student stay focus

7 tips for staying organised and focused while studying

The start of the academic year always seems to fly by so quickly. Freshers week seems like it was just yesterday and then suddenly, before you know it, essay deadlines and exams are on the horizon. But don’t panic, there are many tips to avoid the stress and nerves that deadlines can create. And here’s our list of fail-safe tips to keep you organised and focused in the build up to your January exams and any upcoming coursework deadlines.

1. Make a plan

By now you’ll have a good idea of when essays are due and even if you don’t know exact dates of individual exams, you should know the week(s) that exams are scheduled for. So, get a head start and map out your work schedule now. Whether it’s reading, researching, writing or revising, be sure to give yourself a target to achieve at the end of each week so you know you’re on track to have everything ready in time for the deadlines. Investing in a wall calendar or diary is a good idea as you can mark down important dates. It will help you to clearly see how much time you have left and when you are going to work on what.

2. Create a relaxed study environment

If you’re planning on studying from home, be sure to make sure your room is tidy and your desk is clear from clutter. As they say, a clean space makes way for a clear mind – which is just what you need when you’re working. You’ll also find it easier to focus if your study space is somewhere you actually enjoy being. Having a potted plant and decent lighting are small steps to creating your ultimate study haven. And calming music and scented reed diffusers can help to relax your senses, putting you in a good frame of mind to get some work done.

3. Take regular breaks

Studies repeatedly show that productivity increases when students take regular breaks. By breaking down your revision or essay writing into manageable chunks, you’re more likely to remain focused and keep your brain engaged on the subject at hand. For every 45 minutes of solid work you do, take a 15-minute break away from your desk. Whether it’s popping outside for some fresh air, having a quick tidy or doing some stretches, we guarantee your brain will thank you later!

4. Don’t get distracted by social media

These days it’s almost too easy to be distracted by social media. When your phone buzzes in your pocket it’s impossible to ignore the alluring call of a Snapchat or Instagram notification. And before you know it you’ve spent the afternoon scrolling through cute animal pictures and funny videos, and no work has been done. But fear not, software developers have found a way to help students during times when they need to focus. You can download browser extensions such as ‘StayFocusd’ which blocks your most distracting websites for a set amount of time. Smartphone users can install apps such as ‘Offtime’ which allow you to filter modes such as Work or Friends so you only have access to the things you need and won’t be distracted by any unnecessary gaming or social media apps.

5. Drink plenty of water and eat well

During exam periods, it’s often the case that students become so focused on their work, they forget to focus on their own well-being. The easiest way to help yourself perform to your best ability is to stay hydrated and keep away from junk food. Set a reminder on your phone to drink a large glass of water every couple of hours and snack on healthy fruit and nuts during your studies. A lack of water or eating foods with high levels of fat will make you feel irritable and lethargic, which is the last thing you’ll want when you’re trying to be productive!

6. Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself for studying is key to staying motivated. These can be small rewards such as a square of chocolate for each paragraph you write or watching an episode of your favourite Netflix series when you’ve mastered revising a certain topic. When you feel you’ve really been working hard or when assignments have been handed in and exams finished, reward yourself with bigger things such as a night out with friends or buying those pair of boots you’ve had your eye on for months. Remember, just because it’s exam season, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself.

7. Don’t do all-nighters, you will regret it!

You may think that by staying up all night working, you’re keeping on track with your studies. But doing all-nighters and functioning with a lack of sleep can end up having a serious impact on your health and in turn impede your work. A good night’s sleep is important to help stay focused and learn efficiently. Sleep helps consolidate memory which is essential when studying and converting short term memory to long term. So, swap the extra cups of coffee or cans of Red Bull for your bed and be sure to get the necessary number of hours sleep you need every night.

And don’t forget if you have got work to do, you don’t have to completely lock yourself away from the world and stay in your room. At most of our student accommodation we have dedicated quiet study areas or rooms for you to get your head down and focus on your work. Our comfy common areas also provide the perfect place to get together with others if you’re working on a group project or assignment. To find out more about our student accommodation and living with us here at Host, contact us or take a look at our locations.

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