Summer is over and school is in. And for some of you you are entering into an education that is going to affect your future career. Some of you may be returning to studies for the first time of many years. And for all of you, you are probably feeling nervous because this is the time where you are playing with the big boys.
Higher education really does matter on the life scale. And it’s because of this that the stress factor and nerve factor is way higher than it has been before.
Now I have been working as a student life coach for the last three years in different business academies and universities. And one of the things I see year after year is that in the first 4 months of their education new students put themselves under so much unnecessary pressure and stress that by the Christmas hols they are a bag of nerves and sometimes at breaking point.
It’s horrid to see and horrid to experience. Both for teachers and students alike.
And do you know what IT IS AVOIDABLE.
Trust me. I coach students year after year to do this.
The key is creating healthy study habits, from the start.
And the students I coach in this from the start of their education have less stress, more fun and better results.
So if you want to have a great educational experience then read on because here are my top 5 tips for creating Healthy study habits.
Simplify and systemise your life.
Once term has started and you have got into the flow it is time to simplify and systemise your life. And that my friends means time management. And most importantly minimising decision stress
I have a few article about time management tools and minimising decision stress that you might find really helpful to do this
Know your learning style
We are all different and we all take in formation in different ways. Knowing how you learn best will benefit you for the rest of your life. For me it was a game changer. Some of us learn best by simply listening to others, some learn better with images, others with hands-on work. Figuring out your learning style can determine how you can get the most out of class and studying. If you don’t know your learning style, take this learning assessment to figure it out. Then base your study practice around it.
Do the things you don’t want to do first
One of the big enemies of all students is procrastination. It makes for so much unnecessary stress. We often, especially when it comes to exams, put off the things we are scared of. The irony is that once you get those things done you feel better. Who doesn’t want to feel better quicker? So get them done first and the day is always going to get better cause you have faced your fear.
PLAN PLAN PLAN
Plan your study time and your projects. Break tasks down into small chunks. I ask all my students to make a project plan for all their big projects. Breaking down the sections of the project they have to write, defining their action steps to completing each section and scheduling the start and end date of each section. Then they just follow the plan.
Schedule breaks when studying outside of class. The human brain can only take in info for 40 mins so give yourself breaks away from the books, computers AND your phones. A quick yoga break, going for a walk, listening to music and dancing, eating. It will all recharge your brain and mean that you are more productive. I encourage all of my students to have an end of day time. At least an hour and half before bed to wind down and recharge their batteries. It helps not only your studies but also helps you get a good night sleep.
Drop the perfectionism
Yes you want to do your best but this can also be destructive. I often ask my students to make a success criteria for their bigger projects or exams. Not basing this on their results but on how they want to improve from their previous work. They brainstorm 3- 5 points that will tell them they did it good enough. And then they put that up where they can see it. It becomes their north star and allows them to feel happy about their work without the perfectionism taking over their mental health.
Take Care of your body
The body is a machine just like a car. Without fuel, liquid, breaks it won’t run properly. Neither do you. When you are studying your brain is basically going to the gym. And if you are studying in a foreign language you are doing brain crossfit. So take care of your body. Eat sleep, rest, move and make having fun important too. If you prioritize taking care of your body it will give you the best opportunity to get the most out of your studies without stress.
Don’t be serious all the time
Fun, smiling, laughing gives us dopamine which removes cortisol, the stress hormone. If you are feeling demotivated, plan in a fun activity into your week to cheer you up. And I am not talking about a party. Do something you find fun. Have a mini adventure weekend. Have a picnic. Build a pillow fort. Do whatever will make you smile. It’s going to make you more efficient than an entire weekend of studying.
Which of these study habits are you going to try during the first month of your education?
Let me know in the comments below
Don’t forget if you need support during your education one of the best ways you can do that is to have a life coach. So if you need me here are the details of my coaching for students
Have a great study start