Procrastination is something we are all guilty of, and it seems to be a common theme when attempting to study. Distance learning can be particularly difficult as the freedom and flexibility it brings also means you’re your own taskmaster. Here are some simple tips to help you get the maximum of your time so that you are studying smarter, not harder.
Prioritise your learning
We are all so busy these days, and sometimes it may feel that our other priorities are more important, more urgent, and will never end. But by putting your studies ahead of other non-critical demands, you are investing in your future self and actually improving your current situation. Although it may not seem like it, there is nothing more important than your personal development. Your growth is reflected into your state of mind and in everything around you, so make sure your study gets priority, and you will see it pay off.
Set a decent amount of time aside
It takes a while to get into the rhythm of anything – a good book, a new job, even a simple bicycle ride. Studying is no different. You need to treat it like your second job: set aside a couple of hours where you will work uninterrupted so you can get into the right headspace and stop being distracted by other demands. By having a set time, you are making a commitment to yourself, and you make others aware that you are not to be disturbed. It also keeps you accountable to yourself!
Set yourself goals each study session
Will you finish the page? The chapter? The book? A lot like crossing things off lists, there is something satisfying about reaching those small goals we can set ourselves for each session. It doesn’t have to be anything grand – even if it is just answering one page of questions, or making 5 bullet point notes – once you reach that sense of achievement you may find yourself wanting to exceed them, and you may find yourself working more efficiently to do so. These short term wins will eventuate into long term success when you finally complete your study and can look back and see how far you have come.
Take breaks and reward yourself
Although it may feel like it will take longer if you stop, a break will refresh your brain and actually get you working at a more optimal rate than before. Get up, have a stretch or a drink, and you can feel the effects almost instantaneously. Once you have reached your study goal for the day, be sure to reward yourself. It could be whatever you are looking forward to most, whether it is a piece of chocolate or finally being able to binge on your favourite TV show on Netflix. The anticipation of it will help you focus and you will have definitely deserved it!
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