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overcome laziness while studying

The Ultimate 5 Step Guide to Overcoming Laziness While Studying

The Ultimate 5 Step Guide to Overcoming Laziness While Studying

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overcoming laziness while studying

From time to time, we all struggle with focusing and paying attention while we’re studying. Recently, I have found myself struggling to stay on task. I’m constantly wanting to go watch YouTube or do literally anything but study.

I decided to spend some time thinking about how I could start to focus better during my study sessions, and this is what I found. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Plan Study Sessions

The first way to stop being so lazy and distracted during study sessions is to plan them out.

When I say plan them out, I mean a complete step-by-step guide on what you’re going to be studying. Not only do you want to write out what you’ll be doing, but also write what you need to accomplish before moving on.

For example:

Step One – Open book.

Step Two – Read the entire first chapter.

Step Three – Jot down anything mentioned twice.

Before moving on – Be able to recall the 3 main points in each section.

Step Four – Break

Step Five – Recall the first section & take notes.

Before moving on – Need to apply the information to store in my long-term memory

and etc.

Have Sticky Notes Handy

There is a multitude of reasons why using sticky notes can be so useful.

They’re great for writing down main points in text, drawing images, writing summaries, creating lists, and just a whole lot more.

Do you ever find that you get distracted during studying by things you forgot to do, or you have a random question you feel you need to answer right at that moment?

If I were you, I’d use sticky notes.

Surprisingly, sticky notes took my focus level from a 3 up to an 8. 

I found that when I thought of something I needed to do later, or I just needed to remember some piece of information, I’d write it down on a sticky note.

After my study session, I would spend some time consolidating my sticky notes and looking up the questions I had.

Using sticky notes in this way will help you to focus a lot during your study sessions, and it will also force you to stop using things you forgot to do as an excuse to stop studying.

Write Down any Distractions

In my blog post about the best ways to study long hours, I wrote about the main two mistakes that people make when it comes to their environment. 

One of them is ignoring distractions or believing that they’re able to overcome their distractions. I’m honestly not sure if this is an ego thing people have, or they believe that they can be stronger in some way, but you can’t.

When you’re studying, keep a sheet of paper (or a sticky note) on your desk and write down anything that ends up distracting you.

Even try and include the types of distracting thoughts you’re having while you’re studying.

Writing down this information will not only help you to identify what exactly is distracting you, but it will better help you to understand the negative thought patterns that are holding you back.

Personally, I always get a dreadful feeling when I’m studying because I worry I’m not actually learning anything. I didn’t notice this until I started writing down what I was feeling in the moment – and now I no longer have this problem.

Find Ways to Get Rid of Them

Not only should you identify the distractions you’re having, but you should also be able to find ways to get rid of them. 

If you can’t get rid of them, you should work towards solving them or coming up with ways you can avoid the distraction and what to do when you do get distracted from it.

If you’re someone who checks their phone every 20 minutes, I suggest you take your phone and place it in a different room, lock it, and hand over the key to someone else. 

Make it nearly impossible for you to be able to get distracted.

When you do get distracted and you’re unsure of how to get rid of it – use Google.

You may find that you have to give up something in your personal life to allow yourself to stay focused while studying.

For myself, I found that getting on social media before I studied (even hours before), would affect my focus during my study sessions.

It would make me wonder what people were up to, what I was missing on my YouTube feed, and it would result in hours of binging. I found that I could avoid all of this by only going on social media before I slept or after my study session. 

You may find that you need to completely cut out things from your life to focus. This is perfectly fine, just make sure that your priorities are well managed so you don’t cut out the wrong things.

Don’t Rely on Willpower Alone

Like I stated above, a lot of people try to stay focused by sheer force of will. This is the wrong way to look at it.

Don’t make things difficult because at the end of the day, the only person holding you accountable, is yourself.


I really hope this post will help you to stay focused during your study sessions!

Remember to subscribe to my blog for more content related to getting your sh*t together and feel free to email me any questions/advice you need! 

I may answer through a blog post or send a personalized message back. 

8 Ridiculously Smart Study Hacks Every Student Should Know

8 Ridiculously Smart Study Hacks Every Student Should Know

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smart study hacks

Whether you’re just now taking your study sessions seriously or you’ve been an advanced student for life, there are a few study hacks that you should know.

Know When to do Busywork

I honestly shouldn’t have to even explain why time management is so important. If you go to the library and pick up any productivity book off the shelf, I almost guarantee that time management will be one of the main topics.

The same goes for your study sessions. You need to learn the best time for you to be actively studying and the best time for you to be creating flashcards or doing your easiest tasks.

I typically say you want to do hard and active studying first thing in the morning. After that, you can then do your busy work. This ensures that even if you end up studying for less time than you were expecting to, you still get the most important tasks done.

Walk During Study Sessions

Crazy to think that something as simple as walking can really change the direction of your studying. Read the super interesting quote from Learning Center.

“Standing while learning and completing assignments improves executive functioning, or the skills you use to break down tasks like writing an essay or solving multi-step math problems.” 

Isn’t that just crazy? The next time that you’re feeling really stressed or you’re stuck in a rut, just get up and walk around for a bit.

Reward Yourself

If you’re one of those people to find it very hard to study because of a lack of motivation, I highly suggest you use extrinsic motivators to ensure your studying consistently.

Extrinsic motivators consist of anything that is given to you as a reward. Some individuals like to use chocolate after each studied paragraph,  or some give themselves a break after completing certain assignments. 

No matter what it is, you can use an extrinsic motivator to help you do it. 

Just make sure that you build a habit so you can stop relying solely on extrinsic motivators – which will only take you so far.

A Little Every Day

A lot of people try way too hard to do it all. This is another facet of time management and knowing when to do your busy work. The most important thing to ensure consistency and exceptional work when studying is to build a habit.

Consistent habits allow for specifically creative and focused work. This helps you to not only perform better but also helps you to learn more, faster.

When building a habit, it’s important to remember that a little goes a long way. If you’re trying to do it all, you’ll fail at all.

If you slowly build up habits each day, by the end of the year you may be one of the most productive people on the planet.

Use Pictures & Teach the Information

Sometimes, you may find that you’re taking very wordy notes and it seems to take forever to study. One of your problems may be that you’re not using enough visual cues and pictures in your notes.

It’s scientifically proven that using pictures and visual cues helps us to remember the information more deeply and in a new way.

Not only should you use pictures and visual arrangement, but you should also try and teach the information.

When you teach information that you’ve learned, you’re better able to apply it and use the information to solve problems.

If you find that your study sessions are really easy, I would encourage you to try and teach what you’re learning and apply it to something seemingly unrelated. This will offer a challenge and will also help you to remember the information for much longer.

Use Different Learning Styles

A lot of people I know complain that studying is impossible for them. These are usually the people who study by reading the information and repeating it aloud.

If I’m being completely honest, this is a terrible way to study and remember information. To remember information, our brain needs us to make connections to things that we already know and understand.

This is why it’s important that you apply the information you’ve learned and for you to study it in multiple ways.

If you find that your study sessions are relatively easy, you’re more than likely studying incorrectly. If this is you, I suggest you spend time learning how to properly study.

One way you can do that is by subscribing to my blog! After you subscribe you get an email and you’re free to ask any question you’re wanting. I will either respond or write a blog post for you!

Sleep Before an Exam

A lot of students seem to think that cramming before a test will help them perform better. It doesn’t.

If you have to cram, I suggest that you cram at least one or two days before the test.

The day before the test, make sure to get adequate sleep!

If you don’t sleep enough, you literally drop IQ points and you’re unable to use information stored in your long-term memory. When you’re unable to use this information, you’re unable to apply it. When you’re unable to apply it, you’re unable to answer questions related to it. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Almost everyone knows that sleeping is super important for your health, but it is also super important for your grades!

Study Before or After Exercising

A lot of bloggers tell people to work out about 30 minutes before a study session. While this is true, and it’s a proven that there are cognitive benefits for up to 3 to 4 hours after working out, you need to take into consideration the type of workout.

If you’re doing a light 30-minute workout in your living room, I suggest you do it before you study. But, if you’re going to the gym and doing an hour of heavy lifting see, I suggest you study before.

Typically, when you first wake up and you get over your sleep inertia, you’re actually in the best mental space for focusing and using the energy you’ve stored from sleeping.


Studying should not be something that you fear or avoid because it seems too complicated. I hope these simple study tips help you to study more efficiently and will teach you the importance of time management and productivity.

Remember to subscribe to my blog so you can improve your studying techniques and you can ask questions. Like I said above, I may answer your question in a blog post and you’ll personally be notified!

7 Worthwhile Tips to Stay Focused While Studying

7 Worthwhile Tips to Stay Focused While Studying

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Do you ever have that moment while studying where your mind starts to drift off?

One second you’re thinking about what that word could mean, and the next second you’re thinking about what you’re having for lunch.

Truthfully, this is a common problem that a lot of people have.

In my high school years, I always found it extremely hard to concentrate on my assignments for school, but I could literally spend an entire week researching multiple frivolous facts. 

Although all of the studying I do now is on my own, I’ve learned quite a few tricks that help to keep me focused even when I’m really not in the mood to do it.

From time to time, my blog posts and pages may contain affiliate links, which means I may get compensated/earn a commission at no extra cost to you if the affiliate links are utilized to make a purchase. To learn more, click the link below to view my affiliate disclosure.

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Stop Memorizing Small Details

A mistake a lot of people often make is worrying about memorizing every single small detail.   instead, you should learn to apply and solve bigger picture problems relating to the subject. 

Solving problems instead of memorizing small details will keep you focused. You may find that memorizing small details is very monotonous and time-consuming. 

 Whereas if you work on solving problems it allows your mind to go into a flow state. Just make sure that the problems you solve are difficult but not too difficult!

 When you do this, you’ll find that you end up memorizing smaller details easily. 

After you’ve spent time solving problems and applying the study material, review your notes and determine the skills or areas where you’re lacking. Solve more problems or use flashcards to learn the rest of the details.

At first, you may find solving problems difficult and time-consuming –  this is a good thing.

If you find that when you’re studying, it’s really easy, more than likely you’re studying incorrectly.


I personally know a lot of people hate routine. I also know a lot of people hate studying every single day.

But having a routine may be the number one reason some people succeed and others fail.  

Having a routine will help you increase your studying productivity during each session and will help with stress.

You’ll also notice that when your routine becomes a habit, your study sessions will be more focused.

Ensure You’re in Good Health

Would you be surprised if I told you that people who are healthier achieve better grades?

Exercising regularly is one of the best ways that you can improve not only your focus but also your memory and mood. 

Working out increases your dopamine and serotonin levels –  which directly affects your focus and attention.

Eating healthy foods has also been shown to have an effect on your grades as well.

Students who eat healthier meals tend to have higher grades and perform better overall.

If you’re someone who’s been slacking on that diet, I hope this will encourage you to feed your body for your health and intrinsic benefits rather than just weight loss.

Listen to Music

Listening to music has been linked to improved memory cognition as well as focus. Although, you should beware of music in certain situations or certain types of music.

If you’re looking to learn more, read this blog post by me. 

Buy Earplugs

If you’re someone like me you may find that you got distracted quite easily.  While I find listening to music during study sessions quite nice, it does not mean that I’m not being exposed to other environmental sounds.

 Earplugs really help with studying if you have dogs, roommates, or just living in a loud area.

I personally like to wear my earplugs with my headphones over them. I still get to enjoy my music without any other sounds bothering me.

For myself, buying earplugs was one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

Have Breaks – Often

Yes, breaks matter.

I used to be one of those people who swore on not taking breaks. I felt like I could do my best work when I would spend hours using all of my energy to focus on the task at hand.

 I also used to be very naive & ignorant.

“Research shows that taking purposeful breaks (anywhere from 5-60 minutes) from studying to refresh your brain and body increases your energy, productivity, and ability to focus.” 

Cornell Health

If you’re looking for things to do on your study breaks, check out this article.

Focus on Learning, Not Your Grades

It can be really easy to equate our worthiness or value to the type of work that we produce.

To end this article, I would like to give everyone a reminder that your personal value is not based on how well you do against others. 

Your value comes from the fact that you are a human – and not what you give.

I suggest that you focus on being a better you and spend your time investing in yourself and your learning.

Of course, we all want better or the best grades but make sure to remember that your happiness and your livelihood come before any of that.

So instead of obsessing over your grades, I suggest you learn to enjoy learning instead focus on how much knowledge you’ve gained.

Happy learning! 


The Best Study Music for Concentration and Focus

The Best Study Music for Concentration and Focus

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Best Study Music for Concentration and Focus

The difference music can make when you’re studying is actually quite amazing.

Listening to music while you study can help with your productivity and can help put you in the right frame of mind.

Not only does listening to music help your productivity but it helps you stay focused for longer periods of time. Listening to the right type of music can also help improve your mood, which will directly result in better study sessions. 

From time to time, my blog posts and pages may contain affiliate links, which means I may get compensated/earn a commission at no extra cost to you if the affiliate links are utilized to make a purchase. To learn more, click the link below to view my affiliate disclosure.

Affiliate Disclosure

The big debate: to listen or not to listen.

We’ll first be taking a look at why you should listen to music.

 The first and most obvious reason you should listen to music is if you have studying anxiety.  It’s been shown that listening to music reduces test anxiety and overall stress in students.

Listening to music has been shown to help you focus –  if, of course, you’re listening to the right music.

The final reason that you should listen to music is because of the emotional benefit. For me personally, I enjoy listening to classical music while working because it puts me in a good mood.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at why you should not listen to music while you study.

Listening to music while studying can actually reduce your cognitive abilities. Basically, this translates into not being able to memorize things.

While it is true that music can help you focus, it can also impair your ability to focus on tougher tasks. 

From what I’ve personally read, it’s said that you should listen to music before your study sessions or while doing busy work. But leave enough room for silence when working on the really tough tasks.

 You also want to stay far away from music with lyrics and try to only listen to instrumentals.

If you’re struggling to focus, I suggest…

I suggest that if you’re wanting to stay in the zone longer, you should invest in some earplugs.

If you’re a person with any sort of sensory processing disorder, earplugs can be a night and day difference. (They definitely helped me!)

I personally use Loop earplugs to keep my attention.

And I must say, they are a complete life-changer. I have found that my own productivity had improved drastically once I had started to use them. 

Sometimes I like to put in my earplugs and place my headphones on top of them so I can stay completely focused. 

They’re great if you have dogs, roommates, or just a busy home. 

There are two main types of loop earplugs:

Experience Pro

Perfect if you are in an environment where you still want to be able to hear those around you – or to hear others talk to you.


Perfect if you’re wanting little to no sounds for complete immersive studying.

I personally have both!

Classical Music

Of course, I had to include classic music as the first item on this list. Classical music is calm and elicits a positive studying environment. It’s also been shown to help with productivity in some studies.

My Recommendation: Beethoven, Chopin (my favorite), Debussy


Basically, any instrumentals that aren’t too hardcore, are perfect for studying.  

I would just suggest that you steer away from listening to instrumentals of your favorite songs with lyrics, because it may break your focus while studying.

My Recommendation: Greenred Productions – Relaxing Music


Listening to nature sounds is best for individuals who have a lot of anxiety.  Studies have shown that listening to nature sounds actually helps lower our fight or flight response

It does this by just generally making us happier. 

My Recommendation: johnnielawson

Timed Tempos

Interestingly, studies have shown that listening to time tempos can’t help ease you. This is partially due to the fact that your heartbeat slows with the music you listen to

 Listening to timed tempos also helps with creativity.

My Recommendation: Relax With Me

Modern Electronic

It’s a common myth that listening to electronic music is actually worse for your retention than listening to classical music. Thankfully, that’s not the case!

Electronic music is really good for calming the mind – just make sure so you don’t get too invested in the songs!

My Recommendation: Gravity Music

Plan a Playlist

To wrap up this post, I mainly suggest that you use music as a way to relax your mind and to make your environment more positive. 

To keep from using your music as a distraction – set up a playlist before you study and put it on loop.

Remember that listening to music is supposed to help your focus & retention, NOT for it to be your main distraction.

Happy learning!

9 Bad Study Habits that Most People Use

9 Bad Study Habits that Most People Use

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9 Bad Study Habits

When it comes to studying, it’s already hard enough trying to figure out what does and does not work. Being in the day and age where all of us are in this constant loop of information, it’s hard to determine what is, and is not, fake.

In this blog post, I wanted to dispel some common myths when it comes to studying.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone is different, so not all of these techniques may apply to every single person.

From time to time, my blog posts and pages may contain affiliate links, which means I may get compensated/earn a commission at no extra cost to you if the affiliate links are utilized to make a purchase. To learn more, click the link below to view my affiliate disclosure.

Affiliate Disclosure

Cramming and all-nighters.

It honestly still amazes me that a lot of people still use cramming when it comes to taking tests. A lot of people assume that cramming and pulling all-nighters will help them to get a better grade.

The best thing for you to do is to space out your study sessions and to get a good night’s rest before your test. Many studies have shown that spaced repetition with a good night’s sleep is not only better for your grades, but also your mental and physical health.

Not structuring your time.

I honestly don’t see many people mentioning this, but this is personally one thing that I really struggled with going through school.

Before you start studying, do you know exactly what you’re going to do? Are you one of those lucky people who can just pick up your textbook and know exactly what you need to do?

Well most people aren’t, and most people neglect the need for structure and a fluent system.

Before your study sessions, make sure you write down what your goals are and what you should have learned by the end of the session. Do not forget to schedule at least one or two more sessions to quickly review the information you’ve learned. This will help you to beat the forgetting curve.


No matter how well you think you can multitask, you can’t. Studies have shown over and over again, that we all really suck at multitasking, even if we believe we are good at it.

So if you’re someone who believes that they need music to concentrate, maybe spend a few sessions seeing if you can stand the silence and compare how much you were able to learn.

Sometimes we multitask to overcome the need for a quick dopamine fix. If this is you, I suggest that you have a dopamine fast. (🔗 – YouTube video explaining how to do a dopamine fast correctly)

(I’d like to point out – there aren’t any peer-reviewed studies on dopamine fasting, but through my personal experience they’ve worked for me!)

Using social media while studying.

Honestly, I’m sometimes still surprised with how often people are on their phones and on social media. I understand that it’s addictive, but it’s also the root cause of a lot of issues that people are having.

Studies have shown that getting on social media after a study session or during a study break is actually bad for your retention. This is because social media typically raises a lot of emotions, even if you don’t realize it.

Keeping your distractions at arm’s length.

How often do you try to convince yourself that you’re able to overcome your distractions purely through hard work and dedication?

I also used to be a strong believer in overcoming distractions, that we as a human species should be strong enough to overcome the ringing of our phones. But sadly, we are all creatures of habit.

When you sit down for a study session, make sure that all of your distractions are kept away from you. Every few weeks, keep a sticky note when you’re studying and write down anything that distracts you. Once you find these distractions, think up some ways you can avoid these.



Procrastination is by far one of the worst habits that you can have.

The bad habit of procrastination will rip out opportunities from under you and ruin the quality of your life.

A lot of people believe that procrastination is the direct result of a lack of motivation.

If you’re a person who thinks like this, I really suggest you look more into the science of procrastination. I think you’ll be amazed to find that procrastination is actually the result of a lack of good habits. (Essentially)

Would you like to stop procrastinating? Then you need to build better habits.

Passive versus active learning.

When I used to study, I would just reread my notes to avoid having to do anything difficult. You may be a person who believes that this is a great study skill, in fact, my teachers would encourage it often.

But, it’s actually a really terrible study method. If studying is easy, more than likely you’re doing it wrong.

When you study, you want to make sure that you’re actively learning. You can do this by applying the information in a new way, answering questions, or even spending time teaching it to a fake student.

You’re studying incorrectly if you’re just rereading your notes or highlighting sentences in your book.

Remember, if it’s easy and boring, you’re most likely not learning.

Copying your teacher word for word.

It can be very tempting to quickly jot down everything a speaker says during a boring lecture, all the while, thinking about what you’re wanting for lunch. But this is super ineffective when it comes to learning.

The best thing for you to do is to draw pictures and work on relating the topics to your personal life. (This will help you to remember).

When listening to a teacher talk, try to summarize the information or write down key points. Also, try to use symbols and other images to represent information. Or you could listen to the lecture and write down anything your teacher mentions that isn’t in your textbook.

If your teacher talks too quickly, I suggest that you invest in a voice recorder. During the lecture, just spend time listening and writing any conclusions or thoughts that you’re having during the lecture.


I really hope that this blog post helped you to learn something or it improves your studying. Make sure to grab your free printable and subscribe to my newsletter so we can work on getting better grades together!



10 Tips to Study Long Hours Backed by Science

10 Tips to Study Long Hours Backed by Science

If you’re looking for someone to help build your site and complete your busywork, then do feel free to get in touch. I’m a virtual administrative assistant that would love to help grow your business with you. 💜 Get in touch here.

Study long hours

If you ask anyone – they would say that they’d like to be able to study for long hours without getting fatigued, having brain fog, and to just study more efficiently. While I’m not going to encourage you to be studying 10+ hours a day – sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do.

In this post we’re going to be discussing intermediate study tips that will inspire and push you to study long hours. I also have some extra studying-efficiency tips sprinkled ✨ throughout the page. Enjoy!

From time to time, my blog posts and pages may contain affiliate links, which mean I may get compensated/earn a commission at no extra cost to you if the affiliate links are utilized to make a purchase. To learn more, click the link below to view my affiliate disclosure. Affiliate Disclosure

1. Intentional Studying

The first, and most important tip to study long hours, is to study intentionally.

 “…intentional learning is generally defined as learning that is motivated by intentions and is goal directed…”

Blumschein P. (2012) Intentional Learning. In: Seel N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

When I first started being more intentional in how and when I studied – I started to see massive results in my retention. Intentional learning is so important when it comes to reaching your goals and avoiding wasting your time.

When you start to be more intentional in your learning, you’re able to learn more faster. Study smarter – not harder.

People mistakenly just reread their notes, assume they’ll study later, or not set a time ⌚ for themselves to study. Don’t make these mistakes – please.

How you can study more intentionally:

Use SMART Goals.

The best way to study intentionally is to know what your goals and intentions are for each study session. To do this, you should use SMART goals.

Specific: What exactly are you trying to achieve?

Measurable: How will you know it’s completed / where is the end point?

Achievable: Make sure the goal is realistic for you.

Relevant: Does this goal relate to the bigger picture or to long-term goals?

Time-Bound: How long do you have to do it?

You should set both long-term, short-term, and daily SMART goals to keep yourself on track.

Daily Goal Example: On Tuesday from 12pm to 2pm, I’m going to study half of chapter one by taking handwritten notes, writing 20 practice questions, and creating flashcards.

Either Commit 85% or 0%

When studying, it’s really easy to half-ass everything. I used to – all of the freaking time.

It’s especially easy if you’re one of the students who find it easy to retain most of what you learned the first time, and can skimp by. But in reality, it doesn’t work for most of us. And a lot of us end up feeling guilty that we could have done better, even if we aren’t sure what we’re doing wrong.

When you go into a study session, make sure that you are committing 85% of your time to completely focusing on the task at hand. The other 15% will be spent taking breaks.

If you’re only putting in a small amount of effort, you’re wasting a ton of time. Keep in mind that time is something you’ll never get back.

Read this guide if you struggle with half-assing everything.

Structure your Learning

After completing your smart goal and agreeing to commit 85%, you need to structure your learning.

To structure your learning, all you need to do is decide what steps you’re going to be taking to first learn and then apply the concept.


My personal study structure looks like this:

  • Take notes on chapter
  • Convert notes to pictures
  • Write down my own questions
  • Combine personal & book questions
  • Create flashcards if needed
  • 1 day later – Recall my notes & write extra questions for things I’ve forgotten
  • 3 days later – Answer questions, pay attention to what I’ve missed
  • 4th day – Extra research on information that I’m not remembering or understanding
  • 7th day – Practice teaching the information to a fake student
  • 15th day – Active recall, & answer all questions again
  • 30th day – Recall information in new way & be able to apply it

While your study structure doesn’t have to be nearly as in-depth as mine, it’s important that you know what steps you should be taking.

Tip: If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to structure your learning – just take things one step at a time. Sometimes it’s easier to get a gauge on your learning and make adjustments as you go.

Review Your Learning

You should have set times to review your learning. Above, I review my learning on every 1, 7, 15, and 30th day from studying.

Apply Your Learning

What’s the reason for learning new things? Is it to ace a quiz, is it to be knowledgeable about a subject, or is it to be able to apply the knowledge?

If you answered yes to all, you’re correct.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do well on quizzes and to just know things – but it’s really important that you’ll be able to apply the knowledge.

Spending time applying knowledge to certain topics will not only help you to remember what you’ve learned, but it will also help you to ace your exams. If you’re someone who struggles with curveball questions, I suggest you spend more time applying what you’ve learned.

Revise… Again

Yes, you should revise again. Revising is important for retaining information learned. Have you ever heard of the ‘forgetting curve’?

Image via EasyGenerator

The more you revise & practice what you’ve learned, the longer you’ll be able to remember it. So keep practicing and revising!

Learn the information in a new way

The final and last step is to study the information in a new way. Preferably any way that you’re using active recall will be the most beneficial.

You can do this by teaching to a fake student, drawing a picture, creating multi-step problems, creating a mind-map, or even debating the topic amongst your friends.

It’s important to learn the information in a new way like this because it encourages better retention.

2. Stop Multitasking

I’m sure we’ve all been there.

Either witnessing or being the victim of a cell-phone 📱 withdrawal by a teacher. I’ve been there… and it really sucks.

“Numerous studies from psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience have generated substantial evidence suggesting that multitasking while doing schoolwork has a significant detrimental effect on student learning and performance.”

Shelly J. Schmidt, The Academic Safety Net: Empowering and Motivating Our Students to Do Their Best Work, Journal of Food Science Education, 10.1111/1541-4329.12218, 20, 1, (2-7), (2021).Wiley Online Library
Faye M. Dong, Wayne T. Iwaoka, Next steps, Journal of Food Science Education, 10.1111/1541-4329.12238, 20, 4, (116-118), (2021).Wiley Online Library

Okay okay… we all know that removing distractions is very important for learning.

But we often make a few mistakes when it comes to removing these distractions.

Mistake 1: Relying on willpower. 💪🙅‍♀️

How many times have you attempted to be stronger than your desires? I have. And guess what? I fail each and every time.

While willpower is indeed something that you can improve over time, it’s a lot easier, and more effective, to stop relying purely on willpower to avoid everyday things that distract you.

The easiest thing to do is to get rid of whatever it is that’s distracting you. If you’re unable to get rid of it, I suggest you brainstorm some ways to avoid or overcome this distraction.

For example, let’s say that you have a bad habit of checking your email every 15 minutes and you’re wanting to reduce that down to 2 times a day.

To fix this, I would suggest that you change your email password to something you can’t remember, and put the password in a hard-to-reach spot. Now, every time you check your email, you have to log out and go put your password back.

After a few days, that bad habit will be gone!

Mistake 2: Assuming you won’t get distracted.

I don’t know what it is, but there are those few people who believe that they never get distracted. Unless you’re dealing with hyperfocus… I don’t believe you – sorry.

Sometimes we don’t even notice we’re getting distracted! For me, my boyfriend rolling his chair distracts me a ton. For the longest time I didn’t even realize how distracting it was until I started wearing earplugs.

When you notice that your focus has been broken, take a second to write down what broke your focus. After the day, review what’s causing you the most distraction and get rid of it!

3. Get Enough Sleep 😴

Getting enough sleep is so important for your health. If you’re wanting to study long hours – you HAVE to be getting enough sleep.

“It has become increasingly clear, however, that no matter how hectic our lives may be, we can no longer afford to ignore what research is telling us about the importance of sleep for our safety and mental and physical well-being.”

Worley, Susan L. “The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep: The Detrimental Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Health and Public Safety Drive an Explosion of Sleep Research.” P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management vol. 43,12 (2018): 758-763.

A lot of people – including myself – have had the great idea to skip out on sleep to cram in a test. I believe that it’s honestly not worth it.

Not only is not getting enough sleep bad for your health, but it also impacts your productivity because you can’t even remember what you’ve studied. Sleeping encourages long-term memory storage rather than short-term. Long-term memory is easier to apply and put to use – short-term is not.

If you’re a person who isn’t getting enough sleep – I suggest for the sake of your health and productivity – for you to read these tips on how you can get better sleep:

Tip 1: You should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.

Tip 2: Turn off your electronics at least an hour before bed.

I know it sucks, but you shouldn’t be on your electronics an hour before bed if possible. I suggest that if you’re a student, you should spend these few hours reviewing and trying to recall your notes.

Tip 3: Consider taking melatonin. 💊

If you struggle with getting consistent sleep or with never feeling tired, I suggest taking melatonin.

I personally have been taking melatonin for 3 years now and the only side effect I got was a migraine from taking too many.

Your body already produces melatonin naturally but taking extra can help signal to your body that it’s time for you to go to sleep.

Tip 4: Consider wearing earplugs.

If you are a light sleeper or you struggle to stay asleep, I suggest getting earplugs.

The great thing about earplugs is that they don’t completely get rid of sound – they just dampen it.

If you’re looking for earplugs that look both stylish and don’t annoy your ears when laying down, I suggest you buy Loops. I have this exact pair and I wear them all the time. When working, in the shower, while eating, and while sleeping. Obviously – I’m obsessed.

Tip 5: Don’t drink caffeine 8 hours before bed. Yes… 8 hours.

Caffeine typically stays in our bodies from 5 to 8 hours. Any amount can disrupt your sleep – so I suggest not having any coffee before bedtime.

Tip 6: Have a specific wake and sleep time.

There’s nothing worse for your sleep than irregular sleep patterns. Not only does it increase your risk for cardiovascular disease but it also disrupts your circadian rhythm which helps you to get to sleep on time.

Tip 7: Optimize your bedroom environment.

I literally have myself and my boyfriend sleeping under a homemade tent in our living room.

If you can – optimize your bedroom environment to help get yourself to sleep. There’s no shame in struggling to fall asleep.

Tip 8: Don’t drink liquid before bed. 🥤

There’s literally nothing worse than waking up and sprinting to the nearest toilet, and then not being able to fall back asleep.

4. Bad Study Techniques

If bad study techniques were any type of illness, they would be the plague. Why? You ask.

Well – they affect everyone. I haven’t met one person who didn’t at one point in their life fall victim to a bad study technique.

It’s not surprising – study tips and techniques are readily available literally everywhere. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and so many more.

It’s so important to get rid of bad study techniques because not only do they inhibit your progress, they also encourage procrastination, and they feed low self-esteem.

They hurt your progress by wasting your time and they feed low self-esteem by giving you bad test grades, even though you studied for many hours. I personally understand what this feels like. I used to work so hard to get good grades and it felt like nothing was working.

A good way to avoid falling victim to a bad study technique is to review all of the techniques you’re using – often. Just because they work for somebody else doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. It’s important that you do your own research.  

Although this may seem time-consuming, imagine the time you’re wasting using the technique and it not working.

Keep a log of all of your study techniques. 📝Every week or two, take some time to reflect on whether or not these are actually working for you. 

Another bad study technique to avoid is spending too much time planning rather than doing. I am definitely a list person and organization is my thing. 

When it comes to studying you want to spend the least amount of time doing things such as writing notes, copying notes, or rereading information. You want to spend the majority of your time applying and using the information in a new way. 

A lot of people think that just rereading or highlighting their notes is studying but I hate to tell you that it’s not. Studies have shown that highlighting your notes is actually quite ineffective. It also takes a long time to learn anything from just rereading.

If you’re someone who struggles with over-planning and over-organizing then give yourself 30 minutes to plan out the entire week. Do not allow yourself to revise this unless plans change. And before each study session only give yourself 10 minutes to plan. 

Giving yourself a set time forces you to only plan for the most important things you’ll be doing.

If you’re thinking this won’t work because it doesn’t give you enough time to plan exactly what you’re doing, that’s the point

It’s a lot faster to try something and fail than to try and guess what you will fail at before you’ve even tried.

-The Productivity High

 You should also stop having unrealistic expectations for yourself. Too often I see people trying to be straight-A students when they’re currently getting all C’s. 

Your main focus should only be to be better than you were the last time. Sometimes we expect ourselves to do the impossible. Then when we fail, we blame ourselves and our unfair circumstances.

5. Good Study Techniques

The most important thing when it comes to being able to study well is to use a good technique, and to use it often.

Good techniques should improve your efficiency and ensure that you’re getting good grades for your exams and assignments. Even if you’re not getting good grades, you should be getting better grades.

The first study tip you should remember is to review the study methods you use. I discussed this in the bad study technique section. I felt it was so important that I had to add it again. 

A lot of people, including myself, watch a YouTube video, find an interesting study technique we haven’t used before, and just start using it. We don’t spend any time thinking about whether or not it’s actually working.

“…different learning techniques typically ascribed to certain learning styles may be beneficial to students of other learning styles and thus attempting to determine your unique learning style may help to consolidate your methods of study.”

Fowler, Alexander et al. “How to study effectively.” International journal of surgery. Oncology vol. 2,6 (2017): e31. doi:10.1097/IJ9.0000000000000031

In my early years of high school, I would always push things off until the last second. Thankfully, I was still receiving decent grades, but I definitely could have been a top student had I applied myself. 

The conclusion of this story: plan ahead for assignments and tests. If you’re someone who does things whenever they feel like it, don’t be expecting good grades.

If you’re looking for a free and easy tool to use to organize your schoolwork, I suggest that you use Google Calendar. 📅 Google Calendar’s great because it doesn’t allow you to spend too much time planning, but it allows you to stay organized.

 You can also do what I do, which is use a journal. 📖 Interestingly, the bullet journal was designed with individuals with ADHD in mind.

Basically, you should make sure that you review your learning techniques often and use a system to organize your studying. 

6. Effective Breaks

If you’re someone who´s wanting to have long study sessions, It’s not a question of whether or not you should take a break. 

“Many studies have found that pausing for a moment to relax and reboot is essential for achieving productivity, success, and a positive outlook on the future.”

Online Schools

It’s not a secret that taking breaks is very effective, but exactly why is it we need to take breaks?

Taking breaks often, especially when studying for a long time, allows us to keep our energy levels even throughout the day. 

By keeping your energy levels even, you’re able to retain more of the information you learn.

 I personally used to skip out on breaks because I felt like I didn’t need to take them.  it was only after I took a course and they emphasized the importance of breaks, that I finally decided to try it out for myself.

To say I was amazed is an understatement. I had no idea how much avoiding taking breaks was actually affecting my studying.

 Have I finally convinced you to start taking breaks?

 If you can, you should aim to take 15-minute breaks every single hour. You can also divide up these breaks. Such as 5 minutes every 25 minutes or 30-40 minutes every 2 hours.

 There’s a lot of information and articles on how long you should take breaks, but it really depends on you.

 You need to keep in mind how difficult the work is that you’re doing. If you’re working on something that is very mentally taxing, you should be taking longer breaks, more often. If you’re doing something such as busywork, then you may not need as many breaks as often.

 During these breaks, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The first thing is that you should not spend your breaks on social media. There’s a lot of studies that show how social media use is directly linked to stress and anxiety. 

Your studying breaks should be stress-free and without a thought of studying.

If you’re wondering what you should do during your break, you should try to get in some exercise or a nap. I personally enjoy drawing in an adult coloring book or skimming through a magazine.

If you do decide to take a nap during your break,  aim to only nap for 5, 10, or 20 minutes. Any longer, and you risk either oversleeping or being groggy. 

My 15-minute breaks look something like this:

  1. 5 min – get snacks, water & say hi to boyfriend
  2. 5 min – do jumping jacks or some quick form of exercise
  3. 5 min – color in my adult coloring book

Remember: If you’re studying long hours – YOU NEED TO TAKE BREAKS.

7. Eating Junk Food While Studying 🥡

If you’re trying to crank out a long study session, it’s important that the stuff that’s coming into your body is good for you.

Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t think about what they’re eating while they’re studying. Maybe you’ve noticed that you become a bit groggy after having some chocolate while studying. 

Maybe you’re one of the lucky people who aren’t affected by this at all.

It’s important to be eating healthily because these foods will affect your performance both in the short-term and long-term.

 While I’m definitely not going to lecture you on better eating habits, studies have shown that fast food consumption 🥡 has been linked to lower academic achievement.

“Fast food consumption… has been linked to lower academic achievement.”

Peter R. Reuter, Bridget L. Forster & Sierra R. Brister (2020): The influence
of eating habits on the academic performance of university students, Journal of American College

 A few mistakes people make while studying are eating foods that are very high in sugar or boredom snacking. We tend to use this as a way to procrastinate or distract ourselves.

To avoid doing this, prepare healthy snacks beforehand for your breaks and avoid eating unhealthy foods during and even after studying. You also want to make sure that you don’t consume too much food during your study sessions, otherwise, you may end up feeling groggy.

For me personally, I try to avoid any high-calorie or high sugary foods when I’m working or I plan to be doing something with my mind.

8. More than Just Flashcards

Are you one of the people who swear by flashcards? Flashcards are popular for a lot of reasons, and one of the reasons – is that they actually work.

 I don’t want you to misunderstand this section. I am by no means saying that using flashcards is ineffective. I am, however, saying that there are more ways to study than just flashcards, and some of them are better.

 If you’re studying purely to ace a test, flashcards are a very useful tool. 

However, if we’re wanting to apply information in more than one way and to be able to use the information in a different setting, it’s important that we practice in different ways.

Flashcards are especially useful for spaced repetition purposes. Flashcards are not useful when it comes to studying hours on end. 

If you’re looking to be able to study for multiple hours, I suggest you use other study techniques that will challenge you and will help you avoid boredom & spacing off.

First off, it’s important to make sure we’re actually using flashcards properly. 

The first way is to make sure you’re actually recalling the information. Some people look at the flashcard and before they say what it is out loud or in their minds, they flip it over. Try to avoid doing this.

We also want to make sure to remember to study flashcards spaced out.

Some people will study flashcards one time and then throw them in the bin. One of the reasons flashcards are so effective is the fact that they can be used to store information in your mind for long-term. This is why it’s important to study flashcards more than once. (Keep in mind the forgetting curve.)

Another way to use your flashcards effectively is to use pictures and mindmaps instead of words. Our mind is much better with abstract thinking and visual cues than it is with memorizing words.

mindmap example
One of my very first mindmaps (LOL)

Some other studying techniques you can use are teaching a fake student, drawing a picture, or even creating a fake test for yourself to ensure that you completely understand the information. This is very useful when you’re trying to apply it in multiple ways.

9. The Hardest Stuff First

The majority of individuals believe you should start with your easiest tasks first. They think this because ‘it will get the ball rolling’ and it will motivate you to get the harder stuff done.

 This is actually a misconception.

When we start off our study sessions with easy tasks, they can be used as a procrastination tool and will encourage us to put off the more important and difficult tasks. Most of the time, these complicated tasks are important for our success long-term.

Starting with easy tasks also encourages us to stay in our comfort zone. The longer you have to spend time thinking about all of the difficult things you have to do, the more likely you are to just not do it.

If you’re someone who struggles with procrastination or fatigue after many hours of studying, I really suggest that you start with your hardest tasks first.

You can simply do this by writing down everything you need to accomplish in the study session and then ranking them from easiest to hardest. Then, of course, start with the hardest task.

 The only time this is not applied is when you have to accomplish an easier task in order to do a harder task.

10. Don’t be a Jerk to Yourself (& also preferably others…)

Last but not least, the most important thing for a long study session, is to be kind to yourself. ❤️‍🔥

 Not only is self-care good for your mental and physical health but it makes it easier to be productive.

It can be really difficult to even get out of bed when you’re feeling stressed – let alone to study.

 Common mistakes people make are expecting perfection from themselves and not knowing when to stop and take a break.

Remember as I stated before, we should not strive to be the best, rather we should strive to be better than we were before.

 It’s also not a bad thing to need to take a day off or to rest for a few hours. 

A few ways you can practice self-care during studying and daily life are as follows:

  •  exercise (30 min)
  •  7-9 hours of sleep a night
  •  following a routine that suits your needs
  •  drinking enough water
  •  eating well, both during and after studying
  •  doing things that you enjoy such as yoga 🧘, meditation, taking baths 🛀, or even going on walks 🚶‍♀️.

Also if you’re interested, there’s this really cool yoga mat 🧘 from Amazon if you’re wanting to start making yoga a priority during studying breaks.

I really hope you enjoyed these 10 items that will improve your productivity and efficiency when studying for long hours.