small changes can make a big difference.

Hi! for those of you who don't know, I'm Mimi.
2019 was the year I decided to make some changes by detaching myself from toxicity, taking writing seriously, and focusing on self-growth.

If you'd like to read my last article, you can read it here:

Finding an efficient way for me to study was hard at first. It took me the entirety of my high school career to adapt to my own rituals and find what actually worked for me. Everyone's learning style is different, so while there's no one-size-fits-all method to study the best, the tips I have for you will save you more time for studying as well as help you become more efficient!

don't overwhelm yourself.

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The worst mistake I made was piling up all of my homework on my desk. It was daunting to work on my homework and glance over to see the mountain of study prep I still had to do. To solve this issue, keep an agenda nearby that lists of all the tasks you need to do and tackle one book at a time; don't put anything else on your desk besides the things you need for one subject. When you're done with the first batch of work, you can move on to take out the materials for the next subject and work on it!

find your favourite study place(s).

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Not all of us can work efficiently when we're confined to a desk in our bedroom. I discovered that I studied best when I changed my study spots every once a while, rotating from the living room, dining room, and back to my bedroom. I also noticed that I worked especially well outside and in peaceful eateries. Whether you focus best in the same spot, or if you like to travel around to keep each session interesting, make sure to take the time and find what works for you!

make studying manageable for you.

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For some of us, studying just isn't fun no matter how much we try to convince ourselves. Don't be discouraged if you don't find studying enjoyable, all you really need to do is make it comfortable for you. Use your favourite stationery, decorate your study location to make it look appealing, and dress yourself up in clothes that make you feel confident!

have healthy snacks and water handy.

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Another mistake I was guilty of was getting up every 5 minutes to get a sugary snack. Not only did I waste time getting up too often, but I ate snacks that would make me crash halfway through studying. Make sure to bring all the snacks and water you need with you before you start working.
Here's a good list of healthy snacks you can eat instead of reaching for hot cheetos:
. air popped popcorn
. yogurt with granola
. hummus and pita
. spring rolls
. trail mix with (or without) dark chocolate
. fruit sprinkled with tajin

listen to music that works WITH YOU, not against you.

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You might be tempted to turn up the volume and jam out to heavy hip-hop, but this isn't the best idea if you're trying to retain lots of information. Listening to classical music, lo-fi music with minimal vocals, or instrumentals of your favourite songs are your best bet to help you stay focused and motivated at the same time. If you absolutely need to listen to that one song, reserve it for when you're doing homework or just copying down notes; any task that you don't need to study too deeply.

manage your time.

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One thing I realized that made the quality of my studying suffer was studying for an insufficient amount of time. Studying for five minutes and never looking at your notes again, or studying for four hours straight without a break are just about the worst things you can do to help you study better. Studying in short bursts helps you break down your assignments into manageable parts, and helps you fight temptation.
Here's what my typical study session looks like. Adjust time and steps in your favour; what works for me might not work for you.
. Study a subject for 15-25 minutes
. Take a 15-25 minute break and do something else depending on how long I studied (even if I didn't finish everything yet)
. Take a 5 minute exercise break to walk around, get more snacks, or stretch.

practice self-control. always. and reward yourself for your successes.

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Don't lie to yourself: you won't just be scrolling on Instagram for only 5 minutes. I used to tell myself that I would only check for social media for 10 minutes, or do whatever I want until 6:00 and then go into power mode.... this was an example of my awful self-accountability. Don't wait until 7:00 or 8:00 to start something. It might be 7:48 or 5:58, but beginning now is better than not doing anything at all. Put in your best effort to refrain from checking social media as soon as you get home. Do any important chores, take a shower, but start on your homework as soon as you can without immediately checking on social media; save all that for break time.

thanks for reading! if you'd like to share your experiences trying these tips, don't be afraid to send me a post card!