Getting back into a studying routine can be tough. A month turns to a couple of weeks. The weeks turn into days. Days fade to hours. Now you’ve got a couple of hours to cram in a month’s worth of revision. Time goes fast, doesn’t it? Now’s not the time to panic, now is the time to activate your inner Productivity Ninja and get things done.
Let’s say you’ve now got yourself into the situation where your deadline is tomorrow and you’ve done nothing. What do you do? Put everything down and unwind. Stress as much as you want, it won’t help (trust me I’ve tried!), you need to take a break for 5 or 10 minutes, maybe draw some doodles and, relax. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to just take a break from it all and then get back to it, you’ll be able to get much more done.
Feeling better already, aren’t you?
Now is the time to get everything else ready; turn off all messages, all flashing screens and, loud ringtones. Even if you don’t check them, if you hear them, you’ll be distracted. Temporarily block all messages – it’s revision time. Break yourself away from as much social interaction as possible – news too if you can. That stuff can be done at a later time; right now you need to focus on yourself and how you’re going to optimize your productivity in a small period of time.
Let’s begin studying, have you got a plan? A clean desk with all the equipment you need? I’m going to presume not. Clear all junk and only keep the essentials, move everything else as far away from you as possible. How do you expect to be able to study with distractions everywhere – you may be on a tight deadline but a quick clean will help you in the long-run. Once the room is clear, you need a plan. Figure out the time you have left for studying and divide that by the number of topics you have. This is to figure out how long you have on each topic (with a 10 minute break in between) – so if you have 5 hours and 10 topics, spend 20 minutes on each with a 10 minute break.
Now go on and study, reading this over and over won’t give you the information you need for that test tomorrow or that essay that needs to be handed in. As a final note, deadline or not, these tips will help enhance your time for study sessions.
By Oliver McLennan