It’s not an unknown fact that studying can be challenging and continuous studying can be even more complicated. And no, it’s not just about learning the definitions, cramming the formulas, or practising the diagrams or questions; the trouble lies in doing it for a long time. The researchers have already stated that the attention span of an adult, on average, is about 20 minutes.
For the determined students, this span can stretch upto anywhere between 40 minutes to 5 hours. So if you feel bored after an hour of study, worry not, because you are not alone!
And the good news is the very same researchers have a way of helping you concentrate better and do better when preparing for exams or otherwise.
The trick is ‘break’. Yes! Our favourite word for as long as we remember!
Unlike popular opinion, breaks can help improve concentration and output if planned and used correctly.
Frequent breaks during prolonged work hours, or study hours, for that matter, have proven to improve and boost overall productivity by eliminating untimely exhaustion.
For the students continuously burning the midnight oil for their aspirations, these breaks even become more than necessary.
Here are some of the many advantages of taking timely breaks when you are up in front of your books for many hours:
Many students may wonder when is the right time to take a break and how frequent it should be.
Here are some signs when your body tells you it needs a break to recharge itself.
There is no definite time for the break, but as per the individual needs, a break can be 5 minutes to 30 minutes. The experts advise that if you are taking breaks frequently, i.e. after every hour or less, 5-10 minutes break is recommended as good, whereas, if you are taking a break after 2 hrs or after completing a long topic/ chapter, 30- 40 minutes break would suffice.
|Pro Tip: How to add Study Breaks during the Study Time?
Indeed, too frequent and prolonged breaks can hamper your overall productivity, so it is always advisable to ensure that your break time does not make you lazy.
Below are some suggestions by the ALLEN Overseas experts that have proven to help many students in making the best use of their break time:
No need to be a Buddha, but the old trick has proven to do wonders in the long run. Take a deep breath during your breaks and try some breathing exercises. You can also experiment with pranayama exercises or meditate and keep your breathing in check.
It helps in calming your stress hormones and helps you feel refreshed, and restart your studies with a fresh mindset.
Long study hours can cause sore back, numb legs, stiff shoulders, etc. In addition, many students often complain about gaining excessive weight during their preparation period. For this, the students are advised to stretch frequently and exercise regularly.
Physical activity often takes a bit of academic burden off your brain, letting you relax. It also helps you stay fit because a healthy mind resides in a healthy body.
You may find people complaining that they lose their hobbies in preparation for the exams. Well, the students shouldn’t overlook their studies, but they can always use their break time for the hobbies.
Sing a song if you want to, paint your dreams, sketch something, play a round of badminton, solve a puzzle, do whatever you like. Do not let your studies take you away from your hobbies.
Now, this could be tricky. Oftentimes, it is the easiest option and probably one of the most effective provided the student has the ability to keep track of time. Oftentimes, the students easily forget the lapse of time. Though they would still feel refreshed, the time gone would not return.
A power nap generally lasts for 15 to 20 minutes and helps you in fighting off any kind of dizziness or sleepiness you might experience. Set a loud alarm, if required, multiple ones to avoid oversleeping and losing your study time.
Though it can be considered more or less a habit, keeping your things organised helps you not only find them but also helps in building your overall personality. During the break times, the students can try to arrange the books, cupboards, room, etc., to help in setting a good study environment in their personal space.
What could be a better way to recharge than reaching out to that one old friend or your favourite cousin, or your mother? Maybe reach out to one of them every day?
Talk to any person of your choice, be it via phone or in person.
Humans are social in nature. And when you are in your study mode with no one to talk to for long hours, you might start getting into zombie mode. Calling someone to actually have a conversation out loud can help. It takes your mind off the task at hand and makes you feel less like a zombie and more like a human.
Not every student has to follow the same routine. Surely, what may work for one may not work for another. Now, how to utilise this time and what you can do during the given period is upto the personal interests and preferences.
You may talk to your best friend or spend some quality time with your parents, you may want to scroll through your social media, or you might simply want to get a power nap. The choice is ultimately yours. But remember to keep a check on the time and try not to exceed the limit.
Alongside, stay away from binge eating heavy meals, getting too worked up in a task and taking in lots of caffeine to stay awake. Instead, try healthy snacks and stay hydrated.
A healthy body is home to a healthy mind. A healthy mind is the most important tool you need to have when preparing for exams like JEE and NEET- UG. Frequent breaks during study time can help you in taking care of your mental, physical and emotional health.
1. How long should study breaks be?
Depending upon how long you have been studying or how long you plan on studying, study breaks can be 5 mins to 30 minutes long. Frequent breaks are generally 5-10 mins long whereas the longer breaks, taken once or twice in the day can be 20-30 mins long.
2. Can taking too many study breaks be counterproductive?
Anything beyond limit is risky. Similarly, too many and too frequent breaks can directly impact the overall productivity of the students.
3. Should I use my study breaks to do something completely unrelated to studying?
Absolutely, but it should preferably be something of your own liking. It can be as simple as watering a garden or taking your pet (or yourself out) or even making a quick meal for yourself. The condition is that you must find it enjoyable.
4. Can meditation or mindfulness exercises be helpful during study breaks?
Yes, meditation or mindfulness exercises can certainly prove to be of great help as it helps in regulating stress and boosting concentration.
5. Is it necessary to have a fixed schedule for study breaks?
It depends on you. Though having fixed intervals for study breaks is always better yet, if you find yourself unable to focus, you must keep your schedule flexible to accommodate one or two extra breaks when required.
6. Can exercise or physical activity be beneficial during study breaks?
Yes, sitting for long hours can negatively affect your health. So it’s always advisable to exercise regularly and get involved in frequent physical activities. Stay healthy, stay fit!
7. Can taking breaks actually improve my academic performance?
Yes, provided you are using your break time properly. Frequent breaks help in doing wonders in overall productivity. It keeps you happy and healthy, which helps you in doing your best and thus eventually improving your academic performance.
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