“Hey diary, haven’t seen you in a while? Last period I failed two tests and I’m pretty bummed about that. I’m telling you from now on, I’m going to change the way I’m studying and I’m changing it fast(sorry bucket list for 2014, can’t wait for ya). I’ll balance everything out, I’ll get everything under control and I’ll definitely stop procrastenating”
Does this sound familiar? To me it clearly rings a bell as it just happened to me. The previous period I got a bit ‘unbalanced’ and kinda failed for two tests. To prevent this from happening again, I’m taking a few steps to keep me motivated and ready for the next exam period. I recently found out that this routine below is really working for me.
When studying I love to sit somewhere where I feel comfortable. It can be at school, the local library or the one at Amsterdam central station. In this cold winter weather, I’d like to cozy up and stay at home. Unless I have class, then I go to school.
The most important step before studying is tidying up my room. I clean everything up because by cleaning up my room I already prepare my mind to go blank and only focus on studying. If my room is extra messy I also get a workout out of this cleaning session. Don’t laugh, exercise can improve memory and learning, even if it’s just 30 minutes of daily walking or cleaning your room .
After I cleaned up my room I put a nice table-cloth on my desk and arrange my folders in its rightful places. I like to spray some air freshener or perfume(something that smells nice). I then go to the kitchen and grab a couple of fruit, nuts and blend in a home-made smoothie. I also like to drink some herbal Lord nelson tea and a bottle of water. I like lord nelson because it has the same taste as when you smell the sachet.
I come back to my room and put it all on my desk. After checking my planning I put the books I need to study and the necessary equipment such as laptop, markers, pens, pencils, an eraser etc. I then turn on Spotify and put on my study music playlist. Soft instrumentals and sometimes also new age music. (Greatist, 23 Science-Backed study tips to ace a test, 24 april 2013) I’m ready to begin…
The actual deed
When I’m on schedule with my planning. I enter the notes, that I took in class, in my laptop and organize it per subject. I then make a summary of chapters I need to study and write some key notes. I do this with the Microsoft OneNote program. It’s super easy and almost looks like a real notebook. But it can be very time-consuming. When I don’t have time for this I just make summary in my notebook. This doesn’t really take a lot of time because I use acronyms and don’t write complete sentences. This is also an ‘effective’ way of studying because while writing stuff down I tend to memorize it better (Greatist, 23 Science-Backed study tips to ace a test, 24 april 2013).
I use my markers to mark the important key words. I also like to use different colors to separate major issues from minor issues. I don’t study too long mostly an hour and a half max then I take a break. Put on my favourite music and dance off. Get funky ‘n crazy! I find my way back to the kitchen to look in the refrigerator what to eat. I then take a detour to my room put on my favorite Serial, after a half and hour I continue with the next subject.
This is my new-found routine. I hope it inspired you to change-up your routine and helped you to being motivated to study. I think that you can make anything fun as long as you motivate yourself enough to enjoy it and change-up your environment. Remember why you’re studying and try to find something that really works for you….
Sources: Greatist, How to remember everything, 21-08-2012, http://greatist.com/happiness/how-remember-everything, 10-12-2013 Greatist, 23 Science-backed study tips to ace a test, 24-05-2013, http://greatist.com/happiness/better-study-tips-test/ , 10-12-2013