Do you ever come home from a busy day at school feeling tired and unmotivated to study or do your household chores? Many of us have been there before! Today, I thought I’d share my favourite ten tips for an after school routine that involves time for relaxation, as well as a productive evening of homework!
1. Re-fuel your body
After a long day of learning (and sometimes physical exercise), we can forget the amount of energy we have used throughout the day. To combat this, it’s very important to fill yourself with a nutritious snack that will keep you fuelled until it’s time for dinner. I suggest some fruit or homemade snacks such as some protein bliss balls or a healthy slice of toast with smashed avo – my favourite! Sometimes, it’s helpful to prepare a batch of snacks so that you have easy access to healthy food throughout the week and will be less likely to opt for junk food.
2. Take time to relax
We all need some time to wind down and how we relax differs from person to person. Try to set aside at least 30 minutes to have a lie down on the couch, maybe watch some television or even take the dog for a walk. This way, when it comes time to knuckle down to do your homework you will be feeling refreshed and have a clearer mind to complete tasks.
3. Tidy your workspace
I strongly believe that it is important to be in a work environment that makes you feel stress-free and organized. This way you are programming yourself to feel motivated to study before you’ve even started. If your study area is a little messy, spend 5-10 minutes cleaning it up so that you can have a study session with no distractions.
4. Stay hydrated
Especially in the warmer months, it is very important to stay hydrated! As I have previously mentioned, our brain is the first part of our body to be affected when we are dehydrated, so it is important to make sure we have sufficient water to help us stay concentrated. For something different, sometimes I like to infuse my water with cut up fruit and a squish of lemon – any fruit you have will work! My favourite combination at the moment is lemon, raspberries and a little mint!
5. Avoid social media
Social media can be very distracting. Allocate yourself a small amount of time before or after you study, but whilst completing homework make sure to put away your phone so you don’t get distracted. If you are flicking through your phone whilst studying, your time becomes polluted and you will prolong the amount of time it takes to complete tasks.
6. Check your diary
When your homework is written down, you’re more likely to complete it. Try to stay organized by documenting all of your important tasks in your diary. This way, you know what you have done and what needs to be done!
7. Batch your to do’s
Sometimes it can become overwhelming completing a long list of tasks, even if they are only small. Instead, group together similar activities and make yourself complete them all before moving onto the next group of tasks. My tip is to write down and schedule time for completing all of your 5-10 minute long tasks at once so you get them out of the way nice and early! Chores, phone calls and emails are all perfect examples of tasks you can batch together.
8. Start with easy (or most enjoyable) tasks
A great way to overcome lacking motivation, is to begin your study sessions with activities you find easy or enjoyable. This is a great way to boost your enthusiasm and start on a positive note. I personally find tasks that involve colouring, drawing or planning to be most enjoyable and would often begin my study sessions with these!
9. Study SMART, not hard
It’s very important to focus on your approach to studying. Allocate time appropriately and do not waste excessive amounts of time on things you don’t understand. Instead, decide early on which sorts of study methods would be most appropriate for each task or subject and also be mindful to make a note to ask your teacher to explain any unclear points next time you have class.
Now I don’t mean finish an English essay and Maths test simultaneously! However, if you are completing physical activity around the house that doesn’t involve much thought (e.g. emptying the dishwasher), play a lecture or Youtube tutorial in the background so that whilst you are completing household chores, you are also learning something. Ever heard of the term ‘kill two birds with one stone?’
Xx Study With Jess
For more study tips and advice on how to improve your grades, study smarter and enhance your study skills, check out my study skills book The High School Survival Guide!
Watch my 'Productive After-school Routine' video here: