Working on research papers at any time can be a tedious process. It’s so easy to become distracted by anything and everything around you. Here are a few tips that have helped me with a more efficient study/writing session:
1) Clear your mind. Turn off your cell phone. Keep away from the internet. Anything that diverts your attention will only slow you down. Of course, if part of your research requires a browser, then just make sure you hold yourself accountable and go directly to the sites you need. If you have an urge to blog, don’t give in!
2) Get a snack and something to drink. An empty stomach is an uncooperative stomach. Restlessness is sure to set in if you don’t listen to your body’s needs. Research shows that if you have eaten citrus fruits like oranges, that you will focus better. Even chewing a citrus-flavored gum will do the trick!The Vitamin C is always a welcome energy boost and stimulates your senses. Drink healthy liquids like Green Tea for an added calming effect.
3) Listen to music. Some aren’t able to concentrate properly with tunes playing in the background, so keeping your music nice and light will be more pleasurable. Listen to instrumental music like a soft classical piano solo. Your brain will thank you in the long run.
4) Hit the books. Once you’ve set the mood, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Take out the books and materials you need to get started. Read over the rules your professor has set for you and your class. If you spend at least 5 minutes preparing yourself and thinking about what you are going to write, you will be able to coax yourself into getting started. Also, reading an assigned or leisure novel for 15-20 minutes will help you become inspired.
5) Brainstorm. Open that blank Microsoft Word page and construct an outline for your research paper. Include any possible options for a thesis. Allow yourself to concoct ideas and ask questions. Make web charts or jot down a few notes if you are a more visually-oriented person.
6) Sit down and write! Don’t put it off any longer. Procrastination will haunt you right up until the deadline for your research paper or novel. Remember, you made a promise. It’s up to you as a a student, a freelance writer, to complete your mission. Be professional and start writing!
Take deep breaths and relax during your study sessions. The key to all good writing is optimism. You can do it!
Good luck writing!
Amanda J. Bruns