Being able to study well can be one of the biggest time savers you can ever develop while in school. Too many College Students do not take the time to develop the dedication, focus, and organization that it takes to learn how to study, and it shows as they enter their career. The same skills that lead to efficient studying also lead to project management, problem-solving, and organization skills that will lead to success in your career. If you want to get the leg up on the competition for tomorrow’s job opportunities, start implementing these awesome tips to improve your study habits.
1. Stop Only Using To Do Lists
A mistake that student immediately makes when they sit down to get homework done is the order and priority they give homework and projects. An average study routine is to sit down and start making a list of all the assignments you know are coming up, papers to write, projects to start, and more. Then, with their list at the ready, they start at the top and get going. Too often, these lists are weighted at the bottom. You wrote all your projects or assignments that you know are going to be harder at the bottom because those are the tasks you look forward to least. Yes, you were able to cross off a few or more quick projects, but as you made your way to the harder stuff your willpower is weaker because you have already been working. You are mentally tired. This throws open the doors to welcome distraction. I call the first list made a brain dump. Just get it all out. Then, before you start working, go through and prioritize. Which tasks will take the most mental energy? Don’t concern yourself with time, just energy. Start with the tough one, and work your way down. That way, when your willpower is drained and you are losing focus, you are left with less taxing assignments.
2. Work in Time Blocks
Stop trying to cram. Telling yourself you are going to sit down for the next five hours and get all your homework done. Let’s be real, it is not going to happen. This is just not successful planning. Try time blocking. Sit down for 45-60 minutes and crush it. You know which projects you need to start with and sit down to hammer it out. When you hit 60 minutes, stand up, go on a walk, check your phone, breathe. Take a 20-minute transition break and let your brain take a breather. Now you are ready to sit back down and maximize your time and productivity.
3. Know Your Learning Style
Self-awareness is key in so many aspects of life. Studying is no different. Take a moment of honesty and reflect and consider where you study. Does it really work for you to study in front of the tv? Without music? In your room? At the library? Make a list of what distracts you when you are studying and then plan to overcome them. The other two tips in this list will only get you so far if you aren’t working in the right environment.
The most successful students experiment often to find their groove when it comes to studying and organization. Be a mad-scientist and keep going until you find something that works. If a strategy isn’t working, move on. You owe no loyalty to it. If you find something is working, go all in and don’t let anyone tell you to change. Everyone will find their own system, find yours and dominate.