Welcome to another minisode of the Chloe Made Me Study podcast. Each Monday, I will release a super short episode designed to share one studying idea, strategy or mindset shift that will help you start your study week off feeling focused, productive and confident.

These minisodes will help you shake off any negative studying baggage from the week before and offer a moment to pause, reflect and change your approach so you can move off in a new, more successful direction.

In this week’s minisode, I’m gonna share with you a secret for successful studying. A lesson that’s not only going to help you achieve better academic results…but will also help you find the whole process of studying easier.

More motivation, less procrastination. More progress, less stress. More consistency, less ‘oh my goodness I have to write 3000 words in 2 days’ absolute panic.

This post originated as a podcast episode which you can listen to below or search for episode 121 of the Chloe Made Me Study podcast. Or, if you’re a more of a learn-by-reading student, carry on for the rough-and-ready blog version based on the script.

The important distinction to ditch last minute studying

I want to talk to you about the difference between intensity and consistency. First with a non-studying example.

Consistency is brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. 

Intensity is going to the dentist once a year and thinking that’s allllll you have to do for good teeth. Or only flossing your teeth the morning of your dentist appointment and hoping to reap the benefits as if you did it every day…I may or may not do the flossing thing!

There isn’t really any room for discussion with this example, right? We know that consistently cleaning our teeth is better than doing a really good job not very often.

The same is true for working out. You could go to the gym for hours a week…for the first few weeks of January…and you’d likely not notice any real difference. Or you could consistently work out a few times a week for months and notice a big change.

Another example that’s relevant for my life…I’m not great at cleaning and tidying my house consistently. I haven’t built many successful habits in this area yet. Instead, I intensively clean when people come round…which is exhausting and means that ultimately the results are worse.

The attraction of intensity (and how it's keeping you a last minute Lucy)

Intensity is so much more attractive than consistency, right? We can see the results of intensity, right? The before and after…or if you follow Stacey Solomon on Instagram…the tap to tidy. It feels good to be able to measure our effort, and that is easier with intensive bursts.

But it’s consistency that’s going to help us get fitter, save for a house deposit…oh and achieve an awesome degree classification.

We have consistent studying at one level – making steady, smaller progress every day or so. Then on the other end of the spectrum we have intensity. 

Leaving your studying until the last minute.

Putting off starting a big study task instead of breaking it down into smaller chunks and starting earlier

Having to stay up late for days in a row to get something done.

There’s a number of drawbacks to taking an intensive approach to studying. Your mindset is gonna take a hit with the stress of looming deadlines and the feelings of guilt or shame about leaving things to the last minute. Your motivation is gonna be lower because studying will just feel more tense.

For some of us, when we’re under stress, we self-sabotage even more which then makes us procrastinate (that’s my typical response!) .

Oh and your results are probably not gonna be as good because it’s harder to achieve the high marks you’re capable of if you don’t have time to give your assignments enough attention.

Are you fed up with the stress of studying intensively? Do you wish you could study at a more stable, peaceful…and dare I say it…more enjoyable pace?

The reason WHY you have to study this intensely in the first place is BECAUSE you didn't study consistently beforehand. And if you regularly study with intensity then you’re likely burning yourself out and demotivating yourself……which then makes it harder to develop sustainable consistency.

Gahhhhh!!

So what can you do to go from a last minute Lucy to a proactive Polly?

You need to spend LESS time studying intensively and MORE time studying consistently.

And how do you do that?

I want you to ask yourself…

…what step can I take in the direction of consistent studying?

Have a look at your next due date and consider what small steps you can take towards it today or tomorrow to start to build this awesome new habit of consistency. We can get stuck in a trap of not starting big tasks until we have more time to dedicate to them.

But rather than putting off starting…or working on your next big study task…make the first move today…I dare ya! What can you do in 5/10/15/20 minutes to make just a little bit of consistent progress?

Do that and my goodness will it feel 10 times easier to take the next small step tomorrow.

~ FREE TRAINING ~

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