Taking a gap year in between studies? Are you heading back to university in September? Even if you’re a current student, it can be challenging to get back in the swing of independent study. Even more so, the world is full of distractions, and it can take a lot of trial and error to find a study method that works for you. I graduated university two years ago (GOSH! Has it been that long?!) and even though during my second and third year I lived at home, I still struggled to focus solely on my studies and ended up having regular phone breaks. I managed my time wiser during my third year though, as most of you know between tight deadlines and a part time job, I needed to! Below are some tips that will help you to get the most out of the time that you spend studying:
Hide your phone
Your phone can be a huge source of distraction. It connects you to your friends, social media, and a whole other world of things that you do not need while you are studying. When you study, it may help to put your phone out of reach so that you will not be tempted to spend any time scrolling through social media or responding to unurgent messages.
If you are working on your laptop, you can use sites like Cold Turkey that block you from being able to go on social media, games and other distracting websites for a period of time that you designate, so that you can work uninterrupted.
Create a study playlist
Creating a playlist of music that helps you focus can be very helpful when you need to study for a specific amount of time. Don’t add songs that you will be tempted to sing or dance too, instead go for some instrumental music or classical music. If you don’t trust yourself to make a playlist that won’t distract you, then have a look at various music apps for premade playlists so that you can get straight on with working.
Rewrite your notes
A great way to retain knowledge is to rewrite your notes. It takes concentration and time focusing on the subject knowledge, so it is more likely to stick in your mind than it is when you just read it. It may also help to try and rewrite the information into simpler terms or to try and come up with keywords that go with each bit so that when you come across a word, it will spark something in your head.
Study with friends
Studying with friends can be great, as long as you don’t distract each other. They can hold you accountable and make sure that you do all the work that you need to get done. If you have a test coming up, it can also be helpful to test each other, as verbalising answers can help you to remember it better.
Go on a trip
If the subject you are studying will benefit from some study trips, then it might be something that you should look into. If you are studying history, it might be helpful to go to a museum or a particular city to help you to solidify your knowledge of a certain event, and link it to where it actually happened. If you study English, it might be a good idea to see the text that you are reading brought to life in play form. Doing something different and memorable can help you to get to know your subject better.