Study Tips | How To Get To Your Productive Zone Faster | Study Checklist included!


Exposition dump: No one is bad at studying, it's just hard to get inside the productive zone. Disclaimer This guide is for independent study. This requires a structured, disciplined, and organized mindset. I based this list solely on how well I did during my college years when I took anatomy, and neuroscience (which is anatomy on steroids). 

  • Create at least two deadlines. But make it three deadlines if possible.  (early, mid, latest)
  • Separate easy tasks vs hard tasks.  This should help you feel like you can tackle studying sessions better.
  • Pick a study buddy or buddies
  • Choose your study drink. For me, it's strictly water. It's the food of the brain. Coffee just gives you a weird buzz, and I don't think you want to be dehydrated when you want to optimize your brain functioning. Hydrating with plain water is the way to go. Of course, you can also dress it up, by adding fresh fruits like strawberries, lemon, and pineapple. But don't forget water. Coffee only looks good for dark academia aesthetics, but it's not gonna help you study at your best. 
  • Choose a study snack. Such as strawberries, sushi, salad, and assorted nuts. If you don't believe me, you can always look up health articles on what the food craves for optimized functionality. 
  • Choose your study time. For me, my productive hours peak late afternoon around 4 PM, and early in the mornings around 4 AM. 
  • Reminder| Food of the brain: water & nuts 
  • Pick a small silent to small ambient noise to study with. There are lots of relaxing and soft playlists on Youtube dedicated to helping you study 
  • Cross-productivity: Combine with workout routines. Listen to your lectures while you lift weights. Combining two hobbies reinforces the other better and vice versa. 
  • Choose smaller chunks of hours to study. For example, choosing to complete 1 module vs 5 hours of studying with lots of distractions. 
  • Getting into the study zone is hard to start and break but don't overwork yourself. 
  •  Preparing to get inside your study zone is not wasted time. Just imagine your study zone as an actual, physical place you have to get to and you have to be there and be comfortable for hours. 
  • Don't fall into the rabbit hole of study tip videos. There is no lose-lose situation in restudying, and reteaching yourself things you already covered. You can always adjust your efficiency later if you feel like you can do something in a faster way. 
  • Create both physical and digital index cards. You can review them while you're waiting on the bus, train, or while waiting in line for food (those long Starbucks lines). Writing things out physically on paper with a pen or pencil, anchors and grounds new information much better than typing stuff out. 
  • Create your own mock exams. Fill-in-the-blank sections are the best way to integrate lessons into memory.
  • Create your own mock quizzes. See above bullet point. 
  • Use your resources such as study groups, ask graduate students, ask professors, ask tutors 
  • Recording yourself, if you are an auditory learner is helpful in recalling information. 
  • Visual learners rely on  Venn diagrams and charts to help organize thoughts and concepts better
  • My only break is actually needing to use the restroom. Even then, it's still helpful to ruminate on whatever lesson you're covering. 
  • Get rid of distractions earlier in the day ( Do your errands, watch your youtube videos, tv shows, and films before study time - that way you don't feel deprived when it's time to set time aside for reading chapters and completing quizzes and research papers) 
  • Only stop when my mind can  no longer process information or in my case when my legs start to fall asleep
  • Then it's a good idea to go on a Yoga break or a short walk. Increase the circulation in your body. 
  • My Go-to Pre-ritual Study: Listening to podcasts (This way you're already absorbing information, and your brain is less likely to be resistant when it comes to digesting new information). 



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  1. These are some great tips! I've always been so bad at self-studying because I get distracted or lose motivation easily. However, I'm trying to implement studying into my routine again because I really want to learn Korean so I'm starting over (for the millionth time! haha) ♥

    1. Hi Michelle! Thank you so much for reading this post :) I'm sorry this response is very late, but I really enjoyed reading your comment. And same!!! This is the millionth time I'm starting over with learning Japanese. Kanji always intimidates me, but I'm definitely gonna think of it as a challenge from now on :D



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