I am usually the type of person that gets very fidgety or distracted while I am trying to study. It is always so frustrating when I invest so much time into studying but feel so unproductive during the process. Over the years, I have picked up a few things that have truly helped me study, and it was not always an easy decision.
- Don't lay down to study. This is probably obvious for a lot of people, but I know that there are some people (including myself) that occasionally likes to lay down while doing work. I have learned that the position can be too comfortable. It tends to lessen the motivation to work and increase the want to rest. It really is better to do it the tradition way and just sit up at a table or desk.
- Change locations. Studying in one place can feel very repetitive, and repetition can decrease motivation. Instead of just studying at my desk, I like to go to the library and sit in different places because the feeling of being somewhere new makes me feel more productive. It is almost like the beginning of a new school year; there is so much more motivation and excitement because it is something new that is coming into your life compared to what you did over the summer.
- Make studying fun. Studying does not always have to be strict. Hardcore studying can sometimes drain your energy a lot faster, and it stresses you out knowing you still have so much more to do. Often times, it makes it easier and more fun when you find creative methods to study such as adding color to your notes or making visuals. You could also set some incentives for yourself when you finish a certain amount of studying.
- Listen to background music. I have tried listening to my typical Twenty One Pilots music while studying, but I often lose focus and become less productive simply because I am enjoying the song so much that I begin to sing along or tap my foot. My initial conclusion was that I just cannot listen to any music, but I realized that is not true. I have set a playlist for myself with Lo-fi (Low Fidelity) music. Lo-fi, according to Wikipedia, is "an aesthetic of recorded music in which the sound quality is lower than the usual contemporary standards… and imperfections of the recording and production are audible." Essentially, the music is relaxing and chill enough to focus on your studies. (Give it a try! Here is one of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvmqRkUPi2w&t=1316s)
- Set small goals. Thinking about studying for a lot of things can be very stressful. It will lower your motivation because you dread having to do so much. If you were to just set small goals and take it one step at a time, it would not be as stressful and you would feel more accomplished with the tasks you complete. You cannot expect yourself to do so much!