man-sleeping-with-head-on-deskIf many of you follow the same study regime as I do, which is waking up early to get an hour or so in before work and then into the late evening after work, then you will most likely be able to relate to fighting with yourself to stay awake while studying.  As the weeks pass, I’m becoming further run down.

And with Period Close approaching at work, it doesn’t look like I’ll be making up any lost sleep anytime soon.  I’ve found that there are a few ways I am able to keep myself awake and focused until 11:30pm that may be able to help you.

First and foremost, try not to tell yourself you need a quick break and then proceed to sit in front of a Television or watch something that is not CPA related on the internet.  This will just make it that much more difficult to force yourself to finish your final study session for the day.  I’ve found that when I told myself I’d only watch 5 or 10 minutes of the game that was on or some sitcom, it would always end up being anywhere from 20-30 minutes.  Once I’ve been able to pull myself off the couch, I’d either “just go through the motions” or between the 10 second walk from my couch to my room, I’d somehow justify that the few hours I already studied was enough.  Therefore, I found that if I needed a break to try and wake up, I would no longer attempt to watch TV.

I decided I’d try going outside for a quick walk around my cul-de-sac.  I would be sure to grab my phone and load up a section I previously studied and listen to the Audio while going for a brief walk.  Not only did the cold air help wake me up a bit, but it was refreshing to just get out of my room and walk around.  The reason behind listening to a section you’ve previously reviewed is due to the fact that your mind may stray while walking.  This way when you bring yourself back from the distraction, you will be able to follow along immediately since you’ve studied the topic already and have at the very least a basic understanding of it.

My third recommendation is to do a 2-3 minute workout that will get the blood moving again and help wake you up. Don’t strain yourself to the point where your heart is racing at the end of the 3 minutes; just something that will warm you up and get you to start breathing a bit more heavily.  I’ve also read that drinking a protein shake actually helps keep you focused.  Most shakes also contain Vitamin B, iron, and calcium which can help your body handle stress.

If there is one thing I can recommend, avoid drinking Red Bulls or some other form energy drink to keep yourself awake. Try and cut yourself off, as the initial sugar rush will leave you even more exhausted than before and will hamper the limited amount of sleep you’re already getting.
Of course we are all different, but if you are open to trying new methods, I welcome you to try the few ideas mentioned above. Let me know how they work for you!

Happy Studies!

-Chris Boate, guest blogger for Roger CPA Review