7 Practical steps to study long hours 

Everyone wants that small edge, which can put him/her ahead of others. One such area is to squeeze in more effective hours into your study schedule.
What if you can stretch your effective daily study hours from eight to ten? It’s hard, no doubt, but achievable. Below are seven steps which will help you fight lethargy plus additional steps to fight sleepiness in the evening when studying.
Prioritise your schedule: take up difficult topics early in the day. Take up the difficult material in the forenoon when you’re at your best energy wise. As a result, you face less challenging topics in the evening, when you’ve dissipated loads of your physical and mental energy and when tendency to slack is highest.
Exercise: As far as academics are concerned, physical exercise boosts learning ability and long-term memory, and controls anxiety and depression. But the benefits of exercise go beyond: it also improves concentration, alertness, and motivation.
Steal a nap: Take nap for pulling off an all-nighter. Yes, steal… if you can’t get it the legit way. It’s so important. The most important aspect of nap, as observed in the case of NASA pilots, is that performance slacks much less than when you don’t nap, which means you can study at a high intensity even late in the evening if you have had a nap in the afternoon.
Eat to maintain energy levels: Although your brain constitutes just 2 per cent of your body weight, it guzzles 20 per cent of your daily energy intake. Studies have shown that non-pleasurable mentally exhausting tasks – academic learning will fall into this category for most – drain our energy fast. Therefore it’s important to eat in a way that sustains your energy level.
Conserve your mental energy: How do you know you are gritty? Because your brain is energy guzzler, it’s important not to dissipate your energy by letting your mind wander into debilitating, irrelevant thoughts. Thoughts that linger on: “Why did he behave with me so rudely?” “What if I fail in the exam?” and so on…
Take regular breaks: Some have the tendency to power their way through sessions, especially at the start of the day, non-stop. It’s a mistake. You should take breaks for two reasons. It not only relaxes you, but it also restores your waning concentration.
Your concentration starts dropping after 50 minutes or so, and if you keep powering your way through, you’ll be studying with lesser concentration, which is akin to wasting time. Therefore, take a 5-10 minute break every 50-odd minutes to restore your focus.
If possible, study/ work in daylight: Well, this may be a luxury which most likely you can’t afford, but if you can, then read on. Research has shown that studying/ working in daylight makes you less drowsy, more alert in the afternoon, thereby increasing your productivity or adding more hours to your schedule.

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