I met some friends from school a while back and, well, I think they were (and probably still are) dead inside. You can kind of see the sadness and fatigue in their eyes too. Looks like it’s hell week.
Here are a few tips I’d like to share that really helped me out in my last year of college – the hardest sem ever. Just three tips. I know you have a lot to do and you’re probably still wondering why you’re reading a Typist article.
Get ideas organized.
Stop whatever you’re doing because you’re probably swimming in Post-its right now.
While I was studying for my philosophy and theology subjects, I had to see how one idea develops into another. I started using flowcharts to help me organize the flow of ideas discussed in class, and boy did it work. After that, I wrote down a one or two paragraph summary of my flowchart in a piece of paper. Writing really helps you remember more.
There are a bunch of Pinterest tutorials on how to finally clean up your study space. I’m a really messy person irl but I still find it stressful to see all my notebooks and readings all over the place.
Also, don’t have too many colored pens. One set is enough. It’ll distract you a lot and you’ll end up drawing when you should be studying. Happened to me way to many times.
A great friend introduced me to the Pomodoro technique, a time management method that paces your work time. The technique requires a 25 minute work time followed by a 5 minute break. After four cycles of this, instead of 5 minutes you take a longer break maybe around 10-15 minutes.
Of course, you’re free to experiment with it a bit. I personally take only 20 minutes for work then 5 minutes of break time. This technique helps my mind reset, so it doesn’t get overloaded with information. Your brain gets tired too! It is the perfect way for studying long and detailed material.
If you feel that your brain just walked out on you and can’t think of any ideas, one of our professors recommends doing repetitive things like ‘peeling potatoes’ or ‘cleaning the bathroom’. But I prefer coloring books.
It’s the same phenomenon as when you get amazing ideas while you’re staring at the wall while showering. As your conscious thinking is occupied with peeling potatoes, your subconscious thinking can ‘surface’ and produce creative ideas.
Listen to ambient sounds instead of music
I used to prefer listening to Spotify while I was studying. It blocks out the noise plus it reduces stress. But I often got distracted and I would end up just listening to the music instead of reading.
I noticed I concentrated more when I didn’t have my headphones on and was just in the middle of a cafe. Weird, right? I downloaded Noizio, an app that generates ambient noise, and was pleasantly surprised with how it helped me focus on what I was working on.
Noizio’s ambient sounds include coffee houses, sea waves, rain, and even a farm with some cow noises.
No more getting distracted with Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up.