3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts: Study Skills

Studying is overwhelming enough, but bad habits make it worse. The list below focuses on reducing the feelings of being overwhelmed and increasing the manageability of your schedule and information. Check out the Youtube video that goes with this for more details.

Do:
Untitled.0011. Make monthly-weekly-daily Goals: Tasks like writing a term paper, preparing for a large exam, or learning a large concept cannot be accomplished in one day. Split it into small pieces and then move those tasks into a convenient time within a month, week, and day.

For example:
Month of January – Write a 20 page paper on the First Chinese Emperor
Weekly goals – Collect all the research • finish the first draft • finalize the paper
Daily goals – Research for 45 minutes • write the introduction • proof edit the conclusion

Untitled.0022. Do a little everyday: Collect your notes or grab your book. Marathons are more efficient than sprints. Reread your study guide once a day. Just read it, nothing fancy. Or take another 10 page dent out of that book. 5-10 minutes is all. You will be better off to study or read a little rather than a lot at one time because you will not become burnt out or overwhelmed. Also, your mind will be open to new perspectives and soft to remembering new nuances if you reread your material regularly.

3. Write and rewrite and rewrite again: Each time you rewrite something, you will simplify it and make it more memorable. This is particularly true with study notes. Rewrite them after a period of time and not just all in one day. Check the video at the bottom, which goes with this post, for more details.

Don’ts:
1. Don’t list non-accomplishable tasks: Only write todo items that are achievable and measurable.

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2. Don’t use a highlighter in a textbook: Highlighting words is a passive action. In order to digest what you read, you need to write your own comments and not just highlight the original. Capturing impressions and observations in your own words promotes remembering and understanding the information.Untitled.006

3. Don’t keep your space messy: All of yours things randomly distributed will only clutter up your mind. A tidy space keeps your mind tidy. In the morning and evening review your todo list and tidy your space for optimal productivity.

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Bonus tip in my Youtube video! Watch ’til the end!