You sit down, have prepared all of your books and notes, pick up your pen, and feel as though you’re already drained. Seem familiar?
It’s something a lot of students struggle with. Whenever they go to study, they feel tired – not at all conducive to effective study. Here are some thoughts on how to change that trend.
Burnout is real, and can be quite debilitating if it hits you hard. But you can try to avoid this by changing the structure of your study. What a lot of people try to do is sit down and smash out a huge study session once in a while. A more effective idea might be regular but shorter study sessions.
The basic idea here is maximising efficiency. In practically every study session, there will come a point where you become less productive, whether that be due to hunger, boredom, or whatever else. On a very basic level, your study efficiency might look something like this:
And the idea is to avoid that long tail entirely. If you take regular breaks but study often, you’ll practically always be flying high in that very productive period near the start. Hopefully, this will mean you avoid the burnout associated with gruelling study sessions, making it easier to start study again when the next time comes.
Often, maximising study time isn’t actually about the study at all, but the study preparation – we wrote an entire article on this here. You can study all you like, but if you’re always exhausted when you study from studying up all night Netflexing, how beneficial is that study actually going to be? Probably not very.
So remember: not all study is equal, and there are some very fundamental things you can do to improve your study preparation. You would have heard them all before – they’re things like these!
You’d be surprised how big an influence hydration can have on your concentration and focus. If you don’t already, start taking around a water bottle with you, and just get through it (multiple times if possible!) over the course of the day.
Clearly, you need to be well-rested – and those late-night Insta sessions might be at least partially to blame for your fatigue in general.
And then, of course, food. Glorious food. When you’re in study mode, it’s tempting to try to live off nothing but instant coffee and two-minute noodles, but this isn’t sustainable (or healthy). Keeping a balanced diet has a number of benefits, and it might actually help your study – and grades!
Like we’ve said above, not all study is equal. And you should think about what time of day (or night) you’re studying.
You might be in a routine at the moment of studying through the night, when it’s quiet, or when you can think best, or whatever the case may be. But the problem with that is, you’re probably going to be wrecked the next day. If you’re tired at school, you won’t take in as much information as you could, thereby giving yourself more work – you’ll need to catch up, study more etc. That means you “need” to study through the night again, and so the cycle continues.
If you can, it’s a good idea to try to change that cycle a little, and be fresh throughout the day. It’s totally understandable that different people study best at different times, but think about this: your final exams aren’t going to be in the middle of the night. Be smart about your study.
Sneaky plug! We’re always here to help out as much as we can, so if you want to chat about your study strategy, specific subjects, uni, or if you just want to kick back and relax, join us – you can make your first post here! 🎈