Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
When you have an important goal like passing a major exam, it’s easy to get out of balance. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you study. What matters most is how you study and how you organize your priorities.
In this article, you will learn several healthy studying habits that you should adopt today if you want to achieve great results, without harming your health.
You should never leave important things to chance. Just like scheduling a meeting with someone, you may want to start scheduling your study sessions. This will help you organize your time and get your priorities clear.
When you schedule a study session, it gets easier to say no to other things and set some boundaries.
2. Turn off that phone
With so much noise going on around us, it’s hard to focus on things that matter. Of course, one of the biggest disruptors is our phone. With messages and notifications that keep on coming throughout the day, you better be careful with this one.
Some people think that checking their phone costs them only a minute or two. This is the time that they spend replying to someone or scrolling through their feed.
However, that’s not true. Every time a distraction comes in, it takes at least 10 minutes to regain the level of focus that you previously had. Your focus is one of your most precious assets, so you should turn off your phone when studying.
Alternatively, use ‘airplane mode’ and silence all notifications.
3. Create notes
Do you know what is the biggest difference between passively reading and actually studying? It’s all about notes! People who take notes tend to remember much more than those that don’t. This is one habit that you must form as soon as possible.
For the best results, you should use a notebook and write your notes in your own handwriting. Studies show that writing down things helps us remember them because writing activates certain processes in our brain.
However, if you don’t have a pen handy or don’t like to write, then take notes on your laptop or even on your phone. The most important thing is that you identify key concepts and ideas from each chapter that you have read.
If you’re a visual learner, it can help using colorful highlighters to color-code your notes.
4. Take breaks
Some people feel like they have to study for hours without a break. But it’s simply impossible to keep focus during all that time. If you want to avoid burn out, it’s essential to take a (short) break at least every hour.
We are quick to point out that some scientists actually suggest doing it more often.
Nevertheless, bear in mind that your breaks should be short and structured. We suggest preparing a nice snack or having a short walk around your neighborhood.
Those activities will help you unwind and you’ll get back to studying feeling refreshed and motivated.
5. Learn the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is one of the most powerful techniques for doing things effectively and managing your time. The original formula said that you should study for 25 minutes, and then take a short 5-minute break.
You can incorporate as many 25-minute session in your day as you need.
Many successful people started measuring their time using those 25-minute sessions because they realized they’re much more productive when they limit the time they have for some activity.
Of course, everything depends on you and your attention span.
Also, it doesn’t have to be only 25 minutes, especially if you’re able to concentrate for a longer period of time. You can use this formula as inspiration and come up with your own formula.
This technique is a metaphor for balance, and it should be your reminder that you should combine both work and relaxation.
6. Get enough sleep
A good night’s rest is one of the most important factors if you want to be efficient and have a good memory. Many studies have shown that your focus decreases dramatically if you haven’t slept at least eight hours.
People who didn’t sleep well tend to have memory problems and they have shown poorer results on various tests.
It’s essential to allow yourself enough time to get proper rest. Remember that getting rest doesn’t mean wasting your time. It’s actually an investment that will make you more productive and improve your results.
If you want to sleep well, you shouldn’t use your phone, computer, or any other gadget for at least one hour before you go to bed. Instead, you can spend your time journaling, meditating, or setting the goals for tomorrow.
Drinking water isn’t only good for our health, but it can also sharpen our focus and keep us awake. Our brain works much smoother when we hydrate regularly. However, so many people forget to drink water, especially when they focus on studying.
Here is one small trick you can try: Always keep a bottle of water handy on your desk or somewhere where you can see it. Don’t forget that it’s much better to drink a few sips every half an hour, than to drink two glasses of water in one sitting.
If you don’t like drinking water, you can replace it with unsweetened herbal tea or coconut water.
However, it’s not a good idea to replace your water intake with coffee or other caffeine-infused drinks. This, as drinks high in caffeine can actually dehydrate your body and create feelings of being anxious.
8. Reward yourself
When an important exam is coming up, many people tend to focus solely on that and forget all other activities. But you shouldn’t deprive yourself of some small, everyday pleasures that can actually make your day.
Of course, most people think that it’s fine to reward themselves after they’ve achieved their goal or, in this case, passed. But what about the process?
We should enjoy the process and rewarding ourselves for each small victory (like finishing the first 50 pages of your text) could be a game-changer.
You should think of ways to reward yourself after every milestone you achieve, no matter how small it may be. It can be anything – watching an episode or your favorite TV show or going out with your best friend.
The most important thing is not to feel guilty or as if you are wasting your time. Remember, everyone deserves to relax after hard work.
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