When it comes to academics, especially in pursuing a nursing career, students may feel that pushing themselves extra hard is a good idea. It's a common issue to have – spending long hours in the library or study hall, poring over textbooks and notes to prepare for papers and exams. But before you know it, you might find yourself falling behind because you haven't shifted your focus adequately around multiple projects.
Start to prioritize.
According to Forbes Magazine, one of the best ways to begin working smarter than before is by learning to prioritize your work before you start it.1 Without a plan of attack, you might find yourself feeling scrambled, jumping from assignment to assignment with no real direction. It’s important to take the time before you start to prioritize your assignments. Picking the most challenging matter to tackle first might make it easier to make it through studying, allowing you to have an easier time with less complex chapters.
Focus on one task.
Refine The Mind suggested that rather than attempting to tackle multiple things, you might try to take them down systematically, one at a time.2 If you've worked to prioritize your assignments, you may have an easier time devoting your entire focus to a single task. Consider putting your phone on silent and tucking it away – and closing any social media windows – so you don't get distracted. You may even want to pick a place to work where it's quiet and removed from others.
Take more breaks.
Sometimes, students feel the need to cram in long hours of studying and research on assignments with no rest rather than chip away at them slowly. Inc Magazine explained that in order to work smarter, you might want to consider taking more breaks.3 The ultradian rhythm hypothesizes that on average the human brain remains focused for 90 minutes and needs at least 15 minutes of rest afterward.4 Think of it this way: imagine your brain as a pencil. If you continue to use your pencil for too long, it might become dull and not capable of writing as well. A more effective pencil is one that's sharpened intermittently. If you treat your brain in the same manner, you might develop a better approach to your work habits.
Buffer App suggested that naps might lead to improvements in memory and cognitive function, which may be essential to your performance in nursing college.5 Giving your brain time to shut down and relax during the day might benefit your learning process, allowing you to better retain information. Studying for long hours with little sleep might result in you burning out and hitting a wall. The best results might be achieved by paying attention to your body, and reacting when you get tired.
Maintain a positive outlook.
When you're working on a lengthy project or studying for a big test, it may be easy to slip into a negative mindset. However, Forbes stressed the importance of keeping a positive state of mind when tackling your assignments.6 It might help you to think more creatively and analytically.