The clearest of these is that on many occasions it is done out of obligation, which means that in addition to the work involved in learning content, you have to manage the time and anxiety that this psychological load produces . There are also other drawbacks, such as the risk of seeing your own health deteriorate from sitting too long or straining your eyes too much, and even having trouble sleeping.
To study well, it is better to know some psychological tricks
The conclusion of this is that studying is fine, yes, but it is better to do it efficiently . Saving us avoidable efforts and dispensing with habits and study strategies that only lead to fatigue and frustration. In addition, the habit of studying can occupy many hours a week, a month or even throughout life, and that is why it is worth asking ourselves… am I studying in the best possible way?
Precisely to help you assess your study methods, here you can read a series of tips to study efficiently to optimize the time and effort you dedicate to your learning .
Of course: when following these tips to study you must assume the principle that studying better is not doing it for longer. That is why some of these keys are not aimed so much at the fact of studying itself as at how to better distribute time.
Tips to study better in your day to day
We are going to know a few tips and simple techniques to improve our study capacity. If you apply them to your routine during the course, it is highly likely that your academic grades will rise significantly .
1. Cut study time into chunks
Research on attentional processes and study performance shows that it is better to control the time we spend studying by setting a rather low time limit for each session . Ideally, study times should not exceed 30 minutes, since we show much more ease in assimilating information that comes to us in short and repeated bursts than in a single long and tedious one.
What it is about is keeping the brain at 100% at all times (by the way, keeping sleep at bay is sacred, and for that there is nothing like sleeping well ).
2. Create a study routine
Proposing a study schedule and following it is not only useful to offer an image of maturity and neatness, since it has notable effects on study performance . Approaching learning in a disorganized way is a way to end up studying late at night, when sleep and fatigue take a toll on our ability to concentrate. In addition, getting used to a schedule will make it easier for us not to skip study times and will allow us to dedicate the time they deserve.
3. Create summary notes on individual sheets
Do not rely exclusively on the technique of underlining texts. The fact of underlining does not help memorize the text if it is not reviewed several times, and in any case sticking to the memorization of the sentences that have a line below it keeps us anchored to the way in which the information is distributed in the original text. .
Instead, making outlines and short summaries on pieces of paper (so-called “flash cards”) forces us to rephrase the information we have read and also makes it easier to create combinations of notes that are different from those in the text but that help us. they help us better understand what we read, since we can join or separate the pieces of paper in the way we want to assimilate the information in the desired order.
4. Keep distractions away
It may seem obvious, but it never hurts to remember it because these distractions can take the most unexpected forms and it is good to identify them .
For this reason, it is recommended that you prepare your study space in advance, so that when you concentrate on the first page you will no longer have any distracting elements nearby. Doing this before you start studying will help you not fall into temptation once you start, and it will also prevent it from being a frustrating experience from the first minutes (which would be demotivating).
Facebook, mobile phones and television should be on your blacklist , but you can include other elements of your day-to-day life and do your best to isolate yourself from all of them during study times (remember that they are short, so… .not too much to ask!).
5. Prepare your study material before anything else
Having everything you need ready will prevent you from getting up to go get things and, therefore, distract you. In addition, associating this set of objects to the study will make it easy for you to get into the dynamics of studying every time you see it … although you won’t be able to explain exactly why it happens to you! In this way you will get the most out of your short study sessions, so that you do not have to interrupt them by getting up from where you have been sitting and running the risk of losing track of what you were memorizing or reviewing.
Therefore, pay attention to the organization of the books and tools you need before you sit down to sink your elbows. If you have everything perfectly organized, it will be easier for you to have all the resources at hand and you can be more efficient during your study hours.
6. Propose (at least) one study unit for each session
Set a topic to study and study it. Organizing interrelated information by sticking to a topic or category of any kind is much easier than studying scattered, messy pieces of information. For that it is good that you read the lesson once to create a mental map of the location of the topics in the text and then focus on each one of them .
Of course, when you review the information studied (something that you should do very often, as we will see), it is better that you do not do it from a single topic, but that you include elements from several, so that in this way you “cross” several sources of information. information and relationships between those concepts in your head, so that they form networks of more consistent memories that will be more resistant to inopportune lapses and forgetfulness.
7. Flee from literal memorization
Make the information contained in the texts yours. Relate it to episodes in your life, reformulate it in your own words and use examples you know . In this way you will be able to achieve the significant learning you need, much more resistant to the passage of time than that which is based on the memorization of data that does not make much sense.
8. Run away from linear memorization
It is essential that you constantly test yourself and constantly review what you studied in previous days. This will allow you, in addition to consolidating the memorized information, to ask questions that you might not otherwise think of and help you understand your notes as a whole, rather than as separate or parallel pieces of information.
Think, above all, about similarities and differences between concepts , pieces of information that in the texts that you have studied do not appear very connected but that could be in certain exam questions, for example.
9. Practice constantly
If you have the possibility, evaluate yourself with tests or quizzes about the subject you are studying , mixing this with the study of new material. This may seem like a waste of time if you think that time well spent can only be dedicated to “soaking up” the information to study, but it is not at all, since it will help you detect mistakes and will also help you measure your progress. and, therefore, to keep motivation high, which will also have a positive impact on your performance.
The most useful method in this sense is spaced repetition : reviewing what has been studied previously, allowing the intervals to become larger as time goes by, so that at first a few days have passed between the study and the review/review. on trial, and then one or two weeks later, progressively.
10. Explain the lesson to another person
This is verbatim. Explaining in your own words what you have learned is possibly the most valuable study tip, as it will bring you two great benefits. On the one hand, rephrasing the lesson is a way to mentally review what you have studied , so the time you dedicate to this will serve to better assimilate what you had studied before.
On the other hand, it will help you to self-assess yourself, detect points that you thought you had learned but that give you problems at key moments, and offer you a fairly faithful image of your progress.