With Travel Best Bets Academy launching soon, I wanted to get you all prepared with a few study tips, since if you’re like me, it’s probably been a long time since you’ve had to think about studying!
TIP #1: Write everything down in a planner
I relied 100% on my planner back when I was in school, as well as today for work. I’d be lost without it! Keeping track of everything you need to get done in a day, for studying, work, and life, is so important. You’ll feel less stressed out knowing that it’s all written down and pre-planned out. It also just feels great to check things off as you go to keep you motivated and feeling good about your progress.
Check out my previous post for my favourite planners.
TIP #2: Find the times you are most motivated to work
I find that I work best super early in the mornings. Because of this, I would schedule my studies for the morning- perhaps before work or before the kids wake up. However if you feel the most energized late at night, then maybe studying after dinner would be the best for you.
Everyone is different so it’s important to find what works best for you and stick with it. Having a routine, even if you can only afford 30 minutes a night, will lead to more productivity than trying to give yourself a full day of uninterrupted study time (which let’s be real, would never happen!).
TIP #3: Set a schedule for yourself
Once you figure out what times you are most productive at you can make a schedule for yourself around those times. Creating a schedule of everything you need to study helps so much, especially with a busy routine in your everyday life. Using the calendar aspect of your planner works perfectly. If you’re more of a visual person, or need a little extra motivation, try a wall calendar over your desk. Having your schedule in direct sight will encourage you to follow it.
Within each study day, break down the tasks at hand into manageable chunks. At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the start of each study session too, so that you’re clear about what you need to be doing with your time.
TIP #4: Designate a study space
It’s so important to have a designated spot where you only think about your studies. Especially if you’ve got other things to think about the rest of the day, such as work or family. Keep in clean and organized, as a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind!
Your study space should generally be quiet, comfortable and distraction-free. Ideally, don’t even have potential distractions within eyesight, as seeing them can be a temptation. The space should also make you feel happy and inspired, so decorate it with your favourite pictures or objects. Especially those that motivate you to work harder (we will touch on this more later).
If you like listening to music or diffusing essential oils, pick a genre and/or a scent that you will only use for studying. When you get into your designated space and hear/smell your study cues- you’ll easily slip right into the zone.
Vancouver’s own Vitruvi has a great Focus blend that you can mist in the room or roll onto your temples. I know current students who swear by this!
TIP #5: Set alarms and timers
It helps to have some plans in motion so you can make the most of your study time, which is why we created the schedule back in tip #3. However actually following through with said schedule is another thing.
Set an alarm to remind you about your schedule. A regular reminder keeps your plans on track and helps you make note of whether you were too ambitious in how much time you’d have for these study dates, or perhaps too lenient. When you revise your study schedule next time, you can make it more realistic for your lifestyle.
Before you start your study session, have a look at your to-do list and give yourself a set time to spend on each task. If you don’t get something done in the set time, consider whether it’s the best use of your time to keep going with it, or to start working on something else. A lot of people swear by the 30-minute rule, which entails setting a timer for 30 minutes and doing nothing but the task at hand. When the timer is up, take a break and move on or set it again if you need more time.
If you’re still finding it hard to find time to study, cut back on some (but not all!) of your other activities. Prioritizing study might mean spending less time online, forgoing your favourite Netflix show at night for a bit, or even waking up a bit earlier than normal.
TIP #6: Discover your learning style
Most of us have a preferred way of learning, so get to know the learning style that works best for you. Writing a summary of the readings/units as you go has always been what worked best for me. I remember things better when I summarize them, write them down and then reread my own paper notes rather than from a screen.
Studying styles are just a way to think about different studying techniques – they’re not hard and fast rules that say you should only study in one way. Try each of these out and see which ways you prefer.
- Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. You might like to record key points and play them back. Or enlist a spouse/child/friend to talk things through with you!
- Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images. There’s also a lot of online resources, such as creating digital quizzes to test yourself, such as Quizlet.
- Tactile/kinesthetic learners prefer to learn by doing. Try using techniques like role-playing or creating mock trips to revise key points.
TIP #7: Find a study group
Working with others encourages an interactive environment to keep you engaged. This gives you a chance to test your knowledge with others, quiz each other on the content, and help boost each other’s confidence. While you don’t have to study with others who are studying the same thing as you, or even studying at all, creating friendships and connections through Travel Best Bets Academy would be amazing! Utilize the Slack and Facebook groups to find others who live in your area, message them to grab a coffee and discuss the content with. From there you two (or more) can coordinate study dates that are both fun and motivating!
If you don’t feel comfortable meeting up with fellow aspiring travel advisors or can’t find anyone in your area, think about any friends you have who work from home, or who simply like to scroll Pinterest for an hour. Better yet, convince your best friend to enroll in Travel Best Bets Academy too and you guys can do it together.
Having someone to hold you accountable to showing up is sometimes all you need. Grab your laptops and head to a cute cafe for a quick study session!
TIP #8: Ask for help
If you’re stuck on something, or something just doesn’t seem to make sense, you can always ask someone for help. At Travel Best Bets Academy, you can always email us at [email protected] or reach out to your fellow student through Slack or Facebook (connected pages are linked within the course).
TIP #9: Stay motivated
When you’re studying it helps to keep in mind your reasons for doing all this hard work, like the career you’re working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals. For example, put up a picture of your dream office on the wall, or the logo of the company you can’t wait to work for. If your goal is a home-based career, put up pictures of your family or whatever other reason you have to want to be close to home.
You could also decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire and family members you want to make proud of you. Anything that inspires you to study harder will work!
TIP #10: Look after yourself
You’ll study better if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and physical exercise. Don’t reward yourself with too many sugary snacks (although we won’t tell if you do sometimes) or push yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to make sure you drink lots of water when you’re studying and eat healthy foods that promote brain health and memory (such as walnuts, salmon, turmeric, broccoli, etc.).
I hope these tips help you get back into student mode. What are some of your best study tips?