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What are some useful study habits?

I have a habit of procrastinating, so currently, I'm working on how I can properly organize my time management. So I just want to know if there's any advice to improve on procrastination and my work ethic. #student


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Jim’s Answer

One of the quotes I try to live by: "If it's important, you will find a way. If it's not, you will find an excuse."

Controlling procrastination and work ethic comes from within. Practicing time management is crucial. Set a schedule you know will work and stick to it.

Aside from that I believe it's really pushing yourself to get things done. If you've put something on your schedule, do it at it's designed time. No excuses. Treat everything on your schedule with the same urgency and passion, whether it's cashing a lottery check or taking out the trash.

I can't stress this enough: you are solely in control of where you go and how you get there. If you take total control of your circumstances, you will be the very best at whatever you do. If you float down the river, waiting to see where the current will take you, hoping things work out, you might be successful, you might not. And if you are successful, I don't believe you'll be the best that you can be.

I tell you this because I've lived it. I didn't apply myself when I was younger, and tripped and fell into a career I didn't like. I was moderately successful at it, but it was a struggle because I didn't set myself up for success at the beginning. I was floating down the river, waiting to see if things worked out. It was uninspiring and I could have done so much more.

Take it seriously but have fun. Be your very best, even when it might not be all that important. Even when no one is watching.

Well-said Jim! Better to be a salmon than a jellyfish! Kim Igleheart

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John’s Answer

Jamin the important thing is how you use your study time, not how long you study. Long study sessions lead to a lack of concentration and thus a lack of learning and retention. The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day. The total amount of time spent studying will be the same than one or two marathon study sessions, but you will learn the information more deeply and retain much more for the long term—which will help get you an A on the final.

In order to spread out studying over short periods of time across several days, you need control over your schedule. Keeping a list of tasks to complete on a daily basis will help you to include regular active studying sessions for each class. Try to do something for each class each day. Be specific and realistic regarding how long you plan to spend on each task—you should not have more tasks on your list than you can reasonably complete during the day. In addition to learning the material more deeply, spacing out your work helps stave off procrastination. Rather than having to face the dreaded project for four hours on Monday, you can face the dreaded project for 30 minutes each day. The shorter, more consistent time to work on a dreaded project is likely to be more acceptable and less likely to be delayed to the last minute. Finally, if you have to memorize material for class (names, dates, formulas), it is best to make flashcards for this material and review periodically throughout the day rather than one long, memorization session.

Hope this helps Jamin

John recommends the following next steps:

First and foremost, make sure you get a college planner. If digital works better for you (since you can sync it with just about anything – your computer, phone, tablet), think about setting up an agenda on your mobile device. Create a study plan at the beginning of the semester based on your course syllabus. Ideally, you should study a little bit every day throughout the week —even just 30 minutes can make a huge difference—so you don’t wind up cramming and stressing out right before the big exam.
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Studying starts in the classroom. Pay attention and take good notes, so when you’re studying later, you’re just reviewing information (instead of learning it for the first time). Speak with your professor about recording lectures on your phone. A recording can complement your notes so you can go back and re-listen to the information in case there are other details you pick up on later to note. Effective note-taking strategies can have a direct impact on your study habits and is one of the most important study tips for college.
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Make it a priority to know deadlines for projects and any other course milestones. If you find yourself struggling or you're unsure where to start, seek help early on. Use your calendar to remind yourself about upcoming deadlines and consider connecting with another student as an accountability partner. Create a support structure that makes it difficult to procrastinate.
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If you really don’t understand a concept, ask questions! Stop by your professors’ offices during their office hours, or contact classmates and professors via email. Some classes might even have a Facebook Group to keep students engaged and to create an environment to ask questions outside of class. Either way, your professors will be on your side – nonjudgmental, wanting to help you understand the class in its entirety.
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Occasionally, college professors will tell you the information that will (or won’t) be on an exam—listen to them! They’re sharing this information with you to save you time so you’re not studying the wrong information for hours, and you can focus on the important points. If you’re unsure about what to focus on while studying, send your professor a quick email to confirm or speak with him or her after class.
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Simeon’s Answer

It's honestly much better to study in small ten to fifteen minutes sessions multiple times per week as opposed to cram studying. It's way less stressful and the information sticks better. You know how TV advertisements are trying to repeat the same message to you in small chunks multiple times per week? It's the same thing. Our brains retain information way better when its repeated often in small chunks. When you have multiple hour study sessions, the odds are that you're going to be zoning off once the first thirty to forty minutes have passed.

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Shaveen’s Answer

Whenever you get a task, immediately say to yourself - DO IT NOW. Then focus to DO IT.
Also follow Eisenhower Matrix it will help you to start the journey - https://medium.com/@iqra.amjad128/eisenhower-matrix-da6544ad6788

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Sanober’s Answer

Hi Jamin!

Procrastination can be a big obstacle standing in the way of you becoming the best version of yourself. It's very common, and nothing to feel ashamed about. What's great is that you have acknowledged this as a roadblock for you. Procrastination can be defeated by diligent habits, and all it takes is changing a few things. Once you get into a habit of routine, such as writing down the most important tasks for the day, then focusing on one important task/item/to-do at a time, pretty soon you will have checked off the items before you know it. For someone who is just starting out, I would recommend looking into The Pomodoro Technique, which is where you set a timer and work on completing something for 25minutes, then have a 5minute break, and you keep doing this until you complete your task. The time goes quickly, and with frequent breaks, you don't feel like you are working for too long. Prioritize what is most important to you, and create a new habit. Your brain will neurologically adapt and rewire according to this new habit, so soon enough you will be used to no longer procrastinating.

I hope this helps :)

Sanober

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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Jamin!

My opinion on this is that there isn't really a perfect way or one solution. I believe that we all focus in different ways and this one of those areas in life where you have to find your own way.

The one universal tip I have is to block off your time. Having a schedule and building time for tasks like studying is really helpful. If there's a schedule, you just have to commit to it. This will help build discipline and good habits.

As a personal anecdote, I use to really struggle to study because my study habits weren't right for me. I was told to find a nice quiet place for me to focus. Terrible advice for someone like me. I deal with anxiety so, in very quiet environments, my mind likes to wander and get distracted. However, there are people in my life who need this to focus. I would try and study with music and/or TV on but that also wouldn't always work. As I got older I found that different things focus me at different times. For instance, if I'm doing a more mindless task like data entry, then music, podcasts, TV, etc. are a welcome distraction that allows me to be entertained while multi-tasking. However, when I'm analyzing data or writing, I need something going on but it can't be distracting. For this, I have a playlist of classical music that helps me focus.

My overall points are these, make a schedule, block time, and then follow what works best for you to help focus when studying. We all work differently, you just need to keep experimenting until you find the right mix.

I hope this helps!

Ryan

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Ashley’s Answer

Hi Jamin!

I struggled a lot with procrastination in my first year of college and found that one way I could stop myself from waiting until the last possible minute to study or complete an assignment was by taking all of my deadlines and creating a schedule for myself of what was due each week so I could complete things in smaller chunks over time. For example, if there was a test coming up in a week, I would review material for 20-30 minutes per day leading up to the exam and the day before, I would do some practice problems or redo some of the homework to make sure I was prepared for the test. Having all upcoming exams and assignment due dates written out can also help you prioritize what you need to do in any free time you have and also what you can get done early if you see that you have a busy week coming up. I would also use incentives when I was studying (e.g., for every 30 minutes I studied for an exam, I would treat myself to a piece of candy or a break to scroll through social media, etc.)
Another key thing is to get rid of all distractions when you are studying or working on homework/assignments. Things I considered distractions were having my phone on my desk or next to me, having my door open, being in a public space on my campus, etc. After I eliminated those different distractions, I would find music or soundtracks on youtube that are specifically designed to help you stay focused, which kept my mind on task so I worked more productively.

The key to effective studying is knowing yourself and knowing what works for you. Since you already know you can have tendencies to procrastinate, you are already 1 step closer to finding some beneficial solutions.

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