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Super charging your productivity: A guide to making the most of your study time


Super charging your productivity: A guide to making the most of your study time


There are only so many hours in the day. When you take out sleep and school there’s not a lot of time left for the mountain of study you have left to do. Sometimes I feel like I have to finish 20 hours worth of study in an evening! This is where productivity comes in – being able to get into the study zone and make the most of the time you have. Productivity is fuelled by a mix of mental and physical energy along with some motivation. Towards the end of the term when productivity is most important, energy and motivation can start running a little low. Luckily, scientists have done the hard work for us and found some simple ways to give your productivity the super boost it needs during those stressful parts of the term. Here are some scientifically proven tips for getting more out of your study time!

1. Take Breaks, But Use Them Wisely

Science suggests the most productive schedule includes 90-minute study intervals with 10 to 15 minute breaks in between. Make sure you use these breaks wisely, go for a walk or eat something. Getting the blood pumping will help get more oxygen to the brain which helps you study better, while things to avoid include Netflix, if you start a new episode it’s too tempting to finish … and press the next episode button.

2. Form a Study Group

Working in a group is a great way to make study enjoyable, keep motivated as well as being held accountable for your work load. Science has shown that studying in groups means we take less breaks and are more motivated to complete work. Study groups can also help you understand parts of the course you don’t quite get in a comfortable environment, and helping someone else out can also boost our confidence and motivation. Make sure the group you’re studying with is the right one. If you’re with friends that are going to distract you, it might be good to connect with some new people in your subject.

3. Use the ‘Two Minute Rule’

Is there one more practice question you didn’t get to finish? Or have an email you need to reply to? If there’s a task that’s on your mind that’ll take less than two minutes, do it immediately. Although it’s a quick and often insignificant task, it just adds to the list of to dos. The faster you get it done, the faster you can stop thinking about it. Getting rid of those little to do things helps clear your mind and focus better, meaning you’re getting more out of the study time you have.

4. Clean Desk, Clean Mind

It’s surprising how a clean desk can help us keep focused and improve motivation. Anything on your desk or within your peripheral vision can be distracting. Studies show that a clear workspace makes us feel more organised. If you have a lot of item on your desk, try putting them away in a box somewhere until after exams. The rule here: clear desk, clear mind, so the cleaner the better. Quick tip: the presence of a plant on your desk has shown to boost productivity by up to 15%, so make some room for a succulent while your clearing! Remember that the goal of productivity is to work smarter, not longer. These tips can be changed to suit you. It takes time to figure out your own systems and schedules to get the most productivity out of your time. Study hard!

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