Study Tip #3 – Have a Study Routine

One of the most important aspects of productivity is planning and focus. When we’re constantly side-tracked by interruptions – be that by a WhatsApp message or a family member – our creative flow is affected and, if you’re in the middle of trying to master a new topic, it’s a real pain in the ***

To stop this happening, have a plan and block time out to focus.

If you’re able (because you own your own timetable), study when you feel the most awake, because this will encourage less procrastination.

Pick a topic or a specific module you want to master in a set timeframe and close the door to your workspace. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb and turn off all other distractions. Commit that time to improving your skillset and advancing your career. Set a timer if needs be. This tactic is a good one if you don’t know how much content you’re capable of studying in the timeframe, which can help with forward planning.

Treat your study periods like a commitment you have with someone you respect. Someone you would never mess around.

If you’ve planned to study for a longer period – say, half a day – keep to the block focus process going. Set your first topic, complete it in the set timeframe you’ve allocated. When the time is up, STOP. Get up, breathe, take a short walk to get your body moving, reboot oxygen levels and lower any stress hormones that have built up in your system.

When you feel refreshed, go back to work on block focus two.

Pick a new topic and the timeframe you want to study.

Start your timer!

Research by Kornell has proved that sticking to one topic and trying to drill it in through repetition is not a successful way to study if you actually want to remember the topic weeks/months later. In fact, some educational models deliberately avoid this way of teaching because a mixed approach is known to be far more successful long-term.

Lastly, when you’re coming up to exams or a key event, don’t panic. You should have planned well in advance for this event and so, by now, you should be ready to attend without drama. Firefighting may get you through an exam in the short term, but you won’t learn anything long term and you’re likely to be a bag of nerves through the whole event, attacking anyone for trying to help. We know this to be true because we have students like this at every practical event 🫢

Instead, plan ahead. Know the dates you have key events and divide up the content you need to know by the time you get to each. Set up a study schedule to finish at least a week before the event, so that you have chance to recap topics that you feel less sure about. And maybe set up a study buddy meeting, as a way to test and practice your knowledge with someone else. This will create an environment that’s more like the event you’ll be attending and will check that you are capable of teaching the content to someone else – just like you in an exam 🙂

This is just preparation planning 101.

Block focusing made a huge difference to my work. I get way more done in the same timeframe and when I check my productivity sheet at the end of a week, I’ve always achieved more tangible outcomes. That makes for a good week and a restful weekend.

I hope it helps you too.

Have a great day!

Dustie x