Sorting Through Study Tips

My study habits are abysmal. I watch Netflix and touch my phone. Flick my attention back and forth from computer to phone. Sitting for hours trying to decipher bad notes during exams I become a couch potato, consistently snacking.  Above all I am disorganised.

As a university student I am bombarded with tips and tricks for studying success but have never really attempted to try any of them because of my own laziness and doubt. They say that deciding to change is one of the major steps of self-improvement success.

I researched and decided which life hacks seemed to be best, unfortunately finding out the new and improved me would be allowed no more doodles, no more messy desk, and much more exercise.

Day 1: Clean work space / Weird Flavoured Gum / 30 Minutes Studying and Then a 5 Minute Break

The only thing I could think about through out Day One’s study session was how disgusting this gum tasted. Menthol Liquorice and my eyes flicking towards my timer meant that for the first block of 30 minutes, and I found that it was very hard to get back into a concentrated work flow. On the positive side, because my space was clean, I felt better about working from home, and was able to get about two hours of good studying done with four 5 minute breaks.


Day 2: Clean Work Space / Listening to the ‘Right’ Music / Make Flash Cards

Making the flash cards helped more than using them, because they forced me to make sure I understood the words and concepts I was writing down. I found out that I didn’t actually know what “Hvor skal du hen” meant.

In the future I will be definitely using flash cards for the Danish final exam. The classical music was just generic and boring. Because I was wasn’t engaged by it I was able to concentrate and also be relaxed.


Day 3: Study in Public / Neat Notes

Studying in the evening at Studenterhuset is a bad choice. I made zero progress on my paper and made terrible notes.

Day 4: Exercise Hell (Work out before studying / Workout during 5 minute breaks / Block Unnecessary Apps 

This was saddest, most tiring, and the most work got done at one time. To warm up my brain I did yoga until I was buzzing. My body was both relaxed and ready to go, making it easy to concentrate through the 30 minute work period, when I had to rip myself from my seat and do push ups and sit ups.

I shut down my phone, put my computer away and became entirely analogue. I got through a lot of text but I was exhausted and grumpy by then end of the study period.

Day 5: Read Aloud

The sound of my own voice made me cringe, but it was useful to practice Danish. I can’t imagine myself reading entire chapter to my self. I lasted 15 minutes and quit.

Research shows that everyone learns differently and I have come to the conclusion that I learn inconsistently depending on my mood and energy level.  I’m glad I gave these life hacks a chance. Although exercise isn’t for everyone, I definitely think it helped me most and recommend it to jumpstart concentration or give your brain a little break.

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