You must be having multiple lectures to attend, assignments to complete, and exams to prepare for. Yes, you have a lot to do and it always feels daunting to see the time slips by when you happen to sit and study sincerely. It makes you feel guilty and de-motivated to stay consistent with your preparation. You end up questioning your study methods and enter into a loop of self-limiting thoughts. But are you doing it up with the best study routine for the exam?
Academic pressure is real and everyone gets to deal with it. You are not alone but how you deal with it is what can make you distinct
Now, you might just think to yourself, ‘if only I had been more self-disciplined I would have better motivation to study hard “
Well, you are not wrong, if that’s the case. Self-discipline is essential for not just students but everyone. However, to stay consistent with this entire academic endeavour, you have to structure a good study plan that works for you.
You are disciplined if you hold a good Study Routine!
So enlisted below are 15 things you need to keep in mind when you create the best study routine for exams that works!
Are you always avoiding literature but you hit the ground running when it comes to maths? If you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can better make strategies to hold a good study routine for yourself.
If you already know the upcoming subject you need to study is where you struggle, you can make a plan to limit distractions and schedule a regular time slot for that particular subject.
2. Know your ‘peak point‘
All of us have moments when we feel at our peak and can perform any task with ease. Be observant of those times and try to notice what makes it work for you. Did you have a good night’s sleep last night or missed coffee this morning? Did you have a hearty breakfast before beginning work or you were running out of time? Have you been working out for the past few days? It can be anything.
Take note of things that increase your productivity and motivation to concentrate more diligently. Add those things to your study plan as often as you can.
3. Recognise where you fall short
Is there a certain time of the day when you feel least motivated to study or work? Does a thought or a certain person or a thing distract you every time you sit to study? It can be a heavy lunch and drowsiness afterward or somebody coming home at your study time. Take note of your habits and schedule your plan accordingly to avoid these pitfalls.
4. Change your environment
One common mistake we all make while creating the best study routine for exams is we often try to change ourselves while taking up a new habit or trying to get rid of another. Changing your habits is hard. What is easier is changing our environment. For example, have you noticed how easy it is to remain focused when working out in a gym as compared to doing it at home? Or how easy it is to focus in a library where everyone is silently concentrating?
You need not have to go to the library but you could designate a specific place in your home for study. This way, you will see an improvement in your productivity level.
5. Build up your efficiency by doing one small task every day– Most important part of your study routine for exams.
For your study plan to yield efficient results, you can build up your willpower with habits. All you need to do is perform a small daily task that you don’t enjoy. It can be anything like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a cold shower, or reading a chapter from a subject you don’t enjoy. By doing such small things every day that you dislike, you can help build up your efficiency in doing bigger things that you are not otherwise willing to do. In a way, it is just like working out. Workout exhausts you but its helps you build your willpower muscle.
6. Know your impulses
It is important to be aware of how you perform and behave throughout the day. You might perform your best during a certain time, feel tired at other time, and have massive hunger pangs in another. To perform at your best you need to prepare ahead of these particular instances and schedule your activities that suit your natural body cycle. Identifying your self-inclinations will help you become more self-disciplined and follow perfect time routine if you follow them diligently. When you start doing that, you will have to spend less mental energy on important tasks.
7. Just start!
Before starting any big preparation, we try to optimise our schedule and figure out the perfect time to establish a study routine. Despite much preparation, it becomes difficult to begin and we lose our motivation to study hard. We sit and wait around for the perfect time to begin but the truth is there is never going to be a perfect time. Only when we actually start doing the work, do we realise how to proceed and after that, we can set our perfect time according to our own needs.
8. Develop a cue to get you in the groove
According to research, to follow a best study routine for exams and successfully build a habit, you need a cue to get you started. A proper response is needed to what your habits are, how you would develop it and a reward that keeps your motivated to repeat the process every day. Your cue can be anything. For me it has been my favourite cup of sweetened tea to enjoy the beginning of otherwise monotonous routine work. I also tend to clear up my table so that it is tidy and create a to-do list of what I need to finish today. Setting the cue is important. Once you do that exercise every day, the results will makes you even more productive.
9. Create a routine that works for you.
This is one of the best, time-tested tips for maintaining self-discipline in your life. A routine will help you maintain consistency in your tasks. Once you have internalised the daily rituals, maintaining it will become effortless. This is how successful people repeat success consistently. They always have a routine which they follow diligently and through which productivity becomes effortless. Think about what kind of routine will help you to maximise your work towards your goals. You have to be realistic and establish a routine that you will likely follow.
10. Take regular breaks
Our brains tend to work at its peak performance for a very short period of time. This is why you feel yourself getting fuzzy after half an hour or 20 minutes of rigorous studying. For the best results, you must try short bursts of learning. As our brains are not wired to do the same task for extended periods, you can study for 20-30 minutes straight and then take a break of 5 minutes. Do not extend it beyond this time even when you feel like. Repeat this process several times unless you are not done with the targeted chapter. This exercise results in higher quality of work with higher efficiency.
11. Reward yourself for every completion of the target
Dividing a huge workload into manageable chunks makes it easier to tackle and rewarding yourself after every session ensures that you do not feel overwhelmed by all the work. As mentioned earlier, setting a cue for your study sessions and ending with a reward is essentially creating a habit loop. In such loops, each cue, response, and reward form fundamental elements that enable us to start and maintain habits.
12. When are you at your most productive self?
Another factor to remember in this journey is to evaluate and keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t. That will help you to identify the time when you are at your best. For starters, you can ask yourself a few questions to get to know yourself better. For example, what kind of environment works for you the best, the time of day you think is the best time to work, the way you absorb information best, and whether handwritten notes or typed notes work better for you. Discovering your personal preferences can help you to use them to your advantage.
13. Anticipate obstacles! Plan accordingly!
What happens when you plan your study routine perfectly down to the last paragraph but your out-of-town relatives arrive in the middle of the day on short notice and suddenly you are sharing your room with your two cousins? Such incidents happen and if you want to carry forward your studies seriously you need to be prepared for such distractions by making alternative plans that work for you.
14. Keep distractions at a minimum
Before you sit down to study, make sure you remove all sources of distraction. Clear your table as clutter can be distracting. If you are listening to music, it is advisable to listen to instrumental music as lyrics can be a distraction (But of course that’s based on your preference). If you are working on a computer, disable all browser and mail notifications or put Windows in focus mode.
This is always important. Regular exercise helps you stay focused and improves your memory. 20 to 30 mins of exercise results in the creation of new brain cells, helps improve connections between existing brain cells and improves abilities like problem-solving and attention. Exercise also results in the release of dopamine which is immensely important for your brain to follow the best study routine for exams.
Once you have a good handle on yourself, you will start reaping its multiple benefits. You will feel more in control of your life and will start achieving more of your goals. You can let go of habits like procrastination and other addictions allowing you to become more motivated toward your goals. After preparing a study routine for exams you will feel more satisfied and content with yourself.
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