The day is done and while others rest you continue to work, not on anything left over from the day, but on yourself. Anyone who is driven enough to up-skill outside of a full-time job is demanding a lot from themselves; as well as a lot from their free time. When you work a full day, the evening is all you have left to give. Still, studying at night can be more than a solution or a box to tick off; it can become the most rewarding part of your routine. Nothing makes a head sink into a pillow like a mind full of new knowledge.
To get the most out of an evening’s study it’s always a good idea to beat fatigue with some gentle exercise. Exercising, without being too strenuous, can actually make a person feel less tired, charging them with what they need to take on the final stretch of the evening. When it comes time to sit down and do some work, always start the evening by assessing and locating a realistic set of goals for your session. If you don’t specify what you want to do then you have the pressure of everything hanging over you instead of a finite manageable amount. Remember, castles are made out of bricks and kilometers are made out of steps: breaking things into small pieces and building up is always the right way to accomplish a sizeable undertaking.
Part of your planning should always include assessing if there are any upcoming deadlines you need to prepare for or fulfill. It may seem superfluous checking up on dates every time you study but it also guarantees that nothing will ever sneak up on you. Knowing where you are and what you need to do reduces the uncertainty that can hinder your performance. Despite all these important considerations sometimes planning a session can be difficult. If you aren’t able to get a grip on where you should start, talk to someone about it. They don’t even need to be familiar with the subject matter. Simply speaking things out aloud can help you process what you need to do.
It’s always wise to start by reading something that’s fresh in your mind. Beginning with revising what you’ve learnt most recently can help you consolidate everything you know and stimulate your energy. In fact consolidation and repetition is essential. Even if it’s brief, recalling the basic outlines of previously learnt materials will help your memory banks keep them in fine tune for the future.
If you ever feel a need to refresh these points, find them in our stylish infographic version. For similar resources and tips on how to study smart and successfully there is a wealth of material available on our blog.
Beyond using our wealthy surplus of advice to bolster your studying, there is a key paradigm that can truly make a difference. No matter how you approach things it always comes down to you, the knowledge, and your mastering of it.
Acquiring that additional qualification will always be a challenge, but that’s why you’re doing it to distinguish yourself. Just because it’s a challenge doesn’t warrant you making it as tough for yourself as possible. That proves nothing. It’s easy to try divorce any semblance of enjoyment from studying because that’s how people feel studying should be: grim, solitary, difficult. Nothing could be further from the truth. Do everything you can to make your studying time pleasant. Whether it’s playing relaxing music softly in the background, wearing your favourite slippers or having a steamy hot drink at your side, study time is still your time and you should take full ownership of it.
The evening is always the frontier for tomorrow and as the stars grow brighter and the crickets chirp louder – don’t forget that. Every night you are on the cusp of the future, a day closer to where you’re working towards. Studying at night is a hard way to end the day, but it’s the best way to start the future.
Hay, I., Bochner, D., Blacket, G., and Dungey, C. (2012)
Making The Grade A Guide To Successful Communication And Study.
Australia: Oxford University Press Australia
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