Today I thought I’d compile a list of my top tips and tricks to avoid distractions and procrastination during the exam season. Now, I’m not trying to be Scrooge, I know it’s not even been Christmas yet! But it’s a sad fact of life that for many of us exams are fast approaching.
I’ve always been someone that gets distracted easily and it’s something I still struggle with, however, the following tips are things that personally help me and make concentrating that little bit easier.
Give yourself breaks!
This is key. Plan your day to allow for a 5-10 minute relaxation / coffee break every 30 minutes of studying. This will help your brain refresh and you’ll not feel as though the time is dragging as much. You can also use this time to check your phone if you’re a phone addict like myself – meaning that for the whole 30 minutes of studying you do prior to this, your phone can be off. This leads to my next point…
Turn your phone off.
Seriously – turn it off. No ‘do not disturb’, don’t put it on silent. Turn. It. Off.
You can turn it on and check your social medias every half an hour (or during your breaks), but for the duration of your studying make sure it’s off. This way you’re not as tempted to keep checking it as it’ll take ages to get it back on.
Plan your time – including breaks, time off and time for yourself.
Get a diary or write a weekly plan on paper! No matter what you’re doing or plan to do, make sure it’s written down. This will help you stick to your daily revision goal while also being able to keep track of everything you have to do, including seeing your friends.
For me, an example of my day during revision might go as follows:
9-9:30am: Revise for exam 1..
9:45-10:15am: Revise for exam 1
10:15-10:45am: Revise for exam 2
11-11:30am: Revise for exam 1
11:30-12:00pm: Revise for exam 2
12-1:30pm: Lunch break
1:30-2pm: Revise for exam 3
2-2:30pm: Revise for exam 4
2:45-3:15pm: Revise for exam 1
3:15-3:45pm: Revise for exam 2
And so on… This allows me to prioritise the exams which come first, or the exams I’ll find hardest. I can also then see how much revision I’ve done while planning time to see my friends and look after myself too.
Organise your study space – keep it clean!
This is a priority for me. In order to minimise distractions, my desk space needs to be almost completely clean. When I tend to revise, my desk will have nothing but my revision materials on, my diary and some water. It helps so much to not have anything around to distract you.
This is a simple one, but drink a lot of water. When you’re dehydrated you won’t be able to fully focus and may get distracted more easily.
Take a deep breath.
If you feel as though you’re about to get distracted or lose focus, stop and take a deep breath. Re-focus yourself and relax. Do this until the urge passes or you feel alert again. Even if it takes 5 minutes!
Finally… don’t study in your bed!
Just don’t. This is just going to make you more likely to get distracted and watch youtube. It will also make you feel more tired as your brain is trained to see that as a place to relax and sleep.
Good luck to everyone who has any form of exam or test coming up. You can do it, I promise. It may be hard now but it’ll be worth it!