February is already upon us and that means the holidays are coming to an end for students all over Australia. Whether you are returning to uni, or you are a year 12 student about to finish off your last year at school, these top 5 study tips will help you reach your goals in 2015.
1. Take Regular Breaks
You may have an overwhelming to-do list and feel as though there is no time for relaxation, but studies show that taking a break can make you more productive at work. Make time every hour to stand up, stretch, and have a cup of tea. Giving your brain a chance to chill out every so often means that you’ll feel refreshed, and you’ll be able to retain more knowledge when you sit back down to study.
2. Watch your Procrastination
Ok, a five minute break every hour is a great thing to do for yourself, but what do you do when that 5 minute break turns into an hour?
People procrastinate for a range of reasons, but more often than not it is a reaction to the stress and anxiety of the task at hand. Perhaps you feel like you can never finish all work you’re supposed to do, or the topic you’re trying to learn right now is impossible to understand. These negative feelings about work can make anyone feel like switching off and pretending none of it is happening…
The best way to deal with this is to meet the problem head on. If you’re stuck on something you don’t understand, try looking up a tutorial on YouTube, or even study a different subject for a little while to mix things up. If you feel like you can’t finish all the work that needs doing, break down the to-do list into smaller, bite sized jobs and just focus on the important ones.
3. Be Realistic
If you write yourself a to-do list that is a mile long or beat yourself up about getting less than 99% on every test, you’ll soon find yourself falling apart.
Be kind to yourself and set realistic goals and time schedules. Think how great you’ll feel when you are actually able to tick off every item on a to-do list on a regular basis!
Studying and learning is hard work on its own, there’s no need to make life harder by setting unachievable goals.
4. Spend Time with Family and Friends
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes. If you’re about to start an entire year of hard work and study, you will definitely need to make time for the important people in your life.
Having people to chat to and have a laugh with is a great way to let off steam and help you keep everything in perspective as you push yourself through.
Study can often mean a lot of sitting down at a desk, bent over your notes. This can cause muscle pain and discomfort. Also, lots of people find the stress can cause them to overeat or reach for sugary snacks.
The solution to these problems and more is to make sure you get out there and burn up some energy whenever you can. Incorporate a ten minute run into your daily routine, or hit the gym a few times a week if you need a physical outlet for stress and tension. Go for a walk in the evenings to clear your mind and settle yourself down before bed if you just need a mental break.
Countless studies show the benefits of exercise for our mental states, and when we’re studying we need all the help we can get.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Keep all these tips in mind and find your own way – everyone is different. Learning is a personal process, so get to know yourself and be kind to your body and your mind. Enjoy your 2015!