Starting your day right is vitally important to having a successful study session. Although it’s all too easy to start a day of revision or assignment writing by flicking through Facebook or scrolling down your Twitter feed, the first 10 minutes of your working day plays a big part in setting the tone for the day ahead.
According to Michael Kerr, author and business speaker, “creating consistent habits is largely what makes [people] successful. And a key time for habit-forming practices is at the start of the day…. It’s imperative that you start right, with a clean slate,” he says.
Take time for quiet reflection and thoughtful planning
When you first sit down, resist the temptation to switch on your computer or laptop too quickly. Instead, take the time to consider your day ahead. Ask yourself what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it.
“Successful people build in quiet time and solitude to do this first thing. They ask themselves: ‘What did I accomplish toward my goals so far this week — or last week?”, says workplace expert Lynn Taylor.
“Get yourself current on priorities and tasks. Go beyond just making a list, and challenge yourself to create a realistic hierarchy,” she adds.
As well as prioritising your tasks, visualise what a successful day would look like.
“This helps you to focus on the things that are truly important, and not simply urgent,” Kerr explains. “It can also help you see where potential challenges may lie, so you can make the necessary adjustments,” he adds.
Although lying in bed with your laptop might seem like the most comfortable option, numerous studies suggest that sitting upright at a desk is the best way to avoid back pain and fidgety legs.
Ensuring your workspace is well-lit and at a comfortable temperature is also vital in maintaining concentration levels. Researchers at Cornell University found that when temperatures dropped from a comfortable 77 degrees to a chillier 68 degrees, typing output dropped by 46% and mistakes increased by a whopping 74%.
And, last but not least, make sure your workspace is a distraction free environment; turn your phone onto silent, switch-off the TV and clear away clutter.
“Facing a clean or cleaner slate on your desk and desktop will better clear your mind for the day’s tasks,” advises Taylor.
“A great way that successful people start their day is to identify something they’re grateful for,” Taylor explains. “It’s motivational and reminds them to put small things in perspective.
“Once you’ve adopted the right mindset and routine for success, the rest of the day flows much more smoothly.”
So, there you go. Follow these three simple steps and get your study session off on the right footing.