After a long day, the last thing you want to do is study after work. You‘re tired and you just want to crash. But you know you have to study in the evenings if you want to keep up with your workload…and not have to spend all weekend chained to your desk.
On the way home from work you tell yourself you’re going to study tonight. You know you really should start the next chapter in that textbook.
But, when you open your front door, all your other responsibilities step up and smack you in the face. The house is a mess, dinner’s not gonna cook itself and your partner or kids want attention.
Or, you get home and you make that BIG MISTAKE. You sit down on the sofa for ‘just a minute’ and suddenly you’re paralysed and can’t bring yourself to leave that cosy cocoon.
I know what it’s like to work a long day then have to study when you get home. You’re tired and have so much else to do. So your good intentions fly out the window and you convince yourself that you’ll study tomorrow instead.
It’s hard to study after work, I get it.
But it’s a necessary evil if you want good grades.
In this blog post, you'll discover:
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1. The power of transitions
High-performance coach, Brendon Burchard, talks about generating energy in his book, High Performance Habits. He explains that we need to renew our energy during the transitions between our daily activities. So, the transition I’m talking about here is from your commute to studying when you get home. Brendon explains that you should ‘release tension’ and ‘set intention’ to generate the energy you need to study after work.
So, if you drive home from work, sit in your car for a few minutes outside your house. Or if you walk or take public transport, stop by your front door (or just inside if your neighbours are likely to think you’re crazy).
Spend a few minutes releasing the tension in your body and mind from your work day and commute. Close your eyes, take slow, deep breaths and repeat ‘release, release, release’. Once you feel tension lift, choose a clear intention for your evening. Say it loud to yourself in the third person.
For example, ‘Chloe, this evening you’re going to study for one hour and take notes on chapter two’. Or, ‘Chloe, you’re going to go straight upstairs and study with focus and without distractions’. Once you’ve set your intention, open your eyes and get to work.
2. Identify when you’re going to study
I know evenings don’t feel long at all. Sometimes it feels like you come home, eat then have to go to bed. But there will be snippets of time where you can fit in some study after work. And it may not feel worth it, but with just 30 minutes of planned, intentional studying every evening you’ll make great progress.
Try studying at different times:
If you’re a night owl, studying later in the evening may work for you. Or maybe that seems horrifying to you and you’d rather get it out the way before your brain turns to mush. Trial different times to see what works for you.
3. Always know what you need to focus on
A surefire way to waste time is to sit down to study after work without a plan. I catch myself doing this sometimes. I come home and sit at my desk and have a quick look at my emails. Then I flick through my notes and maybe have a look on Instagram. I try to start studying but the focus isn’t there.
I know your time is precious.
I don’t want you studying for longer than is necessary.
So, you need to make sure you always start studying with a plan. Work out what you’re going to work on before you start studying so you squeeze every last drop of value out of each session.
This could be as simple as jotting down 1-3 priority tasks on a sticky note the night before. Or you could go one step further and take control of your weekly and daily study tasks.
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4. Don’t give yourself a chance to p*iss about
I am very good at procrastinating when I get home from work.
So, to make sure studying happens, I have to make sure I don’t give myself to chance to p*iss about.
As soon as I get in, the shoes come off and the kettle gets switched on. I go upstairs, turn on my computer and get my study materials ready. I change into pyjamas then go down and make a cup of tea. Then it’s straight back upstairs to my desk and I start studying. No faffing, no ‘I’ll just have a quick look on Facebook’. I get the studying done.
This really works as you don’t interrupt the momentum of coming home. You use that energy to study now so you can relax after.
So try this trick if you know you have to study but you’re worried you’ll put it off if you wait until later.
5. Make the rest of your evening run more smoothly
Our evenings often feel rushed with a million things to do. Making studying a priority is vital, but it’s difficult when everything else also seems like a priority. Keeping the house clean, cooking good food, relaxing, catching up with your family…etc.
Try to see if there are any ways you can make your evening run more smoothly so you have some time to study after work.
Here are some suggestions.
Now, these won’t all work for everyone I know. The point here is to get creative about how you can prioritise what’s important to you.
RECAP! You should now know...
Don’t forget to grab my bundle of productivity printables below.
You’ll find weekly planners, a weekly task list and my super popular daily study session planner to make every one of your study sessions crazy productive.