Routine is “the normal order and way in which you regularly do things” and it is extremely positive because after you do that thing every day, at the same time, in the same place, you are conditioned to it and not think about how to start every time.
Before having a solid study routine, I’ve always been asking myself “should I start to study now? What about in one hour, maybe I’ll be more fresh after eating…”. What I realized is that every time I used to spend a lot of energy telling myself I have to start now, but with a study routine everything is easier day by day, and you reach a point where you don’t even ask yourself when, how and what you should start, because everything is already planned.
Having a routine helps you make fewer decisions during the day, and this is essential because you won’t waste time and make bad decisions.
Why do you need a study routine?
If you create a study routine, you will be able to do all the things that you planned to, because you will make better use of your time and reach all your goals.
It is essential to:
- increase productivity: a study routine can help you to focus on what you are doing and not think about anything else till you finish that task
- be less stressed: you won’t feel anxious and worried because you know when the task will be completed
- have more free time: if you follow the routine, you will plan also your free time for other activities and hobbies
- better results: when you strictly follow your study plan, be sure the results will come
How many hours a day you should study
There is no fixed rule for everybody because it depends on how much time you can concentrate on one topic, how many times you need to remember things and the priority you want to give to study. Usually, if you have classes to attend, you should study 3-4 hours a day, while if your classes are over and you don’t have to go to University or school, then the hours become 7-8. The most important thing to remember is that your brain needs time to process the new information, so it is also important to rest.
Best time of day to study
A lot of students would like to know when it is the best time to study. Usually, the brain tends to focus more during the morning, because after a refreshing night it is ready to get new information, so it is the best time to learn something new or recall details of what you have studied before. On the other hand, during the afternoon students can create connections between what they already know and what they have just learned.
Studying during the day or the night can have different benefits.
- sunlight keeps you alert
- your brain is refreshed after the night
- your mind is ready for new information
- your colleagues and teachers are awake, so if you have any questions they can help you.
If you are this type of student, here you can find some early morning study tips: go to bed early, have a healthy breakfast, do some meditation or sport before starting, open the window and let the sunlight enter the room, if you study at home, don’t keep your pyjamas on, but get ready like you are supposed to go out.
- the world is sleeping, so there are fewer distractions
- it is more peaceful and quiet
- if there are other activities you have to do during the day, you still have time to study
- If you sleep after studying, the new information will be consolidated in the night
If instead you love studying at night, be sure to take more breaks, switch off the tv, avoid heavy dinner and alcohol, and don’t drink too much coffee.
The best way to understand if you are a day-studier or a night-studier is to try both, and see when you are more efficient.
How to study for long hours with concentration
If you want to study for long hours with concentration, you should first eliminate the sources of distraction, for example, phone, tablets, tv; then, you should create a suitable environment, without noise, with comfortable seating and good light, moreover, you should make a list of things to achieve every day so you have a general view of what to do in a day.
How to create a study routine
If you want to create a perfect study routine, first there are some factors you should consider: your biological clock and what time of the day you can focus better, your other activities other than studying, your natural attitude to learning new things, your grade level and how much time it requires.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can follow these instructions to create your study schedule:
- Sit down and take your agenda, it can be an online one or a paper one
- Find out if you are a day-studier or a night one
- Make a list of the activities you have to do that week, including others than study
- Decide when do you want to study and try to create two or three sessions of study of three hours each
- Try to have the same timetable every day, for example, if you decide to study from 9 am to 12 am and from 15 pm to 19 pm, schedule the same every day
- Divide the tasks you have to do into 3 different groups in order of importance and put them in your schedule
- Try to combine a difficult task with an easy one every day, so you won’t need the same amount of energy throughout the day
- Plan what time to wake up and go to sleep, if you don’t sleep well also your study will be affected
- Find a good place to study, it can be at home, at university, in a library, in a cafè, in a park
- Don’t forget to take breaks every hour, just five minutes or some steps are enough to reactivate your attention.
- Study every day to settle down the routine
- Make your study planner, draw it and fill it with different colours depending on the importance of the task
- Switch off your phone, the tv and other sources of distraction
- Take breaks every hour
- Ask other students for advice
- Use flow charts and diagrams
- After you study something, try to write something about it without checking the book, it will help to memorise it
- Repeat, repeat, repeat, there is no other way to remember new information other than repeating them, you can do it orally or written
- You can join a study session room online
- Play some music if it helps you concentrate.