Here are four guidelines to help develop this rhythm between study and not study to prevent you from becoming too stressed and achieving your maximum potential as a student. It is only one suggestion and should be adapted to what works best for you.
1. Every semester and mid semester break (four times a year) you should have some period of holiday time. This will give you something to look forward to each term and you can then return to study refreshed. It can be an excellent motivation. Many students say they will study during holiday breaks and even take their books with them. What usually happens is that they put the study off and have time off anyway. However, it is not effective time off because they worry and feel guilty, which exhausts them. It is much better to remove the worry and guilt and get rejuvenated.
2. Every week you should have at least one day off. You and everyone around you should know it is your day off from study, it should be worry and guilt free. On that day it is fine to do other things like cleaning, cooking, shopping etc but not study. When you do this you find you get a new perspective on what you are doing and many problems naturally solve themselves.
3. Every day have some time that you know and feel is legitimate to not study perhaps three hours. It is during these times that you can do the things that give your life its balance that will help you study more effectively.
4. Every hour you need some time off. Time sitting at your desk trying to study but not studying is wasted time. It is much better to get up, have a break and then return when your mind is very clear. Very few people can study for more that thirty to fifty minutes with full concentration. You should then have a short break, maybe 10-15 minutes, then continue to study, then a break again – and keep up this rhythm. People can study for a long time like this. When you are having extreme difficulty studying you can even reduce the study time to 15 minutes and in a short time you will be able to increase it again. Many students study until they cannot study any more. It is often better to stop while study is going well because it is much easier to return to it. During the short break do things that refresh you: go outside, do something physical, walk, whatever gives you a break from study. Then return to your study.
Keep this up until it is time to take one of your bigger breaks that you have each day. Keep this daily rhythm up until your day off arrives and keep this weekly rhythm up until the term break arrives. This rhythm is part of a lifestyle that will help you to perform to your best potential and is sustainable over a long time.
Reference: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/counselling_centre/resources/brochures/lifestyle.html — edited by An-Nuur Press Agency