When returning to classes and study after any break most people are filled with a certain level of dread but also that burning desire that
‘This time will be different!’
This semester I will do my readings when I get them, this school year I will write legible notes, this study period I’ll go to the library… essentially, this time I’m going to be on top of my study! This desire is especially powerful around this time of year with all the rigmarole around New Year resolutions.
Most students will identify with the desire to study better and sadly for the vast majority of us, and I’m speaking from experience here, the desire to improve study productivity trickles away pretty quickly. We spend all our energy on creating the most comprehensive filing system we can, organsing our desk and delicately placing our stationary in the perfect spot. When it comes to actually sitting down and studying though our desire to better ourselves has mysteriously been replaced with a love of sleep or video games or chocolate!
So, this blog is going to outline how you should approach the New Year and best way to keep your noble desire to study better all the livelong year.
1. Make a plan:
The major problem with New Year resolutions is that they over-simplify our problems. There is little point in setting yourself a goal without having a plan to achieve it. So while that desire to do better, to study more, will give you a boost for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, it will be very unlikely to last you the whole year unless you take your initial desire and energy to put in place a detailed plan of what you want to achieve. Why not create a mind map to help you plan out your study objectives for a determined study period.
2. Create structured goals:
Your goals shouldn’t be vague, they should be concrete. When you’re filled with that New Year desire to do better, don’t just let it hang. Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Do you want all A’s, do you want to improve your grades so you can get in to college/university? These achievements are personal to you and will act as a motivator when your initial energy wanes. Make sure they are achievable though. Use our Goal Setter to help you develop a focused list of study goals for each subject.
3. Develop study goal timescales:
Outline a rough timeline of what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it by when goal setting. Be realistic with your study goals, it’s pointless planning something you know you won’t have the time to do. Also take account of hobbies, time with friends and other invaluable areas of your life. Maintaining a sensible and balanced approach to your study goal setting will pay off in the long run.
4. Exploit technology:
Use technology to help you stick to your goals. The novelty of using online study tools will help you to keep motivated when you are trying to force yourself to begin studying. If you haven’t already, sign up to use ExamTime’s free online study tools which will help you learn for your exams, understand your subject and ultimately study better.
5. Be flexible:
With something like studying ,especially before you start a new term/semester, you won’t have all the information you need upfront such as due dates, deadlines and exam dates so when you’re designing your study timeline allow yourself the space to add and move aspects around. Plan, in detail, the next one to two months but everything after that be less stringent. Remember – our Goal Setter is a great online study planning tool.
6. Don’t lose motivation:
The most important thing to be aware of when setting yourself a New Years resolution is that the resolution itself doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that you realise that you want to change something about your life. Many people will not keep their new year resolutions but if you hold on to this realisation then you can improve your study routine at any time of the year and for those of you who need arbitrary dates to kick start changes in your life then the Chinese New Year is on February 10th!
Until then set about improving your study by setting yourself study goals and breaking down the tasks needed to complete them. Check out our study goals feature for a quick, easy and intuitive way of goal-setting when studying.
Hope you all have a successful year!
-The ExamTime Team