Studying habits can make or break you. Developing productive habits with proven study methods that work is key towards your success. Everyone has different learning abilities, but these four basic study methods are proven to work for anyone and will help you study more efficiently and effectively:
1. Schedule Your Studying Time
The biggest mistake most people come across when studying is that they have waited until the last minute. Schedule out your studying time. Figure out what time of the day you are most alert and productive. If you’re a morning person, maybe try waking up an hour earlier to grab some coffee and study. If you’re a night owl, try turning off all distractions and get your studying time in then. Try not to schedule your studying time when you’re hungry or in a busy atmosphere as these will ultimately lose your focus much more quickly.
2. Take & Rewrite Your Notes
Whether you choose to take notes by pen and paper or digitally through slides or a bulleted list, never leave class or the lecture without taking notes. Writing things down is the very first step to remembering and processing information. Re-read your notes, preferably within a day of when you wrote them originally so that the content is still fresh in your mind. Once you’ve re-read your notes, now is the time to re-write them. Use highlighters, post-it-notes or flash cards as a new way to motivate you and use this final draft as a reference to reflect, re-read and remember the information you are studying.
3. Stay Organized
Not sure where to start with getting organized? Best place to start is with a daily planner. It doesn’t have to be an extensive, in-depth planner, but can simply be a classic day planner or even a notebook. Get into the habit of writing down all of your exams, events, activities, etc. for each day. This will serve as a great reminder each morning when you check your planner what tasks need to be taken care of first. Use binders, notebooks and folders to organize your materials. Also, try to keep your studying space clutter free. You want to organize your workspace so that it isn’t overwhelming or distracting.
4. Take Breaks
Learn to rest. No one can study for hours on end effectively. Try studying in time blocks by setting a timer every twenty or thirty minutes. Take a quick break, grab a snack or some fresh air and then come back to your studying and repeat this process. Another quick piece of advice is to change up your scenery often. If you’re studying in the library, after your break take your materials outdoors. If you’re outside studying, go to a local coffee shop. Never underestimate the power of taking breaks and switching up your scenery from time to time.
With these proven study methods, you are able to stay productive and more efficient. Scheduling your studying time, taking and re-writing your notes, staying organized and taking breaks are key to your productivity. Now it’s time to free yourself from distraction, and dive into your studying materials!