The afternoon or the night?
This is a personal decision, but in any case, you can:
- Choose hours that aren’t close to meals. You could end up giving up in the middle of the digestive process.
- Try to study at the same time every day. This creates a permanent work habit that lets you better organize your leisure time and your breaks.
- Study during the times you feel you are more efficient.
► Lastly, consider:
- “What’s studied during the final hours of the afternoon and night is learned slower, but is remembered better”. In contrast, what’s studied in the morning is learned faster but forgotten easier.
- We also need to alternate study breaks, and it’s better to always study at the same times of day and to have breaks at the same times as well. This creates a habit.
- You shouldn’t study immediately after class, doing sports, etc.
- You shouldn’t start with the most difficult subjects, but rather with those of medium or low difficulty (try to avoid the lack of motivation when studying the hardest subjects, or the lower concentration at the beginning). Then, go to the more difficult subjects, and finish with one that you like better.
During your daily study time, you have to keep the following things in mind:
- Prior planning: in the first place, you need to have enough time to do some prior planning. Before each work session, you have to plan what you’ll do during it, and this means you can’t forget to account for that time.
- Necessary supplies: When you know what you’re going to do, the next step is to prepare the necessary supplies. You need to have on your table some pens, rulers, paper and other supplies, books, calendars, dictionaries, etc., or you should at least have them as close as possible, because this will really help you out, since you won’t have an excuse to go looking for something and get distracted on the way there. This will help you earn some time, and you won’t lose concentration.
- Activities to do: writing notes, summaries, graphs, reviews, research, etc.
Then, you do your specific activities, according to the planned order and your own study rhythm. During your planning, you should include all the tasks (reviews, diagrams, research, summaries…), and you need to make sure you have enough time to do each one of them.
- Breaks: You also need to keep breaks in mind, if you’re one of those students who needs them and finds them useful. You need to determine how much time you’ll need, and when you’ll take them.
- Unexpected events: It’s not easy to strictly follow your plan. Some task might take you more time than you originally planned, you might need to do more research, you might get a visit, etc. So, it’s convenient to plan for this and leave some time that helps you deal with all your setbacks.