9 ways to good study habits - medsmarter

Finally, the holiday season has come to an end, and it’s time to get back into the swing of studying, or perhaps you are starting a new academic year. Either way, there have been many changes to the learning and teaching environment, and your study habits will need to adapt accordingly.

Some of you might be starting Medical School this year, and others are maybe resuming with their academic calendars. So here are nine ways (and additional tips) to get back into the groove of good study habits. You can practice these methods until they become a habit. They don’t necessarily need to only be after the holidays.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 and 2021 provided us with forced extended holidays in some areas. It somewhat shook our daily routines and lifestyles completely—hopefully, the lifestyle adjustments would be healthier. From its looks, we will have to continue the pattern into 2022.

How learning has transformed in the past two years:

Covid-19 has dramatically changed the education system on so many levels, significantly increasing the eLearning sector.

Educational institutions worldwide have taken necessary precautions for their students’ and staff’s safety, including remote Learning and teaching from virtual classrooms (online platforms).

The education delivery has changed so much in ways that people could not even imagine earlier. Board exams conducted through online mode were beyond imagination. But the situation demanded these changes.

Delivering education online has now become more and more the new norm. However, that’s not to say it’s not without its challenges. Things may seem to get back to the ‘original’ normal at times. First with the pandemic disruptions and then with the holidays, what is that normal now anyhow? Whatever the ‘new norm’ may be, students have to be ready to get back to their study routines.

Here are 9+ tips that may help you to build excellent study habits after the holidays:

1. Get mentally prepared

The Holiday Season may have seemed long and overwhelming for many people. Getting back into a routine that works can be a tricky and daunting experience.

It is super important to prepare yourself mentally to get back to a regular study routine to tackle loads of tasks, assignments, projects, and exams.

2. Re-Establish Routines:

To prepare oneself for a positive study routine, shifting the mindset is critical.

Re-establishing a routine should be a top priority for mindset shifting. The human body craves to have a pattern, and we as humans long to adhere to it for an organized and rhythmic lifestyle.

All human beings have an internal clock and a process that synchronizes the sleep-wake cycle, which repeats itself every day. It is also called the circadian cycle.

3. Reset your Natural Sleep Cycle:

When we are on holiday, this circadian cycle is altered based on our activities. Late nights, sleeping for a few extra hours more than usual, etc., can change our natural process.

Therefore, to reset our cycle and bring it back to normal, it is necessary for us to re-establish our routine. This routine is where we need to decide when we wake up and go to bed. It is a natural process and cannot change within a day or two.

Start practicing it at least two or three weeks before your classes resume. Once you start sleeping early, you will automatically notice changes in your sleeping schedule and quality of rest.

4. Engage in staying active for extended hours:

Apart from a regular night’s sleep, the holidays usually induce a few more hours in our sleep schedule. When getting back to med school or college, you will have to stay alert and active for long hours to complete tasks and study. Practice it simultaneously when you are working on resetting your sleep cycle.

5. Build your mental and physical stamina:

Building mental stamina strength is vital for staying active for long hours. Most probably, your long hours for college will start from the early morning and stretch late into the evenings. Here are some things that can help to build your stamina:

  • Go for an early morning walk 

Walking is an excellent habit to opt for a healthy body & lifestyle. A morning walk can be one of the best things to refresh your mind and build up stamina all day long. Morning walks will also offer you ample fresh air and oxygen to refresh your mind.

  • Go to the gym

Going to the gym will play a significant role in your routine re-establishment. When you go to the gym and exercise, it gets off all the extra load of stress and helps you stay healthy and fresh all time.

It will also help you with resetting your schedule. As you start heading to the gym, you will go through the phase of tiredness, which will result in making you fall asleep early.

  • Alternatives to gym 

If you think going to the gym is heavy for your routine, then replace it with other physical activity such as:

  • Outdoor Sport

An outdoor sport like football, volleyball, tennis, etc., will help you stay fresh throughout the day. These sports will also help you stay active and healthy.

  • Meditation

Meditation is a popular method for self-care. It can also help with brain stamina as it assists in keeping your brain calm and active.

Apart from this, you can engage yourself in any physical activity that may help you stay up for a long time during the day. Make sure you choose the one you can continue further in your routine.

6. Re-evaluate your time management plan:

Proper management of time is one of the most crucial segments of every student’s life. All of us as students may have struggled with poor time management kicks. Time management is crucial whether writing exams, completing assessments, preparing for exams or projects. All these activities are a part of our curriculum but may not have a specific time allotment. All these are always to be done simultaneously with our regular college work and studies.

So let’s see how we can re-evaluate our time management plan and frame a more fruitful schedule.

  • Recall your last time management plan.

Try to recall how you managed to do things in your last semester before you begin constructing a time management plan for your post-holiday study schedule.

Figure out how effective your previous plan was.

Ask yourself questions like, “did I complete my assignments on time or at the last moment?”

“Did I allocate enough time preparing for my exams?”

“Did I invest extra late-night hours in completing the assignments?”

Depending on your answers, your time management plan may have lacked to fulfill your activity demand.

Once you have answered all these questions, grab a coffee and a paper and pen. Now sit back and write down the reasons you think caused all the setbacks. Write down what went wrong with your previous time management plan, also make a note of what worked.

  • Design a new time management plan

When you know what things were lacking in your previous plan, keep everything in your mind and construct a new one.

Make sure you avoid mistakes that you made last time. If you think it is difficult to redesign the plan or understand what went wrong, seek assistance.

You can go to the academic support center of your college or work with a counselor there. Discuss what you figured out and what you feel may still be challenging.

Tips to remember while designing a time management plan:

  • Stop micromanaging yourself. 

Initially, it won’t be easy, prepare a schedule with bite-sized tasks and make them highly detailed.

  • Make use of the Agenda. 

A schedule with a detailed plan will help you look ahead for your upcoming projects and assignments.

Without fail, add the extracurricular activity or hobby you follow simultaneously in the Agenda.

A detailed plan will prevent you from over-involvement in any unnecessary tasks.

  • Set goals based on sessions 

Do not plan out your study schedule so that everything comes up in bulk. Set it accordingly based on sessions, and it will also help you keep up with revision.

  • Do one thing at a time. 

Do not overburden yourself, and avoid multitasking, especially if you are not a master in it. Multitasking can lead to more wastage of time unless and until you have enough experience practicing.

7. Prepare yourself to hit the books

After a long holiday, getting your head back into study mode isn’t that easy. Once college resumes, you may need to allocate your time reading textbooks, researching, studying project topics, and preparing notes, assignments, and projects, respectively. You will have to prepare yourself for all these activities.

Reading a little more and more is a practice that will help you build a reading habit soon after your vacation.

Yes, you will have to bring back your reading routine before your classes resume to avoid stress.

The best part is you can read some interesting books of your choice in this period, which will help you adapt to the habit of reading.

Tips –

Try reading at least two books in a week. You can read personality development books that can help you enhance your skills. Prepare notes from these books that will help you improve your skills and prepare notes prep. You can also practice notes preparation.

8. Organize your study space

Once you are back from the holidays and start working on good study habits, your initial step should be to organize your study space. Our study space plays an essential role in our inputs and outputs.

According to psychology, our attitude, productivity, and moods change depending on our working space. So not only is an organized desk important, but an organized schedule is also essential to achieve the respective goals. A famous saying comes around “For every minute spent organizing, is an hour earned.”

Tips to organize your study space –

Choosing the correct place –

Choose a place that does not limit natural light and air. Choose an area, which is free from distractions and is comfortable.

Adorning study space –

Create a healthy environment for yourself. Decorate your study space with motivational posters, educational charts, indoor plants, your favorite sports star posters, or anything that brings your good vibes. Doing so will help you create a healthy study space that is well-organized and pleasing to keep you motivated.

9. Set realistic goals

Setting goals is crucial, but if they are not realistic, you will be frustrated. Many times students also get depressed if they cannot set realistic goals.

Keeping unrealistic expectations from ourselves will affect none but ourselves.

How to set realistic study goals?

Setting a goal to study harder and score higher cannot be considered a realistic goal. Your goal must be specific and measurable. If you cannot figure out whether you have achieved the goal or not, then it is of no use.

  • Be specific 

Be very specific with dates, time, numbers, and other factors to measure your success and track your progress. Create weekly and monthly goals; this will help you stay updated with progress.

  • Stay motivated 

It is essential to stay motivated, no matter your goal to achieve it. Plans that help you stay motivated to help you stay disciplined will help you achieve the best out of everything.

  • Plan your strategies very wisely 

Work on finding the answers to “HOW,” for instance,

“How will you achieve your specific goals?”

“How to accomplish the tasks in time?” and work on the same.

  • Plan to tackle the stumbling blocks 

Many times you will encounter situations where your strategies aren’t working. If your time management schedule may be affected, be prepared in advance.

Always make a schedule that offers a little flexibility to manage to complete other necessary tasks at those moments.

  • Get ready to be roasted. 

Yes, you cannot expect everything to go exceptionally well and according to your plan. Many times, you will face situations that will leave you stubborn and stressed.

Your schedule might not work well at times with circumstances so, relax and make possible alterations.

Do not stress out and make possible changes. Maybe your schedule asks you to study 45 mins daily after you are back from college, but perhaps you get tired and can’t complete the task. Instead, you can review in the morning hours or after your lunch break.

  • Reward yourself 

Rewarding yourself for every achievement you make is essential to keep yourself motivated. Offer yourself some treats when you earn good grades or win a competition.

Doing so will boost motivation and help work with a positive mindset.

Conclusion

Although it is not easy to get back to our studies, it is possible to do something with all our heart and a plan. When you stick to working hard towards your goals, it will come back to you as a reward in itself.

Our goal is to minimize the stress medical students face on their journey to becoming physicians. Our M.A.P.S. platform does just that. It helps you manage your schedule, track your performance, and hold yourself accountable – all while reducing the level of anxiety and stress that comes with medical education. Create a free account today and see for yourself.

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