How to eat an elephant and other revision tips

Bright Disposition Rainbow journal

Today I thought I would share some revision tips to encourage all those of you who are revising and sitting exams at the moment to keep going. We can also apply these tips to other work related things like project management and report writing.

I always wondered why most exams are in May and June, which are my two favourite months of the year!  I could cope with revision in January, when there was nothing better to do but it seemed bittersweet to be stuck inside revising when the sun was shining outside.


I hope these top tips will help get you through the Exam season:

Begin with the end in mind

What is your dream/ end goal? Exams are often stepping stones on the path to get you to your next adventure. Keep your dream career in mind and it will help you get through the drudgery of revision. 

Have a plan

Brink Contemporary Arts Elephant MuralHaving a revision plan helps you not to get overwhelmed and you will be able to tick off your tasks and see your progress. This can also be applied to project work. In the words of Desmond Tutu – “there is only one way to eat an elephant. One bite at a time.” Meant figuratively of course it simply means when things feel overwhelming, break revision and project work down into smaller tasks.

Mix things up

I often find changing the task  helps when I have a deadline looming. Sometimes I will feel like editing photos, sometimes doing analytic work, sometimes creative work, sometimes report writing. I need variety in my work schedule otherwise I get bored. You could also apply this to where you revise, have a change of scene to stop you feeling restless.

Take a Break

Structure your revision/ work around your breaks so you have something to look forward to! It could be something as simple as a tea break or messaging a friend.

Have a support team

Surround yourself with family or friends who encourage you, make you drinks and bring you chocolate.

If you are in a flat share take it in turns to cook so you all eat well but also get time to revise.

Encourage each othergeese flying in formation

Geese fly in formation and honk from behind to encourage each other. Do this with your friends, go to the library together to revise, arrange a coffee or walk after you have done a few hours of work. 

Get some fresh air Brink Contemporary Arts Elephant Mural

Do some physical exercise or go for a walk. It will help clear the brain fog.

Last minute revision

If your deadline is looming and you haven’t done enough, approach it like Francis of Assisi Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” He was deeply spiritual so I’m sure he would recommend praying a lot too!

Eat well

I often feel nervous before an exam so ensure I leave enough time to eat slowly so as to feed my brain. When I did my A levels I took mini Mars bars into exams to keep my energy up (I’m not sure if you are still allowed to do this!). It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever eaten Mars bars but it worked for me and used to amuse my friends.

Reward yourself

Buy yourself a little gift or plan an outing to reward yourself once the exam/ project is over.

(c) Bright Disposition Free Spirit Journal We have some lovely journals and postcards in our Bright Disposition Etsy shop, which were designed with encouragement in mind.

Dream Big, Aim High and Shine Bright.


Oh and Good Luck, it won’t be long until you are feeling like this elephant! Brink Contemporary Arts Elephant Mural

The Brink Contemporary Arts Elephant Mural, shown in the photos, can be viewed from the Mill Bridge outside Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa.

A final note and later addition to this post. My friend Lucy posted on Facebook that her son’s teacher gave the following advice to her 18 year old A level students: “Keep nourishing your passions and always follow your path and ambitions – the future is bright and will see you shine.”  What great advice!



About the Author: Alex Wiltshire

Retail Analyst, Shopaholic and Managing Director of Bright Disposition Ltd.

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