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The Secret Sauce to Creating Great Study Habits this New School Year

01 February 2022   |   by Explore Careers

Limber up, friends; it’s time to kick off the start of another new school year!

We hope everyone had a fantastic time over the holidays and managed to get in some great experiences, plenty of rest, lots of time with your mates, and maybe even some work experience too!

If you’re anything like us, context-switching from the freedom of the holidays back into a structured day can feel like a REAL struggle!

And take it from us – if you don’t prep for the change and set some golden rules for success in place, you’ll wish you had pretty soon.

So we put together this handy little guide to help you out. Consider these our secret-sauce tips for setting yourself up for a cracking new term.

Tidy up your study space.

We know it’s unlikely you spent much (if any!) time studying over the holidays, so we’re willing to bet any study space you had set up has gotten a little messy!

Now’s the perfect time to do a big clean-up; throw out anything you no longer need, set yourself up with some new stationery, clean your desk down and find a good water bottle. Find some of your favourite motivational quotes and fun pictures to liven things up too.

Creating a tidy, clean space that’s inviting and comfortable will help with the motivation to study!

Use colour mapping to get organised.

A great way to get organised and motivated is to use colour-mapping. This essentially means assigning each of your subjects a colour and using that colour across your stationery. For example, blue for English; you can use a blue pen, blue post-it notes, a blue folder and blue highlighters.

This helps to give you a quick and clear visual of all your study documents!

Block out time just for studying.

After a long day at school, blocking out some time in the evening for studying and homework might feel like a chore, but the more you can create a routine and a schedule around this, the better set up for success you’ll be!

Look at it this way – it’s so much better to dedicate an hour or two after school than to spend your entire Sunday studying.

Try time-blocking to break down big projects.

Whether you’ve got a big assignment, exam prep or homework, breaking down your study time into smaller blocks with regular breaks can help you stay fresh and focused.

How you do this depends on your preference, but a common recommendation is to spend 30minutes studying and then take a 10minute break. Remember to use your break wisely – move your body, get a fresh drink or snack, or do something creative – and don’t get distracted with making TikToks!

Study while it’s fresh.

If you know you’ve got an assignment or project due, don’t wait until the last minute to start working on it.

The sooner you work on a project, the fresher the lesson and information will be in your mind. This is also true about note-taking. How many times have you made notes thinking you’ll come back to them when you sit down to do the work a week later, only to realise your notes don’t make sense. Going over them while it’s still fresh means you can clarify what you’ve written and fill in any missing bits.

The sooner you get started, the fresher your knowledge will be, and the easier it will be to study and get things done.

Work together.

Life’s better with mates – and studying is no different! Supporting each other to dedicate proper time to study and planning one or two sessions a week where you all study together and help each other out can make a huge difference!

Why not spend one or two lunch-times a week in the school library getting a head start on your homework or that group project together? This has so many benefits including access to your teachers, resources, and keeping your evening free for the fun stuff.

Block distracting websites and social media.

If you know you find it too easy to get distracted, (hey, who doesn’t? We’d all rather be looking at cat videos any given time of the day!) then a simple trick could be to block social media on your computer or delete the apps for a short period of time from your phone, just while you study.

This can really help you avoid distractions and crack on with your studies!

Plan a reward!

All study and no play makes us all very, very bored – and quite a bit cranky too! You’ll actually study better and feel more motivated if you know you’ve got a nice reward waiting at the end of it.

This can be anything, from a tasty meal or snack, an afternoon with your mates or a long lazy sleep-in on the weekend. Write your reward down on a piece of paper and pin it up in your study space to remind yourself of all the good stuff waiting for you once you finish studying for the day or week.

And the ONE major ingredient?

Some of these might sound like pretty good common sense – and you’ve probably tried a few of them yourself at some point or other!

We know it’s really easy to start the new school year with really good intentions, that then quickly get forgotten or left behind as everything piles up.

So we’re going to tell you the ONE secret-sauce tip that will really make the real difference. Are you ready?

It’s consistency.

Being consistent with these habits is the one sure-fire way to really set yourself up for success. Remember, it’s okay to get stuck or forget, for things to get a bit messy – be kind to yourself but then work to get back on track.

We promise you’ll see some great results!

We also know this list isn’t exhaustive so we’d love to hear from you! What other secret tips for study success have you got up your sleeve?


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