I’m going to be completely honest here when I say that For the longest time, I thought Study Schedules were useless. I thought they were only creating an illusion of getting stuff done and being productive, when in reality, the minute they were created, they were put somewhere and forgotten about. I also thought that it was kinda dumb to box up your life with rigid times when you can’t actually plan out your life, and things can get in the way, mess up your study schedule, and end up leaving you unmotivated.
But I also noticed recently that I don’t really study my subjects evenly, and the subjects that I think are really important are the ones I put all my energy in and the not-so-important ones just get neglected. So I decided to try out a study schedule for a week, to see if it might help and I can’t believe I haven’t tried this early. It’s easy, keeps me on track and I can make sure I get everything done. So here are my tips for a study schedule!
Note: Before I begin, I just want to say that I made the study schedule above, but the pictures aren’t mine (including the border).
If you look in the picture, you can see that I didn’t block up specific times that I would do my work. If you decide that from 10am-12:00pm, you were going to study, but you end up having to pick up a friend or buy something last minute, you’ll miss that time and you can feel unmotivated. That’s why, instead of specifying a time, block out hours. On Monday, you might set aside 2 hours for Math, and so you have all of Monday to get it done instead of a specific time period. You can even break it up further, meaning you could do an hour after breakfast and an hour after lunch. The key thing here, is flexibility.
2. Be free to Prioritise
I’m sure that when many of you know you have a test coming up, you focus on the subject you have the test on, so you know all your stuff in time. That’s hard to do when you have one single timetable that you use all year round. If you have a test the next day for Biology, but your timetable says you should be doing Physics for two hours, you won’t be keeping to your timetable. Some of you might not think its a big deal, but motivation is hard to find and sticking to a study timetable can actually help a lot of people stay on track. Instead, write out weekly schedules. I wrote mine out today, and it took me about 15 minutes over morning coffee. You can see that the subjects I’m studying that have a lot of hours means I have a test coming up, and the subjects I spend less time in don’t have anything important due.
3. Factor in ‘You!’
Your other commitments have to be counted when making a successful study timetable. If you have work some nights and don’t get home till late, don’t give yourself so much work on those days. I like piling on the work during the weekend, because even if I have a party or I’m going out with friends, there’s more time to focus on all my work as opposed to Wednesday’s when I have work till late. If you’ve got a full day with friends planned for Saturday’s, give yourself the bare minimum to do on that day and make it up another day.
Block up your time periods whatever way suits you. I personally like to study big blocks of work at a time and since I know that’s what works for me, that’s what I do. If you’re more of a 20 minute studier, block your time into 20 minute increments. Don’t follow generic advice about setting aside an hour for each subject if that’s not how you work.
I personally, don’t like pencilling in breaks. If I’m tired, then I’m tired and I need to step back and I again, I don’t like being restricted to when I rest for a bit or not. I’ve blocked out my breaks before, and I remember stopping fifteen minutes before my study time was over because ” my break was in 15 minutes anyway.” If it helps you feel motivated and gives you something to work too, that’s fine, but I really recommend that you don’t set aside specific breaks because you’ll only end up finishing early and forcing yourself to study, as opposed to actually wanting to. If you’re forcing yourself to study, none of the information is going to really stick.
6. Break it up
Mentioned this before, but breaking it up is really important. I know that my 9 hour Saturday study session seems ridiculous, but a 4 hour study session is about normal for me, so I break the 9hrs into two sessions. I do 4 hours before lunch, 4 hours after lunch, take a good few hours of break and then do the last hour just before bed. You’ll actually get everything done, but you won’t feel chained to your desk all the time.
So these are my tips for keeping a study schedule. I hope I helped!