Mess, sleepless nights and rabbit holes: a guide to studying at uni

With term time back underway and new students getting used to uni work, we thought we’d have a look at the best ways to stay productive – and get your work done on time!

Create a healthy working environment

We know how it is, you’ve finally got the freedom to have your space however you want it, so why would you change that? But believe us, a tidy work space makes for a productive student, and a productive student means more time to enjoy yourself and less time staring at an empty word document. Chuck the pizza boxes away, open the curtains and sit down at a clear desk and you’ll find you’re done in no time.

Eliminate any disctractions

This means all distraction – put your phone on silent, close down twitter and facebook, turn off the tv and focus on what you’re doing. It might be more fun to check your messages or watch a film at the same time, but the work will take ten times longer when you’re not paying in your full attention.

Keep your work organised

Type up your notes, file your essays, create folders on your laptop – however you want to organise your work, just make sure it’s organised! Not only does this help keep the mess down and makes for a better working space, but it makes revising and writing future essays so much easier. A little effort now will cut your stress in half when the end of term comes.

shelves

Don’t get pulled down the fact-finding rabbit hole

There will always be times when you need to go online to find information and verify facts, but it’s so easy to start out reading something useful and hours later find yourself wrapped up in something completely unrelated. If this sounds all too familiar to you, try substituting facts and figures with a note that can be replaced later. Using a seldom-occurring sequence of letters like “TDK” to stand in for quotes and numbers means you can complete your essay quicker, and then go back and fill in the gaps at the end without getting distracted.

Set a study time – and a break time – and stick to it

Decide when you’ll study and how long you’ll study for. Having a start time gives your studying a structured feeling to it and setting an end time makes concentrating easier, because you know how long you have until you can stop. Scheduling in regular breaks is also a good way to make the time you’ve allocated to studying more productive – aiming to complete 500 words before the next break not only pushes you to work quicker, but breaks up longer essays into smaller chunks and makes them feel more achievable.

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