Doing your best to study at home? Many Picmonic users have shared what’s working for them and their advice for others. We love hearing from you, so keep it coming! Here are 11 healthy home study habits that will keep you on track.
Think about what you’d like to have accomplished in a week, 2 weeks, a month. Then work backwards from there. How many hours a day do you need to spend studying to reach your goal? What specifically do you need to study? Take your larger goals, break them down, and set daily goals for yourself.
Break it up into detailed and manageable chunks. Starting to feel overwhelmed? It’s okay to update your calendar to shorter blocks of time for each study session.
Is there a certain time of day when you’re more productive? Do you generally feel sluggish right after lunch? Set yourself up for success by scheduling study sessions during times when your ability to focus is at its best.
Ever try to cram for 6 hours straight without a single break? If you have, you know there comes a point of diminishing returns (at least for the mere mortals among us). There are lots of different methodologies for how you can set up your study break schedule.
A popular one is the Pomodoro Technique. The TL;DR for the Pomodoro method is that you break larger tasks, or series of tasks, into 25-minute bursts, followed by a 5-minute break. These short bursts and built-in breaks help conquer procrastination and maintain productivity and focus.
Set up a clean, well lit space to study. Get a comfortable chair with back support. Remove distractions, and if you can, close the door. It signals to others in your home that you’re busy studying. It also helps create a divide between your ‘study’ life and your ‘home’ life, even if they’re physically the same place. Show us your #studystation by tagging @picmonic on instagram!
Here are a few of our favs:
Close all of those browser tabs and windows that aren’t necessary. Do you have notifications from social media, browser extensions, or emails constantly making a little chirp, popping into your browser, or adding that oh-so-clickable red notification dot to your apps? Turn all notifications off while you’re studying, and you might just realize how often they distract you away from the task at hand.
An easy way to block out at least some of these things without having to update tons of settings is to use full-screen mode with whatever tool you’re using. Don’t worry – Picmonic offers full-screen mode!
Get a study buddy and check in with each other remotely on a daily basis.
Even if you can’t physically study together with classmates, you can still get together with others. Find a supportive learning community online via Facebook, Discord, Reddit, etc. There are tons of options to stay in touch with other students. Just make sure it’s not during dedicated study time ;)
One of the most important healthy home study habits has nothing to do with studying at all. Everything else you do in life is heavily affected by your mental and physical health, so taking time to take care of yourself is priority 1.
Exercise, even if it’s just for a short timespan, and even if you feel like you can’t spare the time. Connect with loved ones. Can’t see friends and family in person? That’s okay! Facetime, Skype, even good old fashioned phone calls can help keep you connected. Remember to take a moment to breathe. You might not have it all together on a given day, and that’s ok. Cut yourself some slack.
Are you studying today without any plans to venture out into the world? It’s still important to follow your standard routine so your day is set up for success. Wake up at your normal time, take a shower, get dressed, brush your teeth, and grab a cup of coffee. Because you’re going to crush it today!
Having trouble memorizing every detail of every bug, drug, and disease and how it relates to everything else? Check out Picmonic’s research-proven mnemonic videos and quizzes that transform forgettable facts into memorable stories and characters. Picmonic has over 1,000 videos and 10,000 quiz questions covering the most difficult to remember and most frequently tested topics, licensing exam prep, and more.
This can be a bigger issue when you’re at home with other things going on around you, vs a quiet library. But it’s important to do what you can to stay focused. Research shows that multitasking can be harmful to your ability to retain the info you’re studying. Give yourself the benefit of being fully immersed in the task at hand.
If you’re studying from home, there’s no one to help keep you on track but you. So it’s important to set a schedule and be consistent. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. If you fall off track, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t beat yourself up. It won’t help. Just take one task at a time and keep moving forward. You can do this!
This will only set you up to feel like you’ve failed. Be reasonable with yourself and your time. We believe in you! Need a motivational message of encouragement? Just click here and ask our team! We love to help you get through the rough spots and see you succeed!
Erika Bankhead, UI/UX Designer & Student Success Ninja
As Picmonic’s lead Student Success Ninja, Erika works to improve Picmonic for students across the globe.
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Remember more, boost your test scores and maximize your potential with Picmonic, the world’s best visual study tool for medical school, nursing school, and more! More than just pharm flashcards and study guides, the Picmonic Learning System will help you dominate your classes and review for the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, NCLEX®, PANCE, MCAT, and more with our research-proven mnemonic learning system.