How exactly can you better your own study habits?
Studying habits have never been my thing if I'm being honest. Even though it hasn't been my thing, I still want to be able to better them especially when I head off to college. Tips for studying would be very helpful. #studying-tips #study-skills #study-habits
Of all the popular approaches, I have one that you might find very interesting. But I'll leave that for last.
First, one approach is to set aside a specific time and/or a specific time period for study. It may be reading or watching videos or practicing a particular skill. Remember that firstly, the human mind is best when it studies for around 45 minutes and then takes a break. And when practice is distributed. Cramming has been found to be far less efficient and should be avoided if possible.
Second, give yourself a variety of inputs whenever possible. Read, then do, then maybe find a video on the topic, or someone who can give you some advice or other mentoring. Brains like to be entertained.
Third, try "Mind Mapping". The brain is attuned to visual stimuli. We love pictures and color and shapes and cartoons and smiley faces and goofy stuff. This variety makes it far easier to follow, to see relationships among concepts, to remember, and far more fun taking notes. You start with a big word or cartoon or shape in the middle of a piece of paper, likely in landscape orientation. You draw branches with other words and colors going outward to further smaller and more detailed branches. The picture is easier to remember and will show you about how the ideas are actually mapped in your brain. You'll find this method to be useful for taking notes on just about any topic you use for anything ever. And it's fun. The biggest overhead is that you might want to buy a few more pens or markers or pencils in several colors. And what I've found to be a rather luxurious addition to my own Mind Map collection, a pad of paper I can keep those Mind Maps in. Both optional, but recommended.
First of all - it is great that you want to improve this skill and that you recognize that it is something you want to improve. Here are some of my tips:
- Use an agenda (or a to do list) to write down everything that you need to do. This will help you keep track and it is a great feeling when you are able to cross of items from your list!
- Go to a quiet place to study so that you are not distracted. This can be the library (at college or at a public library), your room at home (if you can stay away from the distractions), etc.
- When reading through material, it helped me to highlight important sections and take notes (or flag) those sections to come back to them. For me, when I read something and highlight it, it helps me to remember it.
- Make sure you block the time needed for studying and do not allow for things to take that time away from you. If you do not make this time a priority, you will not be able to concentrate!
- Let your family/friends know how important studying is to you - if you surround yourself with individuals that support you, it will make it a lot easier for you to prioritize studying!
I hope this helps some - Good luck and remember that the time you invest now for studying will DEFINITELY pay off in the future!
Here are 18 Good Study Habits you can Develop
1. Best time of day
When do you work best? Are you an early bird, night owl, or something in between? Find your rhythm, then plan to study at your most productive time.
The next day, week, term or semester. Whatever time frames you use, time you invest to plan will pay for itself many times over. Speculate to accumulate.
3. Ask questions
Of all the good study habits you can develop, this one is key. Just ask. If you don’t tend to do this, remember: success is defined by the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have.
4. Get, then stay, organized
Arrange your space, stuff, time and technology so they help, rather than hurt you. Once you learn how to get organized, make sure you stay that way.
5. Lower your resistance
One of the biggest time wasting ‘enemies’ you face? You! Part of you knows you should study, but another part of you wants to have some fun now. Using this Quick Win method daily can make all the difference.
6. Practice the law of the farm
Stephen Covey suggested that it’s better to study in the right season of time rather than cramming it all in at the last minute. A farmer can’t cram with crops. It has to be done in it’s season. Cramming may or may not get the grades, but it won’t get you an education.
7. Manage your time-wasters
Wasting time online often leaves you feeling bad afterwards. Software such as rescuetime is good for managing it, but the worst thing to do to stop is to try and stop it completely.
Give yourself permission to waste time within limits.
8. Look at your goal
One simple but highly effective habit is to constantly remind yourself what you’re studying for. Your dream grade, posted on the wall next to your bed or computer means you’ll see and think about it daily. In fact, of all the tips on setting goals, this one's a 'must do'.
9. Do the worst first
Each day, break off a bit of your hardest task. First thing is often the best time to do this. It limits the effect of the task on your mind if you do it early. You also get to feel good all day because it's done.
10. Isolate yourself
Turn your communications off when you study. Even better, put them out of site. If your phone rings or an email announces itself, what happens? Many people struggle with managing interruptions like these, and work grinds to a halt.
11. Finish wanting more
We all crave completion on anything, so leave yourself ‘high and dry’. If you stop working at a natural break, it’s nice and neat, but harder to start up again. Finish in the middle of a sente...
-- and you'll want to come back to it --
12. Time box it
Give a task a block or 'box' of time to get it started. It needs to be short enough not to put you off, even if it’s a few minutes. Often, the thought of starting is the problem. But once you do, it’s easier to keep going.
Enough time boxed sessions will mean you finish it. Learn how to avoid procrastination by time boxing.
13. Use capture tools
Capture thoughts, ideas and concepts before they vanish into the ether. Good study habits depend on time management tools that are simple to use, easy to access and consistently work as a way to capture information that would otherwise be lost.
The key word there? ‘Use’.
14. Drink water
Stay topped up with enough to concentrate fully. Keep a bottle nearby, because good study habits depend on hydration.
15. Add on
Tack on a pre-study task to prepare yourself. The more your senses engage with this, the more effective it is. This is especially true with the sense of smell.
A certain odour (preferably pleasant!) can become a powerful anchor for developing good study habits.
16. Sell it to yourself
Thoughts become things or, to put it another way, we do what we think about. The see-your-goal example above is a simple way to start the process of marketing to yourself. Visual images, such as posters, have an impact, as does your language.
If you’ve ‘got‘ to work, it’s less than appealing than if you ‘decide’ to.
17. Practice selective listening
Listening is tough. When you do listen, do so really well. Identify the 20% of what's said that matters, and take it in. Use whatever capture tool you like -- just do it.
18. Do something for someone else
Help someone else, and you reinforced your own understanding. Ideally this will be with another student, but it doesn’t have to be. You could even explain it to yourself in the mirror.
Just make sure there is no one else in the house if you do. :)