10 Study Tips to Get You on Your Way
- Find your study space: Everyone has their own idea about the best place to study. Find a space that works for you and stick with it.
- Be organised: Make sure you have all the materials you need in your study space before you start studying. Getting up to look for something will break your concentration and waste your time.
- Clear your mind: If you’ve got a lot on your mind take a moment to write yourself some notes about what you’re thinking about before you start studying. This will help to clear your mind so that you focus all your thoughts on your work. It’s also a good idea to keep some paper next to you while you’re studying so if you think of anything you need to do later you can write it down and put it out of your mind.
- Get motivated: Think about what it will mean for you if you do well in your studies. How will it make you feel? If you keep the end result in mind, it will help you stay motivated.
- Plan your time (and use it well): It helps to plan when you will study and how you can make the most of your time. Use a calendar, wall planner or a list of dates to keep track of exam dates and assignment due dates. Plan ahead. Space out your study time each week, don’t cram it all in at the last minute.
- Know your learning style: Most of us have a preferred way of learning. Get to know your learning style and study in the ways you learn best.
Auditory learners learn by listening. If you’re an auditory learner, you could try reading your notes aloud. You might like to record key points and play them back.
Visual learners learn by seeing. If you’re a visual learner you could use colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images.
Tactile/kinesthetic learners learn by doing. If you’re a tactile/kinesthetic learner you could use methods like role-playing, using memory games or flash cards to memorize. You could try designing relevant tasks for yourself to learn from.
- Use your notes: Taking detailed notes will save you heaps of time later. Re-writing and adding to your notes is a great way to revise what you have learned.
- Make your own study materials: Think up some practice exam questions or create your own flash cards to help you study. This way you’ll learn it all twice- once when you make the study materials and twice when you use them to revise.
- Test yourself: Don’t wait for an exam to test your knowledge- test yourself first. Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts. It’s a great way to get confident with what you do know and find out what you still need to learn.
- Take time out: You study better when you’re feeling good. So make sure you eat well and get enough sleep. Exercise is great as well, but don’t overdo it. It’s also a good idea to schedule regular breaks when you’re studying and keep hydrated. You’ll study better if you take care of yourself.
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is putting off or avoiding doing something that must be done. It is natural to procrastinate occasionally. However, excessive procrastination can result in guilt feelings about not doing a task when it should be done. It can also cause anxiety since the task still needs to be done. Further, excessive procrastination can cause poor performance if the task is completed without sufficient time to do it well. In short, excessive procrastination can interfere with school and personal success.
Why Do Students Procrastinate?
There are many reasons why students procrastinate. Here are the most common reasons:
- Perfectionism. A student’s standard of performance may be so high for a task that it does not seem possible to meet that standard.
- Fear of Failure. A student may lack confidence and fear that he/she will be unable to accomplish a task successfully.
- Confusion. A student may be unsure about how to start a task or how it should be completed.
- Task Difficulty. A student may lack the skills and abilities needed to accomplish a task.
- Poor Motivation. A student may have little or no interest in completing a task because he/she finds the task boring or lacking in relevance.
- Difficulty Concentrating. A student may have too many things around that distract him/her from doing a task.
- Task Unpleasantness. A student may dislike doing what a task requires.
- Lack of Priorities. A student may have little or no sense about which tasks are most important to do.
How Do I Know if I Procrastinate Excessively?
You procrastinate excessively if you agree with five or more of the following statements:
- I often put off starting a task I find difficult
- I often give up on a task as soon as I start to find it difficult.
- I often wonder why I should be doing a task.
- I often have difficulty getting started on a task.
- I often try to do so many tasks at once that I cannot do any of them.
- I often put off a task in which I have little or no interest.
- I often try to come up with reasons to do something other than a task I have to do.
- I often ignore a task when I am not certain about how to start it or complete it.
- I often start a task but stop before completing it.
- I often find myself thinking that if I ignore a task, it will go away.
- I often cannot decide which of a number of tasks I should complete first.
- I often find my mind wandering to things other that the task on which I am trying to work.
What Can I Do About Excessive Procrastination?
Here are some things you can do to control excessive procrastination.
- Motivate yourself to work on a task with thoughts such as “There is no time like the present,” or “Nobody’s perfect.”
- Prioritize the tasks you have to do.
- Commit yourself to completing a task once started.
- Reward yourself whenever you complete a task.
- Work on tasks at the times you work best.
- Break large tasks into small manageable parts.
- Work on tasks as part of a study group.
- Get help from teachers and other students when you find a task difficult.
- Make a schedule of the tasks you have to do and stick to it.
- Eliminate distractions that interfere with working on tasks.
- Set reasonable standards that you can meet for a task.
- Take breaks when working on a task so that you do not wear down.
- Work on difficult and/or unpleasant tasks first.
- Work on a task you find easier after you complete a difficult task.
- Find a good place to work on tasks.
Above all, think positively and get going. Once you are into a task, you will probably find that it is more interesting than you thought it would be and not as difficult as you feared. You will feel increasingly relieved as you work toward its accomplishment and will come to look forward to the feeling of satisfaction you will experience when you have completed the task.
Motivating Yourself to Study
If you find that you lack motivation to study, welcome to the club. Just about every student experiences this problem at one time or another.
Motivation is important for good studying. When you are motivated, you will find it easy to stay focused over a period of time. When you are not motivated, you will not only find it difficult to stay focused, but you will find it difficult to get started in the first place.
Here are some ways to increase your motivation to study.
- Reward yourself for studying. For example, after a successful study session, have a treat like a nice big ice cream cone. Go crazy and add some cherries and nuts.
- Study with your friends. Don’t make it party time, but you can have fun as you do this.
- Remind yourself of your long-term goals. Achievement of your goals likely requires educational success. Educational success requires studying.
- Eliminate distractions. If you are surrounded by things you would rather do than study, you will probably do those things instead of studying.
- Develop interest in what you have to study. This will make studying more enjoyable.
- Take breaks. When you feel that you need to take a break, try to stop at a point where it is logical to stop. This will make it easier for you to resume studying after your break.
- Establish a comfortable environment. You will be more inclined to study if you feel comfortable.
- Establish reasonable goals for a study session. You probably won’t get very far if you look at your study session as “mission impossible.”
- Use a motivational poster. Place the poster where you can see it as you study. The poster should include positive words and a picture depicting success. You can buy one or even make your own. You can also read inspirational stories about real people who have achieved success through effort.
- Just do it. Once you do, you will feel a lot better than if you are worried about getting it done.
Finally, if these suggestions don’t do it for you, just think about the consequences of not