Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Three essential study habits for continuing students
You’re no longer in high school where teachers set homework and monitor its completion, so you need to be accountable for your own progress as you study. Following these guidelines will keep you on track to achieve your educational goals.
1. Know thyself
You’ve been at uni long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. Consider if you study better alone, with a study buddy or in a group. When is a good time to study? Are you a morning or night person? Do you have other commitments during the day? Where do you prefer to study? At home, at the library, at a friend’s house?
It may be that you study contextually, for example you can do your readings on the bus, but any serious note taking needs to be done sitting at your desk. Apportion time to the different types of study according to your style.
Be realistic about what you can and can’t achieve study-wise. It’s no good having a grand schedule that you can’t achieve because it only dissuades you from studying.
2. Get organised
Allocate an area for study that is both comfortable (but not too comfortable!) and free from distractions. When you are in this zone, you will study. You won’t check the footy score, you won’t watch cat videos, you won’t create Facebook memes.
Tidy your study area and have everything you need within reach so you can’t procrastinate or distract yourself on the pretext of cleaning up or fetching something.
3. Have a routine
Develop a routine and stick to it. The first few weeks when uni resumes is usually the hardest because your class schedule may be in flux and dates for extracurricular activities have not yet settled. Do the best you can and block out time in your diary for study, even if there’s not much to study yet. By doing so and then making it a regular occurrence you’ll find each session easier to start, which reduces the barrier to procrastination.
If you’ve fallen into bad habits with your study, there are plenty of practical tips to help you turn them around, but it’s these three essential habits that form the basis of much of this advice. Practise these and you’ll be well on your way to conquering your study load.
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