write down all the things you have to do and give each one a different reward. Every time you go to quit, remind yourself of the reward. Make sure you have good self-control where possible!
3. Try The Pomodoro or flowmodoro Technique
If you are interested in study tips then you have probably already heard of the 25/5 pomodoro technique, where you study for 25 minutes and then take a break for five and if you haven’t then I would highly recommend you try it.
However, one issue that people have is that sometimes the breaks interrupt them in the middle of their focus or that they feel like they can’t take a quick break to get a drink because it isn’t time yet. If you notice this then the flowmodoro technique is perfect for you!
Simply set a countdown on your phone and when you feel thirsty, bored etc stop the timer and whatever amount of time you have studied for find a fifth of it and take a break for that long eg. At the start of the session you are feeling productive and get through an hour without a break so you divide it by 5 and take a 12 minute break, however at the end you can only work for 15 minutes before needing some coffee to refresh, so you pause the timer and take a three minute break to get a drink and come back. It’s much more useful than having to stick to a rigid schedule.
This one depends on your definition of easier, it makes studying more tiring mentally, but it’s also the most efficient way to learn (for most people).
Start by writing down everything you know about a chapter to the smallest detail you know on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. Then switch pen colours and go back to your book/notes and write down everything you missed. Then take a minute to look back at them and try again, this time repeating the same process until you have written down everything you need to know. It may sound stressful but it makes it super clear what you do and don’t know with a super simple method to follow which alleviates stress come exam season.
5. Spaced repetition
This one is the hardest to keep up as it’s the study technique with the most long-term commitment, but if you are serious with it it’s definitely the least stressful and most efficient way to remember things long-term instead of just cramming the night before.
It’s based on the forgetting curve which shows how likely we are to forget something based on when we learnt it. Except spaced repetition helps to interrupt the forgetting curve and therefore helps you remember it much longer. To do this schedule out when you will revise a topic on set intervals that increase in gap every time. For example, you have a test in a month and you want to learn off a chapter before then, start the first day you find out, then the next day then again in three days, then in a week and then two weeks and then schedule a quick review the night before. This will interrupt the forgetting curve and eventually you will only have to revise things every year or six months if you keep up a good schedule!
I hope that this helps you manage studying easier, but my best tip is to just not let it stress you out too much, grades do not define you and the most important thing is that you are trying your best.
Have you any study hacks?
Words by: Clara Crichton