Returning to studying after you haven’t done so in many years can be quite daunting, but it’s important to remind yourself of what has changed since your school days:
- You’ve chosen to study again and that means you’re already much more invested in your study outcomes
- You’re older and wiser now and you no doubt remember all the study mistakes you made in the past. You know what the pitfalls are and you can avoid them!
- You are likely much more organised and disciplined and you will find that you make much better use of your time now than you did as a younger student.
While statistics suggest that mature students are more successful at their studies, you still have to create an environment that sets you up for success.
Begin forming a study habit
"Make it so easy you can't say no." - Leo Babauta
According to Duke University’s Behavioral Economics Lab, the only way to form a lasting habit is to start small. Commit to studying for 20 minutes a day, first thing in the morning when your mind is fresh and preferably before your family awakens. Do this for 15 days consecutively before you start increasing that daily time by 10 mins. Only increase your study duration every 15 days.
Missed out on a day? Don’t let it derail you! Tick the days you completed your study time successfully on a calendar and challenge yourself to have a streak of consecutive days. We’re not aiming for perfection, you’re aiming to form a habit.
Create an environment that supports you building your habit
It is scientifically proven that setting out your gym clothing before you go to bed at night drastically increases your chances of getting up and getting dressed to head to the gym. The same principle applies to setting up your study area.
Find a space in your home that is your dedicated study area and a place that is as distraction-free as possible. Lay out your study materials the night before and make a note of what chapter or pages you intend studying on a post-it on your desk.
Set your phone timer for 20 minutes so you are alerted when you have reached your goal (instead of checking your phone every five minutes!)
Create any little ritual that will help you successfully complete your habit each day.
Need a little more advice? Take a look at this article from James Clear: https://jamesclear.com/habit-guide and try out one of our favourite habit-forming apps called The Fabulous here: https://www.thefabulous.co/