10 Good Study Habits To Implement Today
Learning to succeed at studying is largely dependent on what most areas of life are — good habits. If you know what to do, and strive towards doing it every day until it becomes habit, then success is inevitable. To help you get there, we’ve put together a quick list of 10 good study habits that you can implement today. For our number one, we’ll start with the one thing that needs to be in place before anything else. From there, the rest of the pieces will fall in to place.
1. Change your mind.
Your attitude toward studying has a lot to do with how effective you’ll be at it. If you approach studying with fear or dread or boredom/lack of energy, then the results won’t be what you want them to be. If you approach it from a place of energy and determination, however, it’s a whole new story. You don’t have to like the material that you’re studying or be particularly moved by it in one way or the other, but you do need to set goals and challenges for yourself and make sure you’re properly fueled for the task at hand (more on that in a bit).
2. Find the right location.
I can speak from experience on this one. Even today, I can take on a workload and have it knocked out of the park in 4-6 hours, or I can spread it out over a day or two. It wholly depends on the environment I’ve provided for getting the job done. If I’m in the solitude of my office, I’ll finish things faster than a speeding bullet (and usually with better quality) than if I try to do half the work from home where there is a toddler climbing in my lap and a wife, who wants to talk to me every five minutes. I love my family, but they’re no good for my work. Similarly you can love your family and friends. Your room can be like a mini paradise stocked with the coolest knickknacks. But just because these things are great, that doesn’t mean they’re great for your studies. Find a library or a nice quiet place with zero interruptions and get focused.
3. Come prepared.
Preparation is important whether you’re studying with a group, going over your notes in solitude, or taking an exam. You need to have the right elements, which could be anything from your textbook, writing utensil, and something to write with, to a tablet, class recording, and headset. Figure out what the tools of your “trade” are, and go nowhere without them.
4. Clarify expectations.
Are you studying for a test or a class? Are you having to balance the two? Figure out what your objectives are, and then hit those objectives while emphasizing the areas that you’re not certain about. Now isn’t a time to give in to your OCD. If you have a limited amount of time to work, then target high-problem areas and expend most of your mental energy on that.
5. Advance your note taking.
Note taking today and note taking 20 years ago aren’t quite the same. For starters, you have more tools and tech today to make sure that you keep from missing anything. In the past, all you had was a notebook, paper, and ears. Today, most phones come equipped with the ability to easily record audio. You have the luxury of taking notes traditionally and using that as a fallback. You can then upload handwritten notes to Evernote and search text from within the images of your notebook paper. It’s a much easier way to reference the materials and to make sure that nothing gets by you.
6. Be realistic.
You are capable of great things, so don’t misread us and think we’re telling you to lower your expectations. By being realistic with yourself about the material you need to learn, your own current abilities, and the amount of time to get from where you are to where you need to go, you’ll be able to make a more productive study plan that helps you achieve your goals.
7. Take care of yourself.
There are lots of ways to do this, and you should be engaging in all of them. Take care of your body by eating right and exercising. Take care of your mental health by giving your brain the right amount of time and the right environment in which to work. Take care of your determination by rewarding yourself with breaks and treats as needed. But remember the key emphasis is on that word “reward.” Make sure you’ve done something to earn it. Don’t just spoil yourself.
8. Eat some food for thought.
When picking out what you eat, Lifehacker recommends “spinach, yogurt, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, black beans, walnuts, and oats” as well as “avocado, wild salmon, nuts, seeds, coffee, pomegranate, brown rice, tea, chocolate, oysters, olive oil, tuna, garlic, eggs, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, and cacao nibs.” Something to remember while you’re at the grocery store.
9. Become an effective time manager.
Time management is highly important to being able to get prepared for an exam or professional test in whatever amount of time you have between now and the actual test date. Start with the deadline in mind, and then work backward to figure out how much time you have left and how much material you need to learn. From there, hone in on the things that give you the most trouble. Pay less attention to the material you already have a mastery of. If that’s nothing, then we recommend starting early!
10. Practice towards perfect.
As much as you can, try to recreate the most difficult testing or assessment situations before you have to do it for real. That’s why there are so many practice exams in the back of all those expensive testing materials for ACT, SAT, etc. You need to sit down with practice tests and take them in a painstaking recreation of the actual test date. If it’s a class you’re prepping for, save those old tests, review notes, work with a group of classmates, etc.
Good study habits are essential to your success in school or work. Which ones are you already good at implementing? What do you need the most help with? What would you like to learn more about? Sound off in the comments section!
[Image via News4Jax]