How to Make the Most of a Day of Studying

stocksnap_h2snxcyg1tMidterm season is upon us! If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking of all the exams and due dates looming, wondering how you’re going to make it through the semester.

The coming weeks will likely hold long days of studying at the library, some more productive than others. Staying focused can be hard, but after 5 years of university, I think I’ve finally figured out some strategies to be as productive as possible during a day at the library. Here are some of my tips to get you through the rest of the semester!

1. Set a goal

Before you start your day of studying, set a goal (or several) for what you want to get done. For example, on Saturday I set 3 goals: to read 50 pages of my Trusts coursepack in preparation for the upcoming test, complete all five Trusts practice quizzes, and write 2 pages of my Civil Procedure essay.

Having a goal in mind makes it easier to get work done and feel accomplished, as opposed to feeling like you’re just endlessly reading your textbook or writing your essay. The sooner you reach your goal for the day, the sooner you can leave the library, so that’s excellent motivation to be efficient with your time.

stocksnap_72r81vrmm02. Get an early start

When I have a long day of school work ahead of me, I always set an alarm to get an early start on the day. As tempting as it is to sleep in and have a relaxing morning watching Netflix, you’re probably better off starting your day early so that you have a full day of productivity ahead of you.

If you’re really dedicated, try to show up for when the library opens. Lucky for me, the law library doesn’t open till 10am on the weekends!

3. Caffeinate

No explanation needed. Caffeine (at least in my books) is a necessity for getting work done.

If coffee's not your thing, tea or hot chocolate works too!

If coffee’s not your thing, tea or hot chocolate works too!

4. Schedule breaks

Set a time that you’re going to ditch the books for a lunch break! It will give you something to look forward to. And make sure you’re getting up and walking around at least every hour to stretch your legs and keep your mind fresh.

What happens when you try to access a website on your blacklist

What happens when you try to access a website on your blacklist.

5. Minimize distractions

Social media and Netflix are my biggest nemeses when I’m trying to get work done. If I don’t restrict myself, I get super distracted when I’m working on something I don’t want to be doing (i.e. a research paper).

Luckily, I recently discovered an app that solves this problem. SelfControl is an app that allows you to block your own access to distracting websites. All you have to do is add websites to your “blacklist”, set a timer, and click “start”. Voila! Your productivity will likely increase dramatically.

6. Have something to look forward to

If you’re at the library all day, and all you have to look forward to in the evening is more studying, you might feel pretty miserable and unmotivated. Last Saturday, when I had tons of school work to do, I had fun dinner plans with friends to look forward to. This gave me more motivation to achieve my study goals!

A fun night out with friends to reward myself for a hard day's work!

A fun night out with friends to reward myself for a hard day’s work!

Let me know some of your tips for productivity. Happy studying!

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