I am in the middle of finals of my sophomore year and I cannot wait for winter break. Between work, school, and being a mom to my two pups (Trixie & Meeko), its hard to stay awake and focused on studying. Here are my personal tips and tricks that I find work the best for me.
1. Find your atmosphere
I cannot study in silence, nor in my own home. I often procrastinate and get anxious when there’s no background noise. I started going to Barnes & Noble to write my papers because its close to home, has background noise, and contains a Starbucks. Its a win-win-win. If you need what other people think are distractions, like me, go to your local cafe, bookstore, or even a park for some fresh air.
2. Plan a study date
My friend from school started meeting up to work on the same papers and tests, but make sure you don’t get off topic. I found that even if we were working on different assignments, I still concentrated on my own work because she was as well. It’s a mirroring effect, where you and a friend want to be doing the same thing. This works at the gym with my workout buddy, too. Seeing someone else work hard makes me want to work just as much.
I need caffeine always in the afternoon, but after that I try to stay away from taking in more. Drinking water whenever I feel tired seems to help me stay awake, especially if its ice-cold.
4. Set a start and end time
Just like a test, you want to get your work done before a certain amount of time. Just don’t rush.
5. Keep your distraction locked away
In most cases, its our phones. Such a small piece of technology can be such a large distraction. If you’re out, keep it in your car. If you’re at home, keep it in a drawer. If you find that it doesn’t work, ask someone to hold on to it until you are completely finished with all your work.
6. Rewrite your notes
I can sit in lecture for two hours and not retain one piece of information, but if I write something down I can remember it for years. I run on chirography motor-memory; for others its simply listening to a professor. A quick trick is to write a term and its corresponding definition using only key terms.
eg. Copernicus: solar system, sun in center
7. Munch & Chew
Some think chewing gum helps retain information. When I’m studying outside home, I bring a little snack to help me focus and give me energy. I try to bring snacks more on the healthy side, like nuts or dried fruit.
I hope you guys try my own tips and tricks help you with school. Let me know what helps you study and I’ll try them out. Thank you for visiting!