How I manage my self study time (Shaheen)

Staying up late until 3am in the same pyjamas you woke up in and scrolling aimlessly through social media? Sound familiar?

From experience, I can tell you that this is quite an unhealthy existence both physically and mentally. That’s why I have a few handy tips to try and avoid this situation.

  1. One goal at a time

I set one goal to achieve each day –  my brain is too tiny to handle so many complex things at once (I. just. can’t. do. it).

For studying I divide all my topics into smaller concepts or topics for me to learn each day (I like it simple). I read, watch videos, and go through lectures to make a small poster style summary card for each topic. I find it helps me understand topics better when they’re visual and it is easier to refer back to when I need to look something up or revise.

One topic at a time helps me stay focused and engaged while learning. Most of the time I can get through four or five different topics in a day because breaking it down makes learning easier, and therefore reduces the time I sit down to study. This method is useful because I only need to dedicate fifteen minutes of time for each topic (trust me its wayyyyy easier).

2. Work 9-5 and relax 5-9

Setting a routine everyday helps me stay on track. With daylight getting longer, it’s easier to wake up when the sun rises and sleep when it gets dark. Before the lockdown I tried to divide my time in a similar way, but now it is harder because it’s so much easier to get distracted being at home. Not everyday is perfect, sometimes I get stuck on a topic for two days and feel guilty.

Just stick to achieving your one goal for the day – usually this is motivation enough to keep you going. If it is simple and fun, you are more likely to do it. The key is to stay consistent.

Right now, I am addicted to PUBG mobile and binge watching on Netflix. It is very easy to spend hours doing these things but I find if you play with a friend or watch a movie together, then at least you can hold each other to account for the time you are spending not studying.

3. Take breaks

I am an intuitive person and like to listen to what my body and mind needs. For example, some days I can just feel tired and not up to doing much at all. I call these days my ‘’distraction day’’. I might spend the day eating food I think my body needs, like more vegetables or even ice cream, and just watch Netflix. But I also utilise that day to do some cleaning and laundry. Usually, I go out to get some groceries. It feels good to have fresh air and go for a walk.

Don’t feel guilty for taking frequent breaks. Some things take more time to learn or do, but if you simplify it to a smaller task, everything will be easier. Remember –  study smart not hard! Find out what makes things easier for you and follow that road.

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