As many students return from spring break and the second half of the semester kicks up again, being bombarded by assignments can feel very overwhelming. Here are some study tips I've used many times that always work to minimize my stress, even when my to-do list is huge.
1. Plan out the order that you’re going to complete everything you have to do
Do the smaller assignments first, then the bigger ones. Because they probably take less time, getting the little stuff out of the way first will not only make you feel pretty productive but give you more leeway with how much time you have to spend on bigger things on your to-do list.
2. Download an app that that will help you be less distracted by your phone
There are probably hundreds of apps that can turn off notifications and apps, so you definitely have a lot to choose from. My personal favorite is Flipd because once you turn it on (you can pick how long you want it to run), it disables all apps except for your essentials, like messages and calling. This way, you know you won't be physically able to waste time Instagram scrolling instead of writing an essay.
3. Don’t always study in the same place
I've definitely noticed that studying in the same corner of the same library every day can get boring and make me feel like I'm stuck in a slump. So remember that a change of scenery is always nice, and chances are that your campus has an abundance of different places to get work done. If you have a busy week, maybe explore a little bit every day to find a new place.
4. Make a homework/study playlist
If music helps keep you focused and relaxed, a playlist is perfect for work sessions. Use Apple Music or Spotify to make collections of calming music that can help you drown out outside distractions.
5. Don’t be afraid to take a short break
Staring at books, notes, or a computer screen for hours on end can make you feel like you're going crazy. Taking a walk, eating a snack, or doodling can rest your brain for a little bit and make you feel ready to take on the world.
6. Know your limits when staying up late
If you're not a night owl and know that any work you do at 3 or 4 a.m. will not be your absolute best, don't feel like you need to push yourself. You can always go to sleep earlier and set an alarm to wake up early and get things done before your classes start. Plus, you'll be well-rested!
7. Utilize any breaks in your schedule
If you have any breaks between classes, whether they're an hour or five hours long, use them to get some work done if you're feeling overwhelmed. Head to your favorite study spot on campus, maybe get some food and grind until your next class. You'll have more done by later in the day and maybe even go to sleep earlier, instead of pulling an all-nighter.
8. In extreme cases, coffee naps can be your best friend
Coffee naps, or cappuccinos, are when you quickly drink a cup of coffee or something else that's caffeinated then immediately nap for 20-30 minutes. The trick is that the length of the nap is about as long as it takes for the effects of the caffeine to kick in, so you'll wake up feeling refreshed from sleeping and more awake from the coffee. Two of my friends told me about this a while ago, and it really works if you're staying up late to do homework or study. But be warned, making cappuccinos a habit can decrease their effect, so only take one in emergencies!