Having a before study routine can help when it comes to taking breaks. We need breaks so we avoid fatiguing ourselves both short and long term. For some taking breaks and getting back into a “study mood” is extremely difficult to do, and that’s what this tip aims to combat.
Just like Part 1, the purpose of a before study routine is to prep your body and mind to study and having a routine signalling that it is time to study.
- Creating a before study routine can be as simple or complex as you want but it relies on consistency. If you are inconsistently implementing and maintaining this it will not help you.
Note: I recommend making this a simple routine that has some significant actions attached to it. This routine is going to be a set of things you do EVERY time before you start studying. It is going to act as a signal to your brain and body that you need to study.
Elements that can be included into a pre-study routine:
- If you choose to add this into your study routine make sure it is as consistent as possible doing the same stretches in the same order.
- Silent meditation (4-10 mins)
- This can help center and relax you. If you have experience with anxiety about school and homework this may be a good one to add into your routine.
- Creating a to-do list for the study session
- I do this with whiteboards at school, windows in my home or in a notebook. It lays everything out for me and guides my studying for that period of time allotted.
- Setting up
- This can include setting up our space in a specific way, replicating your environment, setting timers on your phone so you know when to take a break (if you are following my studying in increments tip), among other things.
- Eating a snack
- As I’ve said before consistency is key, so make this something that you can eat every time before you study and that is easily transportable. If you aren’t going to be studying at home, good snacks would be an apple, some carrots (maybe not… they are a little loud for the library, but you get my point), granola bar, fruit cup, etc.
These elements are just examples, you can add in whatever you want. I recommend only adding in things that can be replicated in a wide variety of locations, and don’t incorporate any outside materials in order to limit disruptions to your routine. It’s also important that any of the given elements you wish to incorporate into your routine will be maintained, as strict consistency is required for this to be a profitable tip for you.
This tip requires a lot of self-discipline but it’s easier if you implement this from the start rather than trying to reform an already tainted study location/environment.
The combination of studying in the same location, environment and maintaining a before study routine is the most effective and efficient way to from a study response and over time will yield better focus and increased productivity as the routine you’ve created sets in.
- Study in increments
This tip may sound weird and restrictive, but it works and typically results in a very productive study session.
- Study in 30:15 – 45:20 OR 1hr:30 study to break ratio.
- Eg. 30 mins of studying and a 15-minute break – this all depends on you as a person. you can make the increments shorter or longer. However, I would recommend not going beyond a 1.5hr:45 split as getting back into studying can be a struggle and studying for that long can cause fatigue. Studying in shorter increments allows you to study for longer periods of time even though it doesn’t feel like it because of all the breaks.
- During the study time follow these guidelines
- No talking
- No texting
- No music (people tend to zone into the beat or lyrics, if you need noise try white noise)
- Only study
- if you get distracted and find yourself zoning out take a short reset break.
- During the 20-minute break this is your time to talk, text, listen to music, go to the washroom, get water and prepare for the next session. Whatever you do, DO NOT think about school or what you’re studying. Distract yourself, do whatever you need to do, but the point of this is to give your brain a break.
- By not thinking about school and what you’re studying you’re letting your brain rest and essentially “resetting” it for the next study period which allows you to focus more on what you’re doing and get more done in the time frame.
Note: When doing this in a group you need to make sure everyone is on the same page, if they aren’t then this method is not going to work. Everyone needs to abide by the not talking texting, etc. and if they are that 1/1000 person that needs music, they can use headphones, just make sure it’s not too loud so that the people around you can’t hear it. Everyone should be courteous to each other’s study needs and contentious of who’s around you. Every group will have a different dynamic that works for them, just make sure you are vocal about yours and respectful of others. This typically works best when studying alone, or in groups of 2-3 people.