The symptoms of study burnout may include long term fatigue, intellectual exhaustion, inability of the brain to absorb more information, an unwillingness to study further, a decline in academic performance and apathy toward educational topics. This can be quite normal especially after reaching the end of a degree program, final exams and/or extended course of study. If one reaches this point all is not lost as several steps can be taken to prepare for the next semester, exam, long haul or paper assignment.
It is important to respect yourself when studying and know your limits. By becoming familiar with how much your brain can handle you’ll know when it’s time to take a break or quit for a day or two. The earlier one is able to identify one’s own warning signs of study burnout the better because then it will be easier to handle the situation especially if there is an impending deadline just around the corner. The following tips can help in avoiding study burnout and extending academic performance.
-If the course textbook is 800 pages long, don’t try reading the whole thing if you don’t have time. Understand what the teacher or professor wants and focus your studying on that. Studying unneeded material could cause you to study less on the required information and overly fill your brain as the brain has limits.
-Pay attention in lectures and take notes you know will become useful when you study. Taking overly messy notes won’t help. Just write down what you think will be on exams and useful in term papers.
-Try not to procrastinate and leave everything to the last minute, it can be overwhelming to cram and learn everything in one night.
-Ask other students and the professor what tests will be on. Try to squeeze out information from them in a polite way. This will save you much time in studying.
-Get adequate sleep. There is no point studying when overly tired as the information won’t be retained as well. Coffee can be helpful in moderation after which it can become counter productive or simply ineffective. Drink coffee within reason to extend study time but don’t push for too long.
-At some point during your study regimen take time to ‘junk out’. Watch the most brainless television program you can find for at least half an hour or two and treat yourself to some ice cream or something you enjoy. This will refresh you mind and deceive your own brain into thinking you haven’t been studying as long.
-Only pull all nighters in the most pressing of deadlines and not for exams. That is to say, if you have a term paper due the next morning and you haven’t started you may have to pull an all nighter, but make sure you don’t have to use your brain the next day because there’s a good chance it won’t perform well.
-Eat real food between snacks and try to limit snacks and junk food to rewards. Real food i.e. food with nutritional value will benefit your mind and body and both will thank you for it.
Study burnout is sometimes unavoidable; if one reaches the unavoidable point the only thing that can be done to reduce it is to switch the brain off, go out and have fun or burn out more. Everybody’s stress relief activities are different, some people benefit from a lot of exercise, some people like to read fiction, others watch t.v. or play computer games, parties, night clubs, sleeping, IM the list goes on. The point is helps to know your limits and how your own body and mind work. When one is aware of these limits one can then discover how much pushing one’s brain and body can handle before burnout thereby avoiding through self regulation. Burn out thresholds vary from individual to individual, some can handle a lot before cracking, others very little. By practicing the above techniques and knowing your own limits better, avoiding study burnout can become a more realistic task and academic or intellectual performance will be enhanced.
Disclaimer: The above tips, opinions and ideas do not constitute a guarantee study burnout will not occur if followed. The author is expressing an opinion only and not necessarily fact. Furthermore, the author assumes no liability or indemnification should the above advice be followed with little or no success in avoiding study burnout. The above advice is to be followed with one’s own judgment and discretion.