Looking for that extra edge to achieve study greatness, or some simple study strategies to boost your confidence as you embark on a new course? Everyone learns differently – which means it’s important you try a range of study hacks to discover what works best for you.
From the tried-and-true methods to some out-of-the-box tactics, we’ve selected 7 of our favourite tips to help you hit the ground running and maintain momentum this year.
1. Get organised
Organised chaos isn’t really organised… it’s just chaos! And it generally won’t support you in your quest to bring your study A-game. Physical and mental clutter negatively impacts your ability to concentrate and process information, so aim to organise your study space and workload priorities. Schedule time for study, diarise your deadlines and declutter your desk to achieve the best results and reduce study stress.
2. Be inspired
Maintaining motivation isn’t always easy when you’re faced with a challenge, so it’s important to give yourself a healthy dose of inspiration every now and then to lift your spirits and boost your enthusiasm. Call a friend when you need a pep-talk, read a book about the success of one of your heroes, or post some inspiring quotes around your study space to remind you that your career goals are possible, and within reach.
3. Set study goals
It’s not enough to enrol into a course and then wait for study inspiration to strike. To excel in your studies, you need to have a clear plan of attack – and that means setting yourself some achievable, step-by-step goals to gain that new qualification and land your dream job. Start with bite-sized goals such as dedicating 30-minutes each day to required reading, or scheduling a few hours into each weekend for your next upcoming assignment.
4. Create a study playlist
One of our favourite study tips is that you don’t have to sit in silence while you learn! Listening to music can aid information absorption, increase your motivation, and make study a whole lot more fun. Sign up for a free music streaming account like Spotify and browse the range of study playlists available, or create your own.
Research has shown that classical, instrumental and even video game music can be beneficial in increasing concentration during study sessions, so give some of these tunes a go to get into the zone.
5. Move your body
When we exercise, new brain cells are born – meaning that getting away from your desk and hitting the pavement is a sure-fire way to improve your memory and your focus. Going for a brisk walk or taking a gym class will make you feel more energised and motivated, and also help combat any stress associated with upcoming exams or assignments.
6. Fuel with brain food
It can be tempting to reach for an energy drink when you’re cramming for an exam, but bear in mind that a sugar high is quickly followed by an energy crash – making it even harder to focus and retain information.
Nutritionists have long been asserting the power of superfoods for wellbeing– but did you know that eating a banana or some air-popped popcorn can support concentration and memory function? Reach for the right foods during your study session to stay fuelled and feed your brain.
7. Find the right balance
You may be so excited about making the move into your dream career that you want to study in every free moment. That’s a great mind-set! But remember that balance in all things yields the best results, so it’s important to stay social throughout your course.
Once you’ve allocated the recommended time to coursework, be sure to make dates to connect with friends and family, and do the things you love. When you complete your study hours first, you won’t be stressed thinking about what you have to do while you’re out with friends or watching a movie.