How often should I study?
You should study a little bit everyday.
This is the most common advice teachers give and I did, in the past, also advise the same. Ideally, yes - I still agree that daily study is the most beneficial way to learn and also to keep motivation up.
However...as an adult, you may not have those options and real life gets in the way.
I think it's important to realise that studying isn't always going to take priority everyday. Work, family, friends, housework, activities, exercise, your own private time, rest are all necessary and time management can sometimes be out of your control (think about OT...).
So my solution?...
Keep track of weekly progress, not daily.
There are different ways to track your progress. A habit calendar, like below, can help. I personally don't enjoy using them but I have heard others swear by it. ...I think I prefer something a little less colourful...
The different colours represent different tasks you want to track daily. If you managed to do them that day, you colour in the space.
The idea is to see and remind yourself that you have done a task.
This type of calendar is more my style. I colour the days with different colours but the colours represent my effort level. For example, green would show a strong effort, yellow shows a half-effort, red shows a very low effort and no colour means I did nothing that day.
Fortunately (..or unfortunately..) I have 4 classes a week so I don't feel the need to track my progress or my study amount. I study by myself on 2 of the other days in the week so I think that's plenty at the moment.
But I do track my exercise progress.
How I track my exercise progress & habits
I've managed to lose weight and become much fitter in the last year and I definitely noticed that accountability has helped me maintain my efforts and motivation. I write down and record all the exercises I do in a day. For me, I find that writing a kind of 'journal' or diary after my exercise gives me satisfaction in completing something.
My journal looks very boring and is essentially:
Monday: (list of exercises, weight, reps, sets, comments)
Friday: (list of exercises, weight, reps, sets, comments)
Saturday: (hiking, time/distance)
At the end of the week, I just count the days where I've written in my journal. So this week, I exercised 4 times this week and I'm happy enough with that amount. If I notice I exercised less one week, I would do my best to exercise more the following week and give it more priority in my life.
I think this weekly balance is easier to maintain and achieve.
It's also less stressful.
Regardless, I highly recommend trying one of these methods to record and track your progress. Motivation will sometimes be up and sometimes down but being consistent and creating a habit will always lead to improvement.
In the future, I hope I will go back to these methods to help me keep some sense of organisation or control of my life. (Or as much as possible..)