Summer is almost over (if you can say so for the last few months), and school as well as university starts soon. The University of Edinburgh is known as one of the best in the world. But I don´t care. More important is the fact, that parts of it´s buildings look like Hogwarts.
With Hermione as my role model I want to share my top tips for effective studying.
But I also want to introduce you to the Cambridge Satchel Portrait Backpack. Combining the practicality of a backpack with the elegance of a satchel, this backpack is the perfect pick. For long uni days as well as traveling or the day off.
Since I’m juggling work, studies, hobbies and sleep I need to use a bunch of strategies to minimize my study-time with the best results possible.
1. Get enough sleep!
This is the most important thing on this list. My brain is totally useless if I get too little sleep. Sleep has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information. Don´t force yourself to stay up all night for learning. If you get too little sleep it won´t stay in your brain anyway.
Try to wake up and fall asleep at about the same times. I don´t have any problems to fall asleep, but if you have try to perform a ritual every evening. It will help your body to relax and come down. Don´t hang on your phone, listen to a nice playlist or (easy) audio book instead or take some extra time with your skin and hair routine.
Research also shows that your learning ability increases if you take power naps. Try to take at least one powernap each day, but avoid to sleep more than 30 minutes. Because then you fall into deep sleep and will feel wrecked afterwards. Just give your brain a short time off to recharge.
2. The workspace.
Some people can study everywhere and don´t get distracted at all. I am a total pro when it comes to procrastination and therefore I find a lot of things which can distract me. A good workspace helps me a lot. I have my own desk where I only sit to work or study. So my brain recognizes this place with learning and I can stay focused so much easier. Stay away from the bed and the kitchen. If you can´t study at home go to the library or a quiet cafe.
3. Make a schedule
..and try to stick to it! Schedule your studies just like a working day and make sure to get some free time each day. Start studying in time before a test so you don´t get too stressed. A good planner helps to stay track of everything. I also plan what topic and the amount I want to learn each day.
4. Work when you are most effective!
I´m not a morning person, I work the best around noon. Try to find out how your body works and when you can stay focused the best. Sometimes I try to start in the early morning, but I can´t stay focused at all. So I have breakfast instead and try to do some other tasks, so they can´t distract me anymore during the day.
5. Find your perfect study strategy
Pomodoro technique works best for me. It’s a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s where you keep your focus by dividing your work into four 25 minute sessions with a five minute break in between. After four sessions, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), before the next sessions start. This really helps me to work efficiently!
6. Helpful apps to maintain the concentration.
The best thing would be to turn off the phone, but if you don´t want to, use apps which help to maintain the concentration. Forest is my favourite app. You plant a seed that grows into a tree if you do not use the phone while studying. I use it for my Pomodoro sessions, so I have a nice forest in the end of the day. There are also apps which help you to control the access to the websites that distract you.
7. Use your classmates, friends and family as audience
I love to discuss or explain my topic at every opportunity. It helps me to test my knowledge and it´s a good way to repeat the information. Also don´t dare to ask for help.
8. Record yourself
When I am finished with writing my summaries I record myself reading them out loud. It might sounds strange and you probably hate to listen to your voice. But so I can listen to it on my phone wherever I am and don´t have to bring all my papers all the time.
Top: Zara | Shoes: Topshop | Trousers: Primark | Bag: Cambridge Satchel Company
Thanks to Julien from Truthpictures for the photos!