10 Well-being Tips for Study Success

Well-being for Study Success

How do you manage your study and work schedule with the added challenge of workload and stress? Here are my 10 tips for well-being and study success:

Tip #1 – Always identify deadlines

Ask for extensions if necessary.

Set times for doing and finishing things and stick to it. Write deadlines in places where you can easily see and remember which tasks are priority and when they are due.

Tip #2 – Ask questions

What, why, when, how?

These are all simple but important questions we need to ask about things that we are supposed to do. Time is precious so it’s important you ask questions about the benefit and impact of tasks you’ve been set. Ask questions especially for clarification.

There is a proverb in Hausa, ‘The questioner is never lost‘.

Tip #3 – Learn from feedback

Mistakes are both unavoidable and necessary for us to learn. We learn from both what we did and what we didn’t do well.

As a teacher, I spend time giving feedback to help learners develop and learn from what they did or didn’t do and how they can do better. So whenever you receive feedback on your work, make sure you understand that teachers only give you feedback to support your progress not to criticise your efforts.

Tip #4 – Know when to stop

Say no to yourself and/or others when you can’t or simply don’t want to do something.

As hard as it may be, it will benefit you in the long run if you are honest about what you are able to do realistically from the onset.

Nobody is a superhuman and you are no exception. Sometimes things are simply not possible to do and that is absolutely OK.

Tip #5 – Take regular breaks

Rebooting is necessary.

You have the power to set the reset button anytime you like. Your mind and body are not machines, so it’s important to give yourself time and space to detach from your workload regularly.

Try to incorporate regular breaks for water, fresh air, body stretches (especially if you spend a lot of time at a desk) and food or snacks into your work schedule.

Tips #6 – Keep a happy workspace

Your mind needs inspiration to work effectively.

Find a space that makes you feel happy or decorate your workspace with things that make you smile like photos of your favourite places or quotes from inspirational people.

If you have awards or certificates from previous achievements, why not display these too? This will encourage you especially when you’re not feeling your best by reminding you of how your previous hard work has paid off.

Tip #7 – Talk about it

What are you up to? What’s bothering you?

Whatever it is don’t keep it in. Share ideas with your peers and other people to collaborate on managing time, study skills, productivity or anything else that interests you.

You should also be able to talk to your tutors, lecturers or student well-being officers. If you have some really important things that are bothering you, you should seek professional help.

Tip #8 – Go outside

Sometimes you just have to say no, both to yourself and to others.

It might be difficult, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. You can’t always do it all at once.

Nobody is superhuman and you are no exception.

Tip #9 – Enjoy the process

Studying is fun, if approached with the correct mindset.

Think positively about the tasks ahead and you are far more likely to enjoy doing them. If you enjoy what you are doing, it will be a lot easier. So focus on the process and you will see positive outcomes.

Tip #10 -Relax

If you’ve done your best, you’ve done pretty much everything.

Now relax and let it come together. Detach yourself from your work now and watch it all fall into place.

I hopethese 10 tips help you improve your well-being for study success. For daily inspiration and tips on study skills follow me on Instagram

12 Keys To Success
‘12 Keys To Success’ eBook is available for instant digital download from my online store; Nafisa London & Co.
You can also get you copy of my eBook: ‘12 Keys To Success’  –  a strategically designed, straightforward and reader-centred guide on achieving your visions and dreams and written with 12 useful tips based on my first hand experience and strategies I’ve used to turn my education, business and career goals into tangible results. It is designed with hands-on practical advice to engage active rather than passive reading. This eBook is available for instant digital download from my online store; Nafisa London & Co.

Enjoy,

~Nafisa

5 Tips for a More Productive Ramadan


Happy 1st of June! As we are already into the 6th day of the Islamic holy month of fasting; Ramadan, I’d like to wish you all a Ramadan Kareem and share some productivity tips for work and study during this busy, significant month.

During Ramadan, Muslims are required to observe daily fasting from the hours of sunrise to sunset for the entire holy month. During this time of year, many people are studying for and sitting exams which may seem quite a challenge considering no food or drink can be consumed during the daylight hours. However, as someone who has studied for many, many exams and worked a full time job during long days in the summer months of Ramadan, I can attest how Ramadan can actually increase productivity for work, study and even business. Here are my top 5 tips:

1. Create a timetable for the entire month

Ramadan is very clear on what activities you can and can’t do during the day and night. Creating a timetable so you know what time to have a suhoor (pre-fast snack/meal), times to pray the daily 5 prayers, when to prepare for Iftar (meal for breaking the fast) will allow you to manage your time easily and allocate the time you need for work or study tasks during the day and/or after breaking your fast.

2. Stay hydrated

Even though you can’t drink during daylight hours of fasting, it’s very important to start breaking your fast with water and ensure you keep a steady intake of fluids after breaking fast. Avoid caffeinated drinks and opt for water and natural fruit juices that can boost your energy levels, especially during suhoor time.

3. Don’t stay awake the entire night

It’s easy to get carried away with the festive Ramadan nights but when you have to work and/or study, your priority is to sleep as early as you can so you can get up early too. The night is for sleeping and no matter how much sleep you may think you can get during the day, it’s not and never will amount to the quality of sleep your body gets during the night. It’s better to sleep after Isha prayers and wake up half an hour before Fajr for Suhoor and Tahajjud (night prayers).

4. Avoid going back to sleep after Fajr prayer

Fajr is the first and earliest of the 5 obligatory daily prayers. My ideal is to wake up around 30 mins before Fajr (the first of the 5 obligatory prayers) for Tahajjud. After prayer Fajr you will naturally feel vibrant and alert. Sont go back to bed after praying Fajr because starting your day as early as possible is no doubt one of the fundamental keys to success and an early start also helps keep your energy levels in balance throughout the day.

5. Be consistent through the entire month

Keeping a good daily routine requires a high level of consistency because once you loose focus and start doing too many things out of the order of your normal schedule more than once, your daily routine looses it’s structure and no longer becomes a routine. This is likely to mean less productivity and more procrastination for you.  sometimes consistency can be a difficult thing to get used to if you’ve been accustomed to an unstructured daily life. However, once you’ve put in place a structured routine (i.e.: by creating a Ramadan timetable) that is suited to your personal objectives and goals,  you’ll find it more beneficial than a burden. You are also far more likely to continue these productive habits even after the holy month of Ramadan.

It’s very important to remember Ramadan is a month that encourages productivity not laziness. Even though Muslims are required to abstain from eating and drinking during the day, it is not means for sleeping as a replacement for eating until the time to break fast. Many students are observing the fast alongside preparations and sitting exams this June so understanding that a good work balance between night and day, using time effectively and wisely and being consistent in your daily routine are some basic keys to leading a successful, productive and fulfilling life, both spiritually and materially as well as achieving success during exam periods and after.
I hope you’ve found my 5 tips helpful and I wish you a productive and successful Ramadan.

Ramadan Kareem,

~ Nafisa

The Rule of 3

The rule of 3 is a concept I teach my students regularly for learning and remembering information, academic writing and presentation skills. 

It’s a simple concept which has proved very effective for both my students and I. Whether you are a student, career professional or business person, the rule of 3 is a classic and useful approach to presentations and good communication in general.

The Rule of 3 is one of the oldest in the book – Aristotle wrote about it in his book Rhetoric. Put simply it is that people tend to easily remember three things. – Charles Hooton, Presentation Skills,  BEO Masters Programme 2016

Rule of 3 in presentation skills

In regard to presentation skills, the rule of 3 can be summarised and remembered as follows:

♦ A good presentation is divided in three parts; a beginning, middle and an end. Therefore, you should plan in advance the information to present and what section it should be included in.

♦ An audience is highly likely to only remember three  things from your presentation, so carefully consider the three key  things you want them to take away from your speech. Here you are only concerned with important information and not every minor detail.

♦ Famous speeches, past and present focus on three major points, for example;

Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) – Julius Caesar

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning – Sir Winston Churchill

Friends, Romans, Countrymen – William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar

Rule of 3 in academic writing

In academic writing, the rule of three is also useful and applicable;

  • Just as in a presentation, an essay structure also consists of an introduction, main body and conclusion. In order to present information in a logical, interesting sequence which can be understood by the reader, you should also plan the information to include and what section it should be under.
  • When making a point or argument, the basic structure should include the following three; statement of the point/issue/argument, evidence to support the point, analysis and development of the point and evidence.
  • When writing an essay, the standard and minimum number of times you should draft and write it before submission is 3; you should write your plan, write a draft version and then re-write a final piece.

Rule of 3 in wider learning, work and/or business

Rule of 3 is also an effective method of organising and managing content for study and revision of topics for tests and exams.

♦ Some useful tips for work, study and exam revision:

  • Divide long tasks into 3 smaller manageable ones over a 3 separate periods (e.g.: days, weeks, etc).
  • Write three key points per post it note or flashcard, this makes it easier and quicker to take in important information especially when reviewing and revising for tests and exams.
  • Use three different coloured pens or highlighters to underline important information contained in pages of long texts; decide what colour represents what, for example – pink for important dates, yellow for names of places, blue for names of people. This makes it easy for you to see important information quicker when skimming through large pieces of information.

I hope you have found this post on the rule of 3 useful and more importantly I hope you find ways to make it work for you for work and study and improving your presentation skills. Please share this with others who you think may also benefit from it.

~ Nafisa

5 Basic Elements of Good Academic Writing


There is no magic wand for learning good academic writing, however, there are ways to make it easier, more manageable and fun. Here are my 5 simple tips for good academic writing:


♦ Remember, you can download your free PDF copy of these 5 basic elements of academic writing here. Print and use it to help you study.

Enjoy,

~ Nafisa



 

 

Using Word Tables for Learning Academic Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives & Adverbs


There are many words in English that have forms of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. For example; beauty (noun), beautify (verb), beautiful (adjective), beautifully (adverb).  It is very useful to learn as many of these common words used in academic writing in their noun/verb/adjective/adverb forms. However, there are also some words that do not always have all 4 forms.

Here is a list of common words with their noun/verb/adjective/adverb forms and academic word table to organise other words you learn.

Here is an academic vocabulary worksheet with activities to check your understanding.

You can also check your answers to these activities using the answer key here.

Academic word table, exercises and answer key available to download and print, click the links above this photographs to download yours.

Enjoy,

~ Nafisa