Once your academic career reaches Ph.D. level, it’s unlikely that your old study habits will be as effective. Doctorates are far harder than any qualification that comes before them and this can leave you feeling overwhelmed when it comes to the workload. To thrive in a situation where the professors are less involved and the syllabus is far more rigorous, you may need to change things up. Here are a couple of strategies to test out, all of which can be implemented with minimal effort.
Practice self-care every day
Being a Ph.D. student can often feel like a balancing act. Along with your studies, you often need to hold down a job, find time for family life and socialize. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to feelings of anxiety and burnout. You can begin to tackle the problem by getting into a healthy mindset. Setting aside at least 30 minutes for physical activity, following a nutritious diet and reaching out to your support group for a chat can all help to decrease your stress levels.
Get enough sleep
A hectic home life, long work hours and cramming for exams can quickly deprive you of sleep. As tiredness takes hold, it can affect your mind and body, draining you of energy and making it harder to retain information. To perform at your best whilst studying for a Ph.D., look after your sleep health by aiming for at least seven to eight hours a night.
Use every resource available
Along with reading and research, speaking with your Ph.D. supervisor is a great way of staying on track. The online PhD nursing programs at Wilkes provide you with access to a dedicated chairperson whilst you are developing your dissertation. Over the three years it should take you to finish your Ph.D. at Wilkes, you can turn to them at any time for practical and professional guidance.
Use active study techniques
Reading through your notes and underlining the key points can feel like studying, but there are more valuable ways of engaging with your subject. Organization and planning in the form of a study guide can help you manage a range of topics. Start by formulating questions and then prepare full, comprehensive answers. You could also write a lesson as if you will be delivering it to a class, then speak the concepts you are learning about out loud. This allows you to organize your thoughts, spot any weaknesses in your work and build your confidence.
Study a little and often
Cramming is rarely the most efficient way to learn, so try to space out your study hours over the week. Many people find their concentrations levels stay high if they set aside a short amount of time each day for working on their Ph.D. Bear in mind that the key issue is how well you use the time you set aside for studying, not the length of time you study for. In longer sessions, it is easy to find your mind wandering and your ability to learn will suffer as a result.