Who wants a new career or promotion? YAY! Who wants to make money doing something they love? YAY! Who wants to study and do assessments? …BOO! We hear you. Whilst we all know we have to ‘hustle’ to get where we want to go in life; study, completing assignments, group projects and preparing for exams - when our plates are already full with work, family and social commitments/NETFLIX - can be very unappealing and laborious. But… essential.
So, here are six tips to help you get through the ‘slog’ of study and keep you motivated and moving forward towards your goals.
1. Establish your study environment.
Know the best time of day that you’re most productive. Eliminate distractions (yes – your phone too!), set up a pleasant, calm and comfortable environment, and break every 45 minutes. Every three hours reward yourself. Perhaps an episode of your favourite TV series, favourite drink from a café, phone a friend or family member, a quick run or walk - keep it short, but definitely make it something you enjoy.
2. Download helpful Apps to keep you on track.
Here are some examples; voice dictation (Dragon Dictation), to do lists or scheduling (todolist), flashcards (FlashCards++). Experiment with productivity apps and find what works for you regarding efficiency and ease of use.
3. Form a support team of ‘study buddies’ consisting of classmates, and other TAFE Queensland staff and services.
You and your study buddies can discuss (either formally or informally) content and assessment throughout your course period, however, remember to submit your own work. If you are studying online and you do not know other classmates, make use of the free TAFE Queensland support services and speak with your teacher as first port of call.
4. Schedule your assessment.
Ensure you record all due dates for assessment somewhere where you can view the whole semester, by two, hardcopy and electronically. Use reminders also. There is nothing worse than flipping over a physical calendar month and seeing a forgotten exam scheduled for the first week of the next (month). Cue: blood draining from face.
5. Start on assessment early if possible and progress.
However, you will need to have read or learnt about all necessary relating content. I also say ‘progress’ because ‘completion anxiety’ is real – i.e. starting early and putting off finishing. Also clarify any uncertainties you have relating to the criteria, early on. Speak to your teacher as soon as possible. Sometimes students put off what they don’t understand, and this never ends well.
6. Share the study load.
By this we mean have your family or friends review your completed assessment before you submit it. Sometimes you get too close to the work and can’t see errors or omissions. This ‘second set of eyes’ will save you lots of time and panic as you approach the deadline.
Lastly celebrate when you have submitted your work and celebrate again when you get a competent result. Study doesn’t have to be all serious.