- Maintain a structure to your working day
- Take regular breaks
- Work out the most effective method of study for you
- Optimise your physical environment
- Practice good habits outside of your studies
- Reach out for help if you need it!
It’s no secret that disorganisation and strain in your study day can lead to a lack of productivity.
Studying starts to become a chore rather than a source of inspiration, dread and anxiety build up, and in turn the likelihood of procrastination increases.
It’s a great idea to adopt healthy habits when it comes to your studies, to keep your grades AND wellbeing in check.
Here are some of our TOP TIPS for optimising your study day to achieve maximum productivity!
Maintain a structure to your working day
Adding structure and routine to your working day is one of the best things that you can do to stay productive. It helps to add a sense of familiarity and allows you to feel in control of your time.
However, it’s important to note that structure does not mean rigidity. It’s important to remain flexible, and to not be too hard on yourself if your day does not go exactly according to plan. Discover what kind of structure works best for you– it’s all a matter of trial and error!
Some ways that you can maintain structure in your working day are:
- Waking up and going to bed at a similar time each day.
- Planning ahead and keeping track of your tasks for the day- maybe consider using a free task management software such as Notion, or writing a to-do list.
- Create study slots that match your productivity; are you most productive first thing in the morning, or do you study better in the evening? Do you prefer short bursts of learning, or longer study sessions?
- Ensuring that you set aside time for other activities such as exercise, cooking lunch, or grabbing coffee with a friend!
Take regular breaks
The importance of taking breaks while studying is often overlooked- but do not be fooled! It is crucial that you take breaks regularly to space out your day of study, and give yourself downtime.
If you’ve got a tight deadline you might be tempted to power through and skip any time out from studying, but research shows that study breaks actually increase productivity, boost your energy and strengthen your academic performance.
It’s recommended that you take a break after every 75-90 minutes of study to help your brain properly consolidate the information that you took in during your learning session.
It’s also a good idea to go device-free during breaks. Too much time spent looking at screens is damaging to your eyes, and can also affect the quality of your sleep. Whilst you’re taking a break, try to avoid being on your phone or laptop.
Here are some ideas for an energising, device-free study break:
- Gentle exercise that can be done at home in a short time frame, such as yoga or a light pilates workout.
- Try out meditation: clear your mind and reduce stress. Meditative practice is conducive to mental wellbeing, so give it a go!
- Have a quick power nap if you need to be refreshed! Avoid snoozing for more than 30 minutes, as this can have the opposite effect.
Work out the most effective method of study for you
There are a number of study methods that have been established by scientists, psychologists and pedagogists as effective ways to learn and retain information.
Each person learns differently, so it’s a case of testing the various methods and implementing the techniques which best fit your personality.
Here are a few of the most popular methods:
- The Pomodoro Method- a study technique that involves breaking your study down into multiple short sessions, with each session followed by a short break. Here’s a YouTube video that explains the technique in more depth.
- Active Recall: this method encourages you to test your knowledge by recalling information over and over again.
Optimise your physical environment
Your physical environment can really impact your focus and productivity.
Things as simple as good lighting and tidiness can make all the difference to your study day!
It’s possible to optimise your workspace on a budget- here are our tips on how to do so:
- Keep your workspace clean and clutter-free. Spend a few minutes at the end of each day wiping down your desk and tidying any mess that might have accumulated.
- Have the correct equipment: it’s important that you have a desk and chair sufficient for study. If you don’t have these at hand, check out Facebook Marketplace or local groups for people selling at cheap prices.
- Make it a place you enjoy! Invest in a lamp or fairy lights for some mood lighting, put up a few photos of your loved ones, or even put a houseplant on the desk.
Practice good habits outside of your studies
Your everyday habits will also affect your studies, so practising healthy ones is beneficial to your productivity.
Healthy habits as basic as your diet, sleep and exercise regime are instrumental in setting you up for a good study day.
- Having a good diet makes a world of difference. Make sure that you include all of the major food groups, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and drink enough water. It’s easy to turn to convenience food (which is fine in moderation!) whilst studying, but setting aside time for cooking healthy meals and snacks is something to include in your study day routine.
- Good sleep hygiene is also vital. Make sure you’re getting sufficient sleep by avoiding screens before bed and setting up a sleep schedule.
- Physical activity is fantastic for your mental and physical health. Adding exercise to your day will aid your sleep, boost your serotonin levels, and keep you physically fit as well.
Reach out for help if you need it!
Being a student is hard- academic pressures, money struggles and burn-out are all very real. There is absolutely no shame in asking for support if you’re struggling with any aspect of student life.
Below are some resources that you can consider if you want to reach out.
- Your university has an obligation to its students, and will most likely have robust support services that you are entitled to use.
If you are struggling academically, your university or department should have somebody on hand to speak to and devise a solution with.
If your mental health is suffering whilst at university, engage with your institution’s wellbeing services. Don’t struggle alone!
- Student Minds, the UK’s leading charity for student mental health. They offer a peer support programme, and have resources to help with anything from exam stress to going on a year abroad.
- The National Union for Students’ website has lots of articles with advice for students- check them out!
So, these are our top tips for optimising your study day for maximum productivity.
Of course, each person is individual and has different ways of working best. Find out what suits your style of work and go from there.
Good luck with your studies!
Check out our other useful blogs and guides here
Posted by Roome, of Roome
Posted by Roome