S = Specific
Vague: "Read Kant for two hours." (Any goal exceeding 1.5 hours of study should be broken into smaller goals.)
Specific: "Read 4 pages of Kant in an hour and prepare a thought for class"
M = Measurable
Not Measurable: "Study for Chemistry Exam for 8 hours."
Measurable: "Work problems from 5 chapters for 45 minutes each."
(Short, measurable goals will help you stay on track.)
A = Attainable
Not Attainable: "Study 40 hours every week outside class."
Attainable: "Study 20 hours every week outside class and save my extra energy for final's week."
R = Realistic
Unrealistic: "Get Straight A's this quarter." (You cannot control everything that will affect your grade.)
Realistic: "Go to all classes. Study 3 hours per day."
T = Timely
Not Timely: "I'll start my paper tomorrow..."
Timely: "Today, I can read the essay questions and pick my topic."
T = Take a Break!
Continue your previous hobbies and interests, even if the time spent on them needs to be reduced.
Take regular breaks. Study for only 45 - 90 minute intervals. And, study for only 3 hours per day in a normal week.
I = Invigorate Yourself!
Continue to exercise and socialize.
Study with a group or meet a friend to study.
Treat yourself to breakfast before your Sunday study session.
P = Plan Your Study Space!
Study in a space that works for you. If you are distracted or unproductive studying at home or in the library, go to a coffee shop, for instance.
S = Set Your Priorities!
Set your priorities every week, and then re-examine your priorities every day.
Work on high priority work first.
Make tough decisions and stick by them.
- Are you researching your paper endlessly? Start writing instead and find out in that way whether more research is required.
- Does a problem set need to be done tomorrow? Take a rain check on that coffee date and study with your friend instead.