It’s taken me a few years working out how I best study especially when you have a family to raise, work commitments and everything else life tends to throw at you. It can feel at times impossible to manage everything. I am here to tell you it is possible, because I am doing it.
If you are currently studying, about to start, or it’s been a long time since you last studied, congratulations, take a moment to celebrate yourself for making a commitment to expanding your knowledge, to step out of your comfort zone, to up skill and learn something new. This is a huge achievement on its own.
As I continue to study I have learnt a few things along the way. I would like to share them with you. I can guarantee it’s not going to be easy and life can get in the way. Having these tips in place have made a world of difference to my studying and hopefully will help you with yours too.
* First breathe. Remember to breathe, I know this sounds a little weird but when you become consciously aware of your breathing your mind slows down, your body slows down, you relax, and you become more present.
* Be gentle on yourself whether you are just starting out or in the middle of studying, as I mentioned before there will be times when it’s not going to be easy, you will feel like you can’t focus, information and do everything else on top of it. Super mum/dad for example.
* Trust yourself and be patient. You have the ability, the strength, the smarts, the skills, don’t rush it, it will all come together, one step at a time. You have totally got this.
* Create your own sacred study space in your home where you feel relaxed, inspired and motivated. Not only is this so much fun, it allows you to explore your creativity, designing something just for you. Now that is selflove right there and you didn’t even know it.
* Study toolkit. If you don’t have the space, that is ok, collect some of your favourite things to make your own study toolkit, to help you feel inspired to hit the books. For example, your favourite notebook, pens, candles, books, favourite mug, your favourite snacks and music if you like to have something playing in the background. I personally don’t have any music going as I just start singing, whereas all my boys study with music going. Just shows you everyone is unique in their learning journey. This study toolkit you can take anywhere as long as it makes you feel inspired, special and excited to set up and learn.
* Change the scenery. Just by doing this can make such a difference to your studying and productivity. Take your study tool kit with you and get outside with nature, breathe in the beautiful fresh air.
* Create a study plan especially if you have children. It’s so important for them to know what you are doing, that you too have commitments, assignments and a desire to be the best version of you. They will be inspired by you and will want to know more. This is such a great conversation opportunity for the dinner table to talk about what you are studying.
* Ask for help. I know this one is a big one and so hard to do. But really it helps everyone, firstly you won’t feel overwhelmed, stressed out and you will be a better person to live with. It’s a win, win for everyone. Whether you have kids or not, living with roommates or with your partner, ask for help to make dinner one night, get the groceries, help with housework or even help you study. For those parents out there even studying with your kids is such a great way to connect with teenagers, makes studying more interesting and fun and who knows they might be able to help you with your assignment for a change.
* Write down your study plan. In my family we have a whiteboard that I write down the schedule for the week ahead. In this I include when I study, it helps with accountability too. My boys have said to me mum shouldn’t you be studying now, wow how the tables have turned. Put it in your phone, in your calendar, set an alarm for yourself, write down all the assignments, exams. Make a commitment and stick to it.
* Be open to learning styles too, you might find that you are more a visual learner, or need more practical hands on, perhaps you need to write notes. Maybe, it’s a bit of everything. There is no right or wrong along as it’s right for you.
* Remember to take breaks. It’s so easy to feel like you must cram studying in like you have no time whatsoever to even consider a break. The problem with this is you will not be able to retain information, you will begin to feel overwhelm, fear starts to creep in, nothing makes sense and you very quickly begin to hate studying and potentially fall behind.
* Celebrate each step. When you complete a module or topic, celebrate, tell the kids, your partner, celebrate and acknowledge your achievements along the way. Don’t wait until you have finished, we have been placed in a mindset where we only celebrate once we finish something and even then, its mediocre as we feel the need to go to the next thing. Celebrate every step, assignments, exams, etc because without each one of these steps you will not pass and graduate.
* Lastly enjoy it. I know there will be times when you feel like it sucks, there will be subjects that you just don’t vibe with and question is this really what I want. Remember to go back to why you chose to study, what made you sign up for the course, and how you will feel after you graduate.
You have totally got this. Happy studying.
If you would like more help and guidance with this send me an email and we can talk more about creating your own study plan and toolkit. It’s so much fun.