Have you ever wondered why sometimes you spend so much time studying something and you end up with almost nothing? Many people, even very smart people, can’t concentrate enough and not get distracted by anything while studying.
This often becomes a serious problem. Students complain that they cannot memorize new material or fail exams, even though they spend long hours in class. And it’s not about hiring someone to write my speech because it’s okay when you delegate some of your tasks, so you could concentrate more on other important things in your life. This article is about those cases when you can’t manage doing anything at all.
How to solve this problem? We have collected the coolest learning techniques, the most useful and effective tips that will help you study much more productively!
The key to success comes from preparation
Not many people can pick up a textbook at any time and in any environment and learn something quickly. Even if they manage to do so, the information may not stick in their memory for long. Most of us need proper preparation and organization of our personal space to study productively.
First, it is important to organize your workplace. According to doctors’ recommendations, it is best to study in a quiet, well-lit, and ventilated room. Ideally, at a comfortable desk. Such a place can be organized at home or you can study elsewhere, for example, in the library.
Secondly, you shouldn’t be distracted by anything while studying. So it is important to have everything you need available – a notebook, a pen, textbooks, dictionaries, water, and even a couple of sandwiches in case you get an appetite during class.
You need a quiet and peaceful environment to study. Many people find it best to study in complete silence. If it is difficult to find such a place, you can use earplugs. Another option is to try playing soft music with headphones (preferably classical music). Strange as it may seem, music does not distract some students, but on the contrary, helps them to concentrate.
If you are going to study when you are fatigued, you risk falling asleep over your textbooks. To avoid this, it is important to understand whether you are a morning person or a night bird and organize your classes at a time when you feel most awake. Of course, you should not forget about a healthy sleep! Also, you might find some good services on reddit that will help you on those overloaded days.
Finally, another important part of preparation is to have a clear understanding of exactly what you will do and how you will do it. Even if you can’t make a specific schedule for your classes, it’s worth at least keeping all the tasks in mind.
Proper nutrition for proper studies
Everyone knows that brain and memory function depends a lot on diet. Accordingly, good nutrition can also contribute to productive learning.
For starters, your breakfast should be healthy and balanced. This is especially important if you are studying in the morning or preparing for exams. It is important to combine proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats for breakfast. You shouldn’t give up porridge, yogurt, other dairy products, and fresh fruit. Also, doctors advise eating eggs, which help burn glucose, protect neurons from damage and keep them functioning at optimal speed.
During intensive studying and learning new material, it is especially important to keep your brain working. For this too, there are special foods that should enter your diet, such as nuts, blueberries, blackberries, fish, spinach, and lentils.
We have already written that rapid fatigue and sleepiness are some of the worst enemies of productive study, especially if you study at home. But even in this case, experienced students have their tips. If you need to sit over your books, and you start to pass out, have a cup of coffee and eat a slice of bitter chocolate. Such a snack contains a dose of caffeine and carbohydrates, which fill you with energy and stimulate your nervous system. Nevertheless, we do not advise you to abuse drinks containing caffeine and sweets. This technique should be used only when you can’t put off studying. For example, if you are preparing for an important exam.
Keep time management in mind
Proper distribution of training time and following a clear lesson plan, which we wrote above, will help you learn as much material as possible in a short time and not “burn out”.
One of the most effective ways to study is to break up the class into 25-30 minute units. This is called the Tomato method. This method advises you to set a timer for every 25 minutes. During this time it is necessary to study without being distracted and then take a 3-5 minute break. At the same time, every fourth break should be long, from 15 to 30 minutes, like a long break at school.
A lot of famous people slept very little and worked a lot. Thomas Edison, for example, slept four hours a night and spent the rest of the time working or learning new things. This is inspiring, but it does not work for everyone. If you are working for the long term, for example, learning a foreign language or mastering a new computer program, it is very important to intelligently alternate the load and rest. Do not try to “jump over your head” and learn everything in record time. It is better to move towards the goal gradually.
Scientists believe (and you probably know this from your own experience) that interest in any activity grows upward and then drops off sharply. The level of interest at which you finish an activity will be the starting point for the next time. If you have “learned ad nauseam” and stopped the activity at a low level of interest, it will be much harder to return to the subject of study next time. But if you stop on time, put off studying, and do something else, you will look forward to the next time you take up new knowledge.
So, make sure you use the right time-management for students if you want to have the balance between your studying and social life.
Use appropriate techniques
There are many learning techniques to help you understand and remember new material. Everyone needs to know which techniques are right for them and make their lessons more productive.
Many students are helped to memorize the material by constant self-testing. It is not for nothing that most textbooks have a list of self-test questions after each chapter. Depending on what you are studying, you can make up these questions yourself, or find them on the Internet or in textbooks. Alternatively, you can ask friends or relatives to ask you questions.
Some people also find it helpful to memorize new information by saying things out loud. It’s not just reading a textbook or an article aloud. After you’ve studied some material, imagine you need to tell the other person everything you’ve learned and say it out loud.
Practice is another important component of productive learning. Indeed, what is the point of knowledge if you do not see its application in real life? That’s why you should use your new knowledge in practice, start communicating in the new language as early as possible, study real cases, make presentations, discuss the subject matter with other people, and maybe even pass on your new knowledge to them.
In psychology, there is such a concept as “curiosity point”. In other words, it is the intentional development of one’s curiosity, which, as we know, often becomes the main motivator in learning. Experienced teachers say that anyone can find at least one point of contact with any subject, discipline, the field of knowledge, etc. If you’re not interested in what you’re learning, try to find an angle from which you’ll be the one curious about the subject. As an example, people who motivate themselves to learn a foreign language are not motivated by the fact that it will hypothetically be useful to them in life, but by the fact that they will finally be able to watch their favorite movies or read their favorite books in their original language.
And one more piece of advice. Despite modern technology, you should not forget the time-honored notebook and pen. In the process of learning it is worth it to make notes and notes by hand, which will reflect exactly your approach to the study of the material in terms of appearance, content, etc. First, such notes can help you repeat the material quickly. Second, for many people, writing down some information by hand does make it easier to remember.
“No” to all distractions
Another modern problem in learning is that all of us today are constantly distracted by something. Most people don’t even notice it. Meanwhile, we are surrounded by a lot of distractions that “eat up” our time, attention, and energy. You must agree that this is not a good combination with exercise.
Ask your friends and family not to disturb or distract you while you study.
Put your phone on airplane mode and use it only for necessary things.
Make it a habit to check your e-mail and social media no more than 2-3 times a day. For the average person, this is enough, but you will save a lot of time and effort. By the way, there are even special applications, such as OffTime, which help you disconnect from the outside world and focus on what really matters. In this application, the user can set a certain time during which his phone will not be able to receive calls and texts, will not allow access to social networks and other useless applications. Of course, an exception can be made for the closest people whose calls cannot be missed.
Regularly updating your news feed and hanging out on the Internet is another enemy of the studying process. Once you get on a social network or your favorite site, it can be very difficult to get off. And, in the meantime, minutes and even hours of your precious time will pass.
Finally, we advise you to turn off the TV during class. Multitasking is detrimental to the vast majority of people, and you are very likely to be one of them. So do not try to simultaneously gnaw the granite of science and finish your favorite TV series. As a result, you simply will not get satisfaction from either. Remember, it’s time for business and an hour for pleasure!