10 Things that ruin Easter Revision

We’re about to give you the greatest excuses for all that procrastination you’ve been and will go through. Here’s our theory, it’s not your fault! Our thoughts and thus our choices are shaped by our environment; our architecture. Don’t believe us? Then read Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. If there’s fruit on offer instead of cake, we choose the healthy option. If you put a target in the centre of a urinal, you get less spillage. And if you get the architecture wrong, your productivity suffers. Here are our

1. Your Bed:

Studying in a room where your bed is nearby is a recipe for disaster. Or rather, a recipe for falling asleep. You associate your bed with rest and relaxing. Having that thought right by your desk will only lead your mind astray.

2. TV:

Working near a TV may seem such a great idea on the surface. You may think it will keep you stimulated and working for longer. That won’t happen. You’ll just abandon work and end up watching another episode of Breaking Bad or the live football.

3. The Internet:

The Internet is much too abundant with distractions like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. ‘It’s a research tool’ you may say. Yes, it is. But it also can be the source of many funny cat videos, memes and embarrassing photos of your friends. Avoid it if you can.

4. Rowdy People:

Don’t work near your friends. They’ll just start talking to you/making funny faces/poking you profusely. Unless your friend is super keen and has a cataclysmic fury which prevents you from disturbing them, keep your studying an individual affair.

5. Sugar:

Okay we’re being a bit hasty here. Some sugar is good. You need lots of fruit and carbs to power your day. But don’t binge on sugary snacks and drinks. They’ll simply make you hyper (and thus unable to work) before crashing (and thus unable to work). You get the picture.

6. The Great Outdoors:

Two issues with this. Firstly, if you’re reading this in the UK, we so rarely have the weather for an outdoor retreat whilst studying. So we advise being less idealistic. Secondly, working outside always gets messy. Be it papers being blown away, an uneven work surface or simply the thought of lying in the mid-day sun, desks indoors were invented for a reason.

7. Hunger:

Your body needs fuel. See point 8. Not eating properly will also mean you snack badly. Eat well and regularly – mealtimes will also act as targets in the day to aim towards.

8. Sleep:

We said our thoughts are a product of our architecture. Yet our thoughts are also a product of our rationality (without getting into a philosophical debate). Basically, the part of our brain that acknowledges our future selves and includes them in our thinking doesn’t work as well when we’re tired. So sleep.

9. Messiness:

A cluttered workspace means a cluttered mind. Start your day by tidying your workspace and/or room. In the process, you’ll probably start structuring your thoughts and how you’ll attack the day.

10. Human Nature:

Be it your recent infatuation, thoughts of lunch or simply imagining that big sports game tomorrow, our own brains are our own worst enemies. We can’t combat our own desires. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. The best advice is simply to put mechanisms in place like those above to make sure your architecture inclines you to be productive rather than lethargic.

Want to avoid procrastination? Book a #Tuition tutor for Easter Revision today!

Carpe Diem,

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10 Things that ruin Easter Revision

10 Ways to Study More Effectively (that actually work)

It’s the most annoying issue when learning. Why can’t I study harder?? All that procrastination, all that cramming, all that stress. Well, let me allay your fears. No one is as efficient as you think they are. That person in the library who seems like they never leave, that friend who aces every test or even the girl who says they ‘only started revision last night,’ how do they do it? The answer is that they aren’t really that good at studying. At most, they are simply slightly better at it than you. So here’s how to improve.

1. Sleep! : How weird for a list of ways to study more effectively to begin with something that doesn’t involved the very thing you need to do. You may argue you are already very good at sleeping. But so many of us are sleep-deprived. When we lack sleep, the part of our brain that imagines our future selves and includes them in our thinking stops operating properly (see, Hashtag Tuition even does psychological analysis, amazing huh?) The result: we become very short-termist and forget why we are studying and how to achieve our end result. It’s like cake, we know we shouldn’t eat it, but always seem to do…especially when on a diet. So get at least 8h a night; your clarity of thought will thank you later. (Top Tip: to monitor your sleep, buy the Sleep Cycle mobile app)

2. Make a Plan: If you’re going to attack a page of vocab or an essay, you need to know what’s involved. You then need to work out an appropriate method. If you know the method (and its a realistic) you’re halfway there.

3. Understand: why is it that you like can glance at (insert warning of forthcoming über stereotypicality) a page of this weekend’s football scores or your wall on Facebook and be able to instantly recall what happened to Arsenal or your mate in that club last night. And yet, you look at your French vocab for 30 mins and achieve nothing. The answer- if your brain can relate to an idea, be it football or your friends, that you’ve built up layers of associations with, then you can absorb new material quickly. When those foundations don’t exist, learning will be tricky. So the good news is, if you want to study over a longer period of time, building up layers of knowledge and association slowly is a great plan. The bad news for you crammers out there is that this tip won’t work for you. (Sorry gals and chaps)

4. Practice: Here’s a little secret (I’ll whisper it). Mark schemes are your friend (shock horror right?). The best way to revise is through trial and error and internalising what works and what doesn’t. Go over all your previous assignments and tests and learn from your mistakes.

5. Care: Make your own notes and exemplar set of practice questions and answers. Use colour, be neat- it’s by taking an interest in your work that you’ll go the extra mile. Make your work something you want people to see and be amazed by (in a good way, and not because you’ve drawn a very realistic cat in the top left corner)

6. Be Energetic: We think being healthy is the starting point of all creativity. Avoid those sugar highs, drink lots of water and eat well (see point 7).

7. Study Foods: Bananas (and the potassium contained within) are great for aiding memory, nuts are good for short-term energy, porridge is perfect for slow energy release, fruit is a good way of getting sugar without a high. And if all else fails, coffee is your turbo booster (but not when you’re on the 10 strength espressos…Hashtag HQ has a brilliant coffee machine, too brilliant in fact *shakes*).

8. Stationery: A bad workman blames his tools, a good one has the right ones. Would you exercise without trainers? Or run a marathon in a thick, long coat (okay, we hope not. But I guess there are indie sportspeople out there). So why use a horrible, old biro and scrap paper? Take pride in how you study- buy a great pen, use beautiful lined paper, maybe even use…colouring pencils (😯)

9. Mindmaps: Okay this one is controversial. We expect to be bombarded by the ‘linearity-learning-barmy-army’ very soon. But we love mindmaps- they hone creativity, make one take care (because they’re so gorgeous once they’re finished) and build up layers of association. I mean, one could even design one’s logo to be a mindmap (but no one would be daft enough to do that, of course)

10. Use Hashtag Tuition!: Be it our Bespoke Tuition, our brilliant tutors, our Easter Gradebooster courses (yes, all these unashamedly, self-promotionalist [new word- yay!] links are clickable, duh)…they’re a great way to catalyse your studying.

Over and out,

10 Ways to Study More Effectively (that actually work)