If there’s one thing I’m passionate about it’s setting up a study routine that works perfectly for you. It’s true that school is a highly one-size fits all type of environment (where none of the content is really catered towards you and your specific needs) but I believe there are definitely ways make study work for you. Studying is a highly individualized process – some people like studying at night, some at day. Some love listening to music while they learn and some find it distracting. Your routine is totally up to you, and over the course of this post I’ll take you through the process of creating a study schedule to minimize stress and maximize productivity, to help you achieve all your academic goals!
What Do You Need to Get Done?
So you want to set up a study routine, obviously one of the most important parts is noting down (on your phone, a notebook or a post-it – whatever floats your boat) what subjects you’re currently planning on studying. Then look over that list and prioritize them based on how much you care about the subject, how behind you are, how difficult the subject is or the one’s that have a test coming up. Note how much homework you usually get for each subject because ideally your study routine should include time to complete homework, revise past work and make progress on assessments. For example, English might be the subject you struggle with most, but maths requires you to do the most homework. So this ordered list doesn’t need to be perfectly prioritized but it’s important to have a vague idea of what’s goin’ on leading onto the next step.
Estimate Your Timing
There are two components to scheduling out blocks of time for study: the frequency (how often you’re going to study) and the amount (how long you spend studying). Now you know which subjects require the most time and work you can estimate the amount of time you’d like to spend on each subject on an ideal week.
Note: try not to schedule in blocks of over an hour if possible because
we mere mortals humans aren’t really designed to focus for any amount of time longer than that. I mean, you do you, but like… it’s science. It’s important to mix it up (do an hour of this then a half hour of that) and get your blood pumping in between subjects. With that in mind you might decide to study math only for one hour blocks, but to do so three times per week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. That way you’re getting a good amount in but not so much you’re bored and worn-down.
Book it In
This is the fun part! (Maybe only for me, an organisational nerd). It’s time to bust out your planner! YAY! If you don’t have a planner/diary feel free to use a piece of paper, a free printable, or a free app like google calendar (which I highly recommend).
Now is the time to consider what you already have on and where study fits, as well as what time of day works best for you (some people feel most productive in the morning’s and other prefer their beauty sleep and to work through the afternoon). If your schedule seems cramped, consider whether you can reshuffle certain activities or cut some completely (I understand this isn’t always possible but hey, i just want you to succeed). I’ve found personally that a lot of the time when I go “AHHHHHH!!! There’s no time to get ANYTHING DONE!!!” I can check my settings and see I’ve spent 2 billion hours on Instagram in the past 7 days, which is a great wake up call. My point is: no matter where you’re at or how busy you feel, you have the same 24 hours as anyone else and there’s always at least an extra hour or two you can carve out for your school work. We get done what we want to do.
So, now you know you’ll be doing maths for an hour on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (because you have swimming on Wednesday and Friday is dedicated to all your elective classes, like drama and music). That’s permanently set in stone (jk) but what isn’t definite is what you’ll be actually doing in these time slots. Homework, assessments and test dates vary, which means you’ll be mixing it up a lil.
One of the keys to getting something done is being super duper specific so instead of writing “do math” maybe write something along the lines of “complete homework and use the remaining time to revise algebra using KhanAcademy” or instead of “English essay” write “brainstorm essay topic for first 15 mins and write rough outline in next twenty”. This way when you sit down not only do you get the most important things done first (hello, stress free lifestyle!) you’re also ensuring you don’t waste your precious time wondering what the heck you should be doing and you can quickly move on to bigger and better things once you’re finished.
So now you have a specific, realistic and booked in study schedule! It’s important to keep in mind that this time is a commitment you’ve made to yourself. A good routine can be the make or break between a positive school experience and a negative one. Maybe you’re one of those people that can cram at the last minute and still pull an A. While this may work for a while, a routine ensures you:
- stay organised
- stay on top of things
- feel well rested
- are less stressed and anxious, and
- never fall behind!
Doesn’t that sound better? If you are achieving worse grades than you would like/believe you are capable of, creating and sticking to a study routine is the most effective way to improve your results. Some ways to stay on track in your pursuit of greatness and academic success include:
- putting the phone down and removing your distractions! It’s time to put the electronics away, clean your room up, grab
snackseverything you need so you don’t have to get up and down over and over again, and make sure you’re someplace quiet.
- keeping your eye on the prize – no matter what you’re working towards it’s so so so important to have a “why” for when you feel burnt out and worn down. Is it because you’re sick of being confused in class? Feel like you’re wasting your abilities? Want to learn new things? Whatever it is, your “why” should pull you through your toughest moments.
- As I mentioned earlier, our brain’s aren’t designed to focus for over an hour so study breaks are important! If you feel totally brain dead, there’s probably a legitimate reason.
- Reward yourself in your breaks – read a chapter of a book, scroll through your Insta feed for
17.5 hours I can’t believe it15 minutes or go outside and soak up some sunshine.
- Talk to a family member about when you’ll be studying so they can hold you accountable AND make sure you’re not interrupted. Win win.
- Cute stationery is not necessary but is (obviously) very very cute and at least temporarily inspirational! 🙂
Well there you have it! You now have a study routine custom designed just for you, so you can fit in all the things you want to do with your life without stressing that you have no time to revise before that science test you have on Thursday. My study routine is one of the only things that keep me sane during exam season and I sincerely hope that this post will help you to organize yourself so you can absolutely nail school while keeping your mental health firmly (or at least loosely) in tact!