Winter Warms Ups

How to add a little UMPH to your studies

If the colder weather and shorter days of winter have dampened your motivation and enthusiasm for studying, remember this:

“The difference between TRY and TRIUMPH is just a little UMPH.” ~ Marvin Philips

Umph is defined as “spirited vigour – an extra push or effort”.

Here are four ways to add a little UMPH to your mid-year studies.

1. Keep your goal in mind

A clear “why”, a distinct purpose, a defined goal – these give you the motivation that makes it much easier to apply yourself and exercise the discipline to get through an ongoing project such as a study program.

Take time to clearly understand why you’re studying and what your ultimate goal is. Write it down and review this “why” every time you start studying, briefly visualising the benefits you will enjoy when you reach your study goal.

2. Set yourself up for success

Take care of a few basics to boost your studies, such as getting enough sleep, eating well and drinking enough water. It is almost impossible to study effectively when you are tired, hungry or dehydrated.
Create a comfortable study space that is quiet, free from distractions and equipped with everything you need to study.

3. Set a time

Determine your most productive times of the day, when you have the most energy, focus and clarity. Schedule your study time in these time slots, where possible.

Schedule blocks of time for study, for example, 45 – 50 minutes of studying with a 10 – 15 minute break. Study only one subject in a particular study session. Short breaks in between reset your brain for the next subject.

Begin with the most difficult subject or task while you’re fresh and have more energy.

Remember to turn off your phone and all social media notifications, so you can maximise your study time, uninterrupted.

4. Get a little help

Talk about what you are learning with others. If there’s no one around to talk to, read out loud. Have a friend, family member of fellow student test you verbally on the material.

You could also join a study group. This is especially helpful if you learn best through discussion and listening to others.

There are also other resources, such as student advisors, tutors, the library, a keyword search on the Internet, and professional organisations that can save you time and energy and help you to solve problems.

With a little UMPH and a whole lot of fanatical support from your Academy of York student advisors, this winter could well be your most productive study time, taking you leaps closer to your study goal by Spring!