When Is The Best Time To Study?

Are you struggling to find the best time for studying?

I’m willing to bet you’ve tried setting up a regular schedule, but it’s hard to squeeze in time for studying with everything else that you have to do.

And when you can finally wedge out an hour here or there, it only makes you feel more defeated because, let’s face it, an hour isn’t enough to achieve top results.

Don’t worry! You’re not alone.

One of the biggest challenges people face is finding the balance between their everyday “life” activities – sport, cultural activities, work, relaxing and socialising – and studying.

It’s hard to stay motivated to finish off assignments and really focus on what you’re learning when you’re literally squeezing in a half hour here and there to study, but never really have the time to go “all-in”.

Speaking from experience, getting top academic results takes commitment and dedication. And TIME.

So how – and when – can you find enough time for studying? Should you do it first thing in the morning? Lunchtime? Later in the day?

Keep reading for the pros and cons of each…

Best Time for Studying: Do Mornings Have an Edge?

Sometimes you have to be the early bird.

If early mornings are when you feel most productive, block out time for studying first thing in the AM.

Scheduling study before everything (and everyone) else has 3 big benefits:

  • Benefit #1 – You’ll start your day off with your revision already in the bag, so you’ll feel accomplished and motivated to tackle anything that comes your way
  • Benefit #2 – You won’t spend the day stressing about when you’re going to fit it in because it’s already done!
  • Benefit #3 – Doing your revision early in the morning helps you structure your day and establish a routine

I know… if you’re not naturally an early riser, a morning schedule can be hard to adopt.

But if you stick with it, over time you can actually shift your circadian rhythm so you’re more alert and at your peak in the morning.

Plus, studies show that many of the most successful people in the world are early risers.

  • Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, starts his day at 3:45 am
  • Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey starts his day at 5.30
  • Virgin founder Richard Branson starts at 5.45, even when he’s on holidays on his private island.

Another reason to study in the morning?

You’ll be more alert and have more energy throughout the day.

Need help planning your study routine?

You may be interested in my FREE 5 step study planner. It has everything you need to organise your study schedule.

Click here to download your FREE planner now >>

Best Time for Studying: Afternoons can work, too

If mornings are an absolute hard pass, tackling study in the early afternoon can work too.

You just have to be very disciplined with your schedule. We all know how easy it is to procrastinate, right?

For example, if you schedule time for study between 5-9 pm every day, make sure you get your other “busy” tasks out of the way before then.

Don’t let those other tasks distract you or linger on! It’s too easy to get pulled into the “just one more thing before I start” rut.

It may help to use the trip home to shift your focus and mentally prepare for the switch. That can actually shift your body clock and help you adjust to studying at that time.

On the plus side, it’ll most likely be easy to stay consistent with studying in the afternoon. Most people are more physically energetic and alert at that time.

Best Time for Studying: Night time has its perks

If this is your “go” time, more power to you!

Personally, I do my best work after 8pm. For many people, this is when they have more energy.

Scheduling studying after everything quietens down means you’ll have fewer distractions and an easier time focusing.

This is especially true if you have a large and noisy family and it’s only possible to really focus after everyone else is chilling out or asleep.

It’s also easier to maintain concentration for longer when there are fewer distractions.

So, if you tend to get your second wind at night and are bursting with energy and focus then, go for it.

Who needs to binge-watch Netflix? Be productive and get your studying done!

And if you’re not naturally a night owl but night-time is the only time you have to study, here are some tips to stay productive:

  • Tip #1 – Take a break before you start

It’s unrealistic to think you can just keep studying all afternoon and night after a long day at school. Take some time out to socialise, exercise, or just relax before you start again. This will not only re-energise you, but will also stop you feeling resentful about having no time to enjoy yourself. Make sure you have a good dinner as well to keep you well fuelled throughout your study session.

  • Tip #2 – Set a hard start and deadline

Setting yourself up to do an undefined study session will lead to frustration and negativity. Parkinson’s law tells us that work expands to fit the amount of time available. So if you set aside the whole night to study, your work will take at least this amount of time.

Break your study into short chunks of time (no more than one hour for each task) and use an alarm to keep you motivated and moving forward. After each hour allow yourself a short break before starting on a new subject. Knowing that you have to focus for only one hour is far preferable to looking at a 4 hour session!

  • Tip #3 Have a clear goal for each study session

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve in the designated time slot will help keep you focussed and on-task. It will also stop you wasting time at the start trying to decide what to do. At the end of each study session make a note of what you achieved and where you need to pick up in your next session. Setting short term goals in this way not only helps you use your time effectively, but enables you to monitor your achievements keeping you positive and motivated.

Conclusion: There’s no one-size-fits-all!

Ultimately, the best time for studying is whenever you’re most productive. And by that, I mean: awake, clear headed and with a few hours of devoted time ahead of you.

Sure, an hour here or there is great. But when it comes time to really focus and get things done, you need more than an hour.

When you’re juggling your studies with other “life” tasks and responsibilities, you have to be incredibly strict with your schedule. Set time-related deadlines and stick to them. So, If you plan to start at 6 am, start at 6 am, not 6:30. That way there’s less room for procrastination.

Remember, the hardest part is starting. Even if your brain feels foggy, it’ll wake up once you start.

If you’re unsure how to start planning your study schedule, I created a FREE planner.

It has everything you need to get organised and achieve the great results you really want.

Click here to download your FREE planner now.