Do you have a goal of passing the EPPP before the year ends? Or do you want to create a study schedule by 2018? Whatever your goal may be, finding time to study can be a challenge, especially when we hit the holiday season. It’s important to get into the habit of studying before the holiday season is in full swing. Here are five practical tips to create space in your life for studying.
- Create a physical space.
Designate a local coffee shop, a place at the library, or a space in your home specifically for studying and nothing but studying. Every time you repeat an action, your brain is creating a habit. So, if you consistently study for the EPPP in your designated spot, your brain will be ready to focus on EPPP materials when you are physically there. Similarly, if you watch Netflix or peruse social media in the same place you study, you are more likely to be distracted when it’s time to buckle down.
You can also make your study space work for you by personalizing it. Designate an ambient noise playlist and only listen to it while studying. Or, harness the power of positivity by putting an encouraging phrase on your laptop or study notebook that you’ll see every time you’re studying.
- Create a study schedule.
What time of day are you the most focused? What day of the week is consistently free? Designate a consistent day and time for studying. We suggest you get studying out of the way in the morning because you’re less likely to compromise that time for something that would come up during the day like plans with friends or coworkers. If you’re really not a morning person and evening studying works better for you, then take precautions to protect that designated study time.
- Find a study partner.
Studying with someone invites accountability. You can skip out on a solo study session and affect only yourself but if you skip out on a group study session, you’re affecting others. When choosing a study partner, factor in the first two tips. Does this person like a quiet study atmosphere such as a library or do they prefer the bustle of a coffee shop? Does this person prefer studying in the mornings or evenings? Make sure that your partner has a similar study style so that you are both focused and productive.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise and eating right have many benefits for life in general. When it comes to studying, exercise can help you achieve focus, boost retention, and give your brain the rest it needs when you’re stuck on a concept.
During a time when your schedule is more full with studying responsibilities, eating well will help you feel better in general and will boost your energy for those long study hours.
- Take breaks.
Give yourself regular and structured study breaks. Breaks should be both short and long – either 5-10 minutes or 20-30 minutes. They should be low tech and you should avoid thinking about the EPPP while resting. For some good tips on how to rest:
It is important to maintain a balance between work and life, especially with the holidays coming up. It is easy to get caught up in studying and forget to spend time with people who are important to you. EPPP prep does take dedication and sacrifice, but it shouldn’t take over your life. Chances are, the habits you form while studying will stick around even after you get licensed. Don’t set yourself up to be a workaholic.