Phones derail study breaks

Take a break! Study tips for success

Its almost that time of year again, exams and final tests for our kids.

If it’s exam time in your family it probably means…

  • study timetable – check
  • brain food stocked up – check
  • tolerating bad tempers and stress levels – check
  • keeping the pets quiet and other distractions to a minimum – check
  • short, refreshing breaks – ummmnnnn?

Has taking a “study break” come to mean checking out social media, celebrity blogs and every other distracting website and app you can imagine? Does a study break in your house seem to morph from a short reprieve from the books into a long, unplanned detour into the black hole of the virtual world? Does “study break” turn into a euphemism for procrastinating and distractions?

We know how hard it is to help your kids keep on track during this stressful time, so we have some great tips to pass on to them, to help them make the most of their study time:

  • Switch off and put your phone / tablet / gaming consol away, out of your study area, out of sight!
  • Plan your study breaks as well as you plan your study schedule;
  • Study no more than 45-60 minutes at a stretch, and then take a break of 15 minutes;
  • Take breaks away from your desk and do something different; move around, get outside.
  • The point of a study break is to get the mind rejuvenated so that you can refocus on the task at hand when it’s time to get back to work;
  • A good study break involves an activity that allows you to take your mind off studying and not use it for a little while;
  • Eat something. Drink some water.
  • Exercise – it stimulates the brain, making your next study session far more effective.
  • Get some sun and fresh air.
  • Breathe and ENJOY your brain break!
  • Tell yourself that you will check your social media / APPS / e-mail for 15 minutes because, before you know it, half an hour will have passed instead;
  • In fact, don’t check your phone at all while you’re studying – save it as a reward and write it in at the end of your study schedule!
  • Watch TV, game or surf the web – it can actually make you feel more tired than you are;
  • Take a nap for more than 20 minutes.

Exam time can reveal how our kids deal with stress, and as we all know stress can either be motivating or debilitating. Making sure our children understand how to deal with it and how to manage their workload is a crucial skill that they will need in their adult lives.

Help them to succeed by getting them to understand that with all the learning they are doing, they need their study breaks to be ‘down time’ where their brains can rest and they can process all they have taken in, and not another opportunity for taking in information which is what happens when they head into their digital devices and consume content.

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