5 hrs a day or 5 hrs a week? In either case, for 1 chapter that's a lot! I was the same way. I totally over did it and I would fall down the rabbit hole of trying to learn every single detail about something. What I ended up doing was making a study schedule and STICKING TO IT. I knew I had to stick to the schedule, so every time I would start to fall down the rabbit hole and do more on something than I should, I needed to remind myself that I only had x min left in my study time for this chapter or class and needed to finish what I had scheduled to do in that time. It definitely got easier to do that once I did it more! So, how is the study schedule your professor gave you set up?
First, how I took notes:
Before class, read each chapter you will be going over. Don't worry about taking notes. Just read each chapter through so you have an idea of what the instructor will be talking about during lecture. (it's hard to take notes if you don't know the info - if you don't know the info, then you'll think everything is important and be writing waaaay too much. If you have at least a little idea of the info, you can at least get kind of an idea of what is important and where to start). I know a lot of people say that you can't read every single chapter for every single class, but I didn't think it took that much time to just read through each chapter. It was when I tried to read through every single chapter and make notes on every single chapter that was time consuming. Just reading through was quick and easy.
During class....TAKE NOTES!! Take lots of notes. Don't be afraid to ask questions - ask as many as you need, talk to the instructor after class if you need to. Don't worry about the notes looking good (we'll worry about that later) - Just scribble down everything you need to. (my notes were a mess after class - I would write them fast and think of things after the fact and make notes on the sides and squish something between other things)
After class: If possible, right after class (or as soon as you can but try not to wait)...type up your notes from class make them well-organized. Fill in anything you left blank, use your book to supplement things, add to things that you didn't understand, find examples in your book that help you understand, etc. Make this as neat as possible. This is what you will use as your study guide. Read through it, write it out over and over again, whatever helps you retain the information best. (Personally, I need to write things out in order for them to stick in my head, so I would type up the notes nice and neat, then I would write em out over and over again until I felt I had a good handle on them).
Now...when I took notes...I tended to end up with PAGES! So, after I had spent time studying them and studying them and studying them and learned everything I could from it, there became a point where studying them all was just wasting time because I learned all I could from those notes, so I would go on to my final step. Of course, there was always some things from those PAGES of notes that I had a hard time with still. So, I would take a piece of paper, then I would take the key concepts from those PAGES of notes and I would write just a few words or something to remind me about each one. You are only putting in what you DON'T KNOW. This ends up breaking our notes down from everything to only what you still need to review before the exam. The key here is to not go over 1 page. If you have, then you have put too much information – either you haven't learned everything you can from the PAGES of notes, or you just didn't condense the info enough. So, if you need to, go back and review those PAGES. If not, just focus on condensing what you have down more.
Doing this helped me actually RETAIN the information. I didn't just cram it into my head for the exam and then forget about it to learn the stuff for the next exam – because then, I would have to review EVERYTHING when it came time for the final exam. Instead, I used this method so I could actually LEARN AND RETAIN everything. So, when it came time for the final exam, I just needed to key concepts and the stuff we just learned.
I did a schedule where I would look at the syllabus - For class A, Exam 1, was going to be over chapters 1 - 7. Class B, Exam 1, was going to be over chapters 1 - 7. Class C, Exam 1, was going to be over chapters 1 - 7. I knew I had a habit of falling down the rabbit hole, so I needed to be specific in my study schedule. So, I did it as something like:
Sunday - Read each chapter we will be going over in each class on Monday. But only READ the chapters. I would NOT take notes.
Monday: Right after class, I would straighten up my notes (see side note below). Then, for 90 min I go over chapter 1 and 2 for each class (45 min for each chapter - and ONLY 45 min on each chapter - I used a timer!!). Then I would take a break (usually make dinner and put my son to bed) then for 90 min I would go over chapter 3 and 4 for each class (again, ONLY 45 min on each chapter). At some point, I would read each chapter that we would be going over in any classes I had on Tuesday (again, only READ. Do NOT take notes).
Tuesday: After class, I would straighten up my notes. Then, for 90 min go over chapter 5 and 6 (45 min ONLY each chapter), and take a break then after putting my son to bed I would spend 45 min going over chapter 7. At some point, I would read each chapter we would be going over in any classes I had on Wednesday (only READ, NO NOTES!)
After that, I would focus on studying my notes, and then condensing them down. Then, only studying the page from each chapter I condensed my notes down into until the time of the exam. I would also do practice NCLEX questions that were related to the subjects we were being tested on. After the exam, I would start all over again. I found that this helped me retain the info, so then when it came time for the final exams I didn't have to re-study everything from the semester. I just needed to review things.
Hopefully this will help you some!! The key is to find a note-taking method that works for you and a schedule that helps keep you from falling down the rabbit hole and spending too much time on something. You have to set a time limit to spend on each chapter and STICK TO IT!! Use a timer. When the timer goes off. That's it for that chapter for that day. You will get better at sticking to the time limit and keeping yourself from falling down the rabbit hole.