How to Take Efficient Study Breaks
Studying can range from a last-minute cram session to hours upon hours in the library, but all methods require the occasional break.
Here are some tips for taking efficient study breaks:
Test Your Willpower
When taking a study break, set a time for yourself between 10 and 15 minutes and adhere to it. Willing yourself to abide by rules keeps you on track and sets an efficient study precedent for the future. Taking longer negatively affects retention of the material. Set realistic goals for how long you’ll study between short breaks to enforce a pattern and keep yourself on track for long periods of time.
Keep Screens Off
Peeking at your phone during a break can leave you falling into the wormhole of social media and text conversations. Do your best to avoid your phone and computer when taking a study break and walk around instead. It’s easy to get sucked into your phone and end up taking a 30-minute break. Avoiding electronics keeps you focused and dedicated to relaxing your mind before continuing to hit the books.
Catch Up with Friends or Family
One caveat to the phone rule is to call your family or friends from home and catch up with them during your short break. It’s a great way to show that you care about them, and it engages your mind with something completely separate from your studies. Just be sure to not let the conversation go for too long and to put your phone away after the call.
Know Your Limits
Understanding when your efforts bring diminishing returns is essential to studying efficiently. Focus on your attention span and how tired you feel after an hour or two of studying. If you’re becoming more and more distracted and can’t concentrate on the material, don’t force yourself to continue studying. Take a longer break, nap or spend some time with friends to reinvigorate your mind. Then hit the books and review any material you think you may not have adequately studied while you were losing focus.