How to create an optimal study schedule
A study schedule is not just about getting home and doing your homework. A study schedule includes a variety of activities including weekly readings, reviewing class notes, condensing those notes and making appointments with your teacher if need be.
By creating a productive study schedule early in the semester or term, you will later find that it becomes a habit that will really help you when it comes to exam time! For a study schedule to be sustainable, it must take into consideration all other aspects of our busy lives and how we can aim to tackle everything effectively and efficiently!
Below are my top ten tips on creating a great study schedule!
1. Invest in a diary or a planner
Where would I be without my planner?! A diary or a planner is so useful for many reasons. It ensures that we will not miss any deadlines and also helps us take into consideration extracurricular activities that we need to allow time for. Aim to be consistently using your diary on a daily basis to help keep your organised and ensure you complete your work.
2. Schedule it in!
Include everything in your diary! By scheduling time for activities, you can see which days you will need to be extra strict and times where you may have a little bit more flexibility. You may also feel more responsible to complete a task if it is written down.
3. Avoid studying similar subjects
Sometimes when we are learning and revising similar subjects, it can be difficult to separate the information. Try to schedule study sessions for similar subjects at different times so that they don’t become confusing.
4. Set weekly goals
Setting goals can be a great way to maintain or boost motivation and inspiration when you may be feeling tired or bored. Think about what you aim to achieve for the end of the week and set your intention for each study session.
5. Do the hard stuff first!
Since we don't have an infinite amount of energy, aim to complete harder work when your energy and concentration levels are at their peak. While not everyone is a morning person, I personally found my energy levels and focus was best before my busy day began.
6. Be consistent
Make your schedule into a daily habit! The more you practice being consistent, the less you will have to think about staying on track of your schedule in the future.
7. Adapt your studies
Learn what works best for you. It might take some time to come up with a routine that suits your style of learning, but once you have it, it will help you complete your work efficiently and effectively. Consider utilising various study techniques and drawing on visual, auditory, read/write and physical methods.
8. Take frequent breaks
Ensure that you are factoring in some down time. By frequently taking breaks, it is more likely that you will be able to sustain concentration and retain information.
9. Log your studies
You might not need to do this permanently, but logging your studies is a great way to monitor how efficiently you are using your time when you are at the desk! By reviewing this, you can consider whether you need to change your method of studying or whether you are using your study sessions efficiently!
10. Stick to it!
Just like in tip 6, it’s all about being consistent! Exercise discipline at the beginning and before you know it, your schedule will feel second nature. Some say that it takes 21 days before a task can become a habit!