So, it’s that time of year again - stressful whether you are in your first year or final year, whether you feel prepared or unprepared. Now we're nearing the end of exam season, the summer break is calling and concentraction levels may be waivering. Follow the 5 points below to help you make it through those last few weeks...
Essays and exams are hard. They’re supposed to be – you knew that before you came to University. But there are some ways you can prevent procrastination and, in turn, actually DO your work instead of rushing it all at the last minute. If you’re fed up of chastising yourself for watching yet another video instead of writing your first sentence or reading another chapter, here are some handy life hacks that could get you on your way to becoming a first-class nerd. Or, you know…staying sane.
Break it down
Getting started is often the hardest thing about working on something so daunting and complicated you can barely read the question. But if you break your work down into small, manageable chunks, suddenly everything seems less overwhelming and getting started becomes much easier, giving you less reason to procrastinate. For some tips on how to do this, see this quick guide – it’s a skill that can be used for any project, so learn it now!
Structure your time
Revision schedules are dull, but they do help prevent distractions. Planning how you will get all of your work done can give you piece of mind and, even if you don’t stick to it, you will be able to gauge how far in front or behind you are based on your schedule. Furthermore, if you have planned everything out, you can also plan breaks, relaxation and rewards for yourself, turning procrastination into a part of the revision process itself. See this WikiHow guide to make a timetable yourself, or use this website to make one for you.
Change the scenery
It is all too easy to procrastinate sat on your own in your room, but research shows that when we think someone is watching us, we behave better. Working somewhere quiet but full of people, like a library, park, small café or even just your living room can then help you to stay focused – so long as it’s not loud and distracting.
Listen to the right sounds
Binaural beats are sounds that are at specific frequencies that can do some funky stuff to your brain. They work by stimulating the brain with low-frequency pulsations, and though there is some scepticism about whether gamma binaural beats can help concentration, it’s always worth a try. There are binaural beats available for free on YouTube, but if they don’t float your boat there are plenty of other ways you can use sound to help you concentrate. Some people use white noise, others classical music, but so long as it drowns out those distracting thoughts it doesn’t really matter what you listen to.
Do something else
The optimum time to spend revising is 20-30 minutes, which means you need to take breaks, no matter how close your deadline is, in order to remember all that information. Research has shown that wakeful resting helps your brain to consolidate the information you have just learned, and so simply doing nothing could actually be much more effective than non-stop cramming. If you are really pressed for time, though, try mixing things up so that you don’t get bored – 20 minute on one topic, 20 minutes on the next. This will not only make things more interesting but it will prevent your mind from wandering.
And one more thing – stop reading this article. Good luck!
From The Blog
Eating Healthy on a Student Budget
Now, we students aren’t the only guilty ones. People of all ages seem to have this stereotypical idea that buying and cooking fresh food is more expensive than loading up on fast food and ready meals – when actually, they couldn’t be more wrong!
How Food Packaging Can Save You Money
WRAP suggest that 60% of all household waste is caused by the misunderstanding of food labels. Considering the scares in the food industry lately, this is completely understandable – nobody wants to risk eating dodgy meat. However, it is not necessarily the date that is important on food labels. It is the pesky phrases that come before it that are causing the confusion.
Family Flat Nights In
Time flies when you’re having fun, and before you know it you’ll be packing your stuff back up even though it only seems like yesterday when you moved in. Hopefully for most of you in first year at Uni, living in halls of residence has been a good experience, sure it’s never a smooth ride for anybody but hopefully you’ve had fun, met some great people and most importantly enjoyed yourself.
Christmas shopping on a budget
I know what you are thinking; the loan is quickly running out as the first academic term of the year is slowly drawing in and the worry on students’ minds of making sure they can stick to a small budget is enough to make your eyes water! It can be really hard to balance a budget for Christmas as well as leaving enough for yourself to attend those Christmas parties, roast dinners with housemates or buy decorations for your room to make it feel more Christmassy! You can easily budget for Christmas if you have little money left. A little can go a long way and it’s important to remember that it’s the thought that counts!