5-minute study routine: Build better habits & Increase Focus + feel good about getting into your study session today
My 5-minute study routine is a fantastic way to quickly and easily build a new study habit, stay focused, and feel better about getting started on your studies each day. How often do you walk into your office (or wherever you study), look at your pile of stuff, and sigh because you just don’t feel like getting started? There are open books lying out, notes scattered across the desk, fifteen browser windows open, and it feels overwhelming. It’s no wonder we ditch that mess in favor of something which feels better.
Ready to propel yourself into an easy-to-start study session? It all starts with the 5-minute study routine, which happens at the end of the current study session. This is the first place we either make things easier or harder for tomorrow.
Let’s say you just powered through two Pomodoro sessions and the timer went off. After a couple of fist pumps, you drop your book, close the computer, and head straight to the couch to watch your favorite show. It’s a well-earned break at the end of a solid study session.
Do you realize this is actually making it harder for you to get started studying tomorrow?
It’s not the TV, it’s how we finish out the study session. Before you drop your study session like a hot potato, spend five minutes to make tomorrow much easier. The more you perfect this, the faster you become. I ‘m often working on a two-minute routine these days because I’m well-practiced.
Master the 5-Minute Study Routine
Alright, ready for the magic of the 5-minute study routine? It boils down to one goal:
Finish out the current study session and reset your productive study space.
To finish out what you are doing means wrapping up and resetting things, not leaving everything in progress and incomplete. When you finish studying put everything back so it is easier for you to start studying tomorrow. This may mean:
- tidy up your physical desk (throw away the trash, put supplies back where they belong, etc.)
- quickly scan and tidy up your digital study notes
- update your to-do list and mark off what you completed (also a great time to celebrate your accomplishments)
- mark your ending spot, close your books, and put them away
- save your computer files and close them
- set out whatever you like to have handy, like noise-canceling earphones or highlighters
Why does the 5-minute study routine matter?
Maybe you’re thinking, “Jessica…these things are not a big deal and I REALLY want to start watching my show now!”
I hear ya.
When reading this list it can seem inconsequential, but you are seemingly wrong. 🙂
When we skip these short wrap-up activities and leave everything unfinished, getting started tomorrow feels like a big job. It is hard to focus on what we need to do when we have to start by remembering and dealing with what we were doing the day before.
If you’re not sold yet, just pay attention today to how this works against you. There is something you will do today and have to start by finishing yesterday’s job. And it sucks. Pay attention to how it feels. For me, it feels like extra work and it’s hard to get motivated to start something when first you have to finish something else.
We joke in our house about leaving something for “future Jessica” to take care of. It’s a funny way to think about handling things because eventually, Jessica (that’s me) has to handle it. Do it now or do it later, but I still have to do it. I’d rather get it out of the way now and imagine future Jessica sipping an iced latte while lying in the hammock basking in the sunshine.
Dang. That girl has got it together.
How this Quick strategy rocks my world
This quick strategy isn’t just for studies, by the way. I personally use this strategy to help me rock out so many daily activities. Here are just a few examples of spending 5 minutes or less to prepare for a quick and successful start later:
- Before I go to bed at night I put coffee grounds in the coffee machine and fill it with water. When I wake up all I have to do is hit the button to brew the coffee…a seriously great way to start the day.
- When I leave the office each day I clean off my physical desk and try to clear out my inbox. When I come back to work the next day it’s very easy for me not to be distracted by the clutter both on my physical space and in my email and easy for me to focus on the most important task I need to do to start my day.
- After dinner every night I wash the dishes and wipe down the counters. It is so much easier to get started on breakfast or dinner the next day when the kitchen is clean and I don’t first have to deal with a dried-up mess on the stove or sink full of dishes.
- After grocery shopping, I immediately I wash all of the produce and cut up the things I like to snack on. This way I can start snacking right away instead of staring at a dirty cucumber and deciding to eat some potato chips instead because they require no effort and washing/drying/cutting the cucumber feels like too much to do. This has seriously upped my veggie snacking prowess.
These are just a few quick examples, but I use this strategy extensively in my life and credit it for much of my ability to get things done and actually create free time. It is especially helpful when starting a new habit. Often the biggest challenge for a new habit is getting started and this 5-minute study routine helps you eliminate the challenge and be more successful.
Try It Yourself: 8-minute Challenge
- Set a timer and spend 2 minutes thinking about the worst part of starting your study sessions. What do you hate doing the most? What feels like a chore? Get really specific.
- Set your timer for 1 minute and brainstorm solutions to the problem. What can you do ahead of time to help with a better start? You CAN come up with solutions, but if you get stuck, leave a comment below and we’ll help you brainstorm.
- Plan to execute your 5-minute study routine and put your solution to work. Notice how it feels to get started studying with your most dreaded problem out of the way.