Is it possible to keep studying all day?
Imagine you had to keep studying for six hours straight for a test/examination, project etc. and already your whole day looks bleak. You are stuck studying all day and you can do pretty much nothing else. To make matters worse your six hour study session does not usually go according to plan because you keep getting distracted or bored and in the end you spend more than six hours studying and you still feel like you’ve not remembered anything. If this scenario sounds familiar, don’t surrender to frustration because there is hope. No matter how unpleasant the situation you can always deal with it. The first thing to do in such a situation is to
Make a plan
That’s right, plan your activities for these six hours. The subject of planning has already been covered here, but it still deserves a mention because it is, in my opinion, underrated. A plan is your map in the world of studying. It helps guide your efforts so you can get meaningful results, in this case to keep studying. Plan exactly what you are going to during those six hours and stick to it. For example, dedicate 40 minutes to reading a chapter and then another 10 for summarizing it (on paper or on your laptop). Use the remaining time to stand up, rest and clear your mind. Depending on your studies, different subjects will require more or less time to deal with.
Rest is a very powerful tool that could either make or break your study routine. You need to control your rest time so that you don’t accidentally distract yourself too much while resting and decide to forget about studying altogether. Alternatively, if you keep studying for a couple of hours straight without any breaks you will start to feel both physically and mentally tired. The physical part refers to all the sitting and/or staring at a screen or a textbook. The mental weariness comes as a result of not giving your mind a rest. That leads to you losing focus and putting yourself at a disadvantage. A short 5-10 minute break is enough to help you relax and help you feel energized. Choosing one of the extremes i.e. resting too much or too little will most certainly lead to negative consequences for your study routine. You should neither keep studying nor resting for extended periods of time.
This topic is actually a continuation of the previous one. When you rest it is strongly advisable to stand up and keep your body active for some time. The issue with sitting down is that when you sit for prolonged periods of time your body and your mind are both affected negatively. Your muscles start to cramp, your posture goes to ruin and the processes in your body slow down. Additionally, by the end of those six hours your whole body feels cramped and hurts because you have been sitting in the same position for hours. Mentally, the effects are even worse because prolonged sitting e.g. sitting pretty much all day every day leads to loss of concentration and even depression.
Another important topic is the problem with snacking. I admit I am guilty of this myself. The problem with snacking is that if you snack all the time when you study you start to associate studying with snacking. In simple terms this means that whenever you sit down to study you subconsciously look for something to snack on. Aside from the obvious problem with excess calories you will be consuming, comes the distracting nature of snacking – your mind gets preoccupied with the food instead of the textbooks. When you keep studying without snacking too often you don’t lose as much concentration. What is more, when you eat all the time, you get sleepy because food affects your bodily processes. How often have you felt sleepy just 15-30 minutes after you have eaten? Even if we don’t consider snacks to be a full meal, when you snack for 6 hours, by the end of your studying session you will have consumed more than a full meal. In short, limit snacking as much as possible.
Computers, phones, tablets, TVs or basically any device with some type of screen is a great distractor. Combine that with the fact that most studying materials nowadays are easily available on your devices and you have a recipe for disaster. It is so very easy to distract yourself with your phone or laptop. A good idea to limit your distraction is to never study from your phone and even leave it in another room. The reason is the constant buzzing from notifications and the desire to immediately see who’s said what on any social media that you use sometimes is very strong. This also means that while on your laptop, you should close all social media or basically any service that you use that could make some sort of a notification alert. The problem is, most of us are aware that this is distracting but we do it anyway because it feels much more enjoyable than studying. Unfortunately that may be so, but we have the power of choice. Remember, if you choose to keep studying in a distracting environment, those six hours of study could stretch and take up your whole evening. Don’t allow this because your time is precious and it is pointless to study 10 hours when you could have completed your tasks in six hours.
These are just some suggestion as to how to keep yourself motivated and focused for six or more hours of studying. Any mundane task can be dealt with given the right approach. If you agree or disagree with this list, or have any suggestions of your own, I’d love to hear your comments below.