Gretchen Rubin – the author on all things ‘happiness’ and ‘adulthood’ – is a big fan of rules, and one of her rules advocates that creating structure, setting limits and (setting) rules/guidelines themselves, is actually freeing. Why? Gretchen argues that rules ensure you don’t have to dedicate any further energy or thinking time on decisions, planning, or on contemplating what to do next. You already know, because it’s a rule you've made.
As a TAFE Queensland student, now studying at home, we think this is a fabulous bit of advice. So here are our top five suggestions (aka rules/guidelines) for efficient and enjoyable (yes!) study periods at home.
Your sleep pattern and self care
Wake up at the same time each morning – this means going to bed at the same time each night. Then prepare as if you were going in to class, or work; shower, breakfast – do all of the grownup self-care things.
'You' time to face the day
Give yourself some you time before you start – this might be going for a walk or run, yoga, watching the morning news, listening to your favourite podcast. You don’t want to dread the day.
Schedule for your most effective times
Schedule your study periods when you’re typically most effective (i.e. are you a morning person, or a night owl?), and for no more than 45 minutes at a time (use a timer), as this is the typical length one is able to concentrate without distraction. When it’s over – get up, walk around, stretch, get some Vitamin D for 15 minutes, snack, hydrate and refuel.
Tap into a natural rhythm
If you’re sharing a home with others – try and schedule your study sessions in with the natural rhythm of the home – break for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. This is study – it is not jail, and you need to see people.
Know when to clock off and reward yourself
When you’re done, you’re done. Close those books, spend time with your loved ones, and treat yourself to a planned and meaningful reward.