31 January 2014

Beat the Study Slump

I am in the middle of a second round of midterms. Which is no fun. Studying all day. Trying to memorize (and understand) as much information as possible. It becomes tiring and I cannot wait for tonight at 9pm when I will officially be done midterms for this year (then I will just have finals to worry about but those aren't for a couple of months. Yay!)

After a couple of hours of hard studying (or sooner depending on how many days its been and how often I have gone through the material) I find I need to refocus. Here is what I find helps me to stay on track and get energized again for another couple of hours of studying. 

1/ Eating Healthy 
During exams it is so easy to reach for comfort foods, order a pizza or some other form of takeout. While this can sustain me for the short term I find that I don't study as well when I am not eating healthy. I try to include at least a salad or a green smoothie in my day. I also don't like to eat while I study. 

2/ Sleep
There never seems to be enough hours in the day but one thing I don't skimp on during midterm season is sleep. Its important to staying healthy and not catching any of the bugs that are going around during this time of year and I know that I can study more effectively when I am well rested. When I start to get tired I know its going to take twice as long to get through material. 

3/ Tea
I drink a ton of tea. But I like to switch up what kinds that I am drinking throughout the day. In the morning I usually drink a caffeinated tea to wake me up and get me through the first couple of hours of studying. Once the afternoon hits I switch to green tea and by evening I am drinking only caffeine free tea so that I can make sure I get a good nights sleep.  Tea especially caffeine free tea helps to keep me hydrated as well. 

4/ Taking Breaks 
I like to take breaks every 45 minutes to an hour to stretch my legs or give my brain a break. Usually, I have a goal in mind how far I want to get in the material before I take a break. Depending on what I am studying its 1-3 lectures. 

5/ Treats
Sometimes I need some external motivation for getting through. I like to reward myself for finishing a unit or getting through a section. Usually this is in the form of food, a small piece of chocolate etc that gives me a sugar rush. Other times I like to use longer breaks (an hour or so) as a reward and watch a tv show.  

6/ Change of Scenery 
I usually study in the same place (at my kitchen table). Which I like because I can usually get a lot of work done here uninterrupted and I am pretty productive. However, sometimes changing scenery and going to the library or even just a different room to study is enough to get me back on track and feeling refreshed. 

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