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10 Simple Hacks To Improve Your Study Sessions

10 Simple Hacks To Improve Your Study Sessions

We all know how hard and yet boring studying can be, especially when we have no real interested in what we’re studying. Nonetheless, it still needs to be done and done well at that. This is why I’ve put together 10 simple hacks that you can implement to improve the productivity of your study sessions.

1. Type In Times New Roman

There’s a reason Times New Roman is the default font of Microsoft Office. That’s because it’s the fastest font to read. So although you may like to get fancy, when typing study notes on the computer, skip all the elegant fonts and stick with Times New Roman. It will save you loads of time when you’re reading back your notes to yourself.

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 2. Turn Your Phone Off and Leave It Out of Sight

Are you procrastinating by constantly checking your phone every few minutes while you study? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, we all know how distracting mobiles phones can be. It’s pretty easy to avoid though, simply turn it off and leave it somewhere out of sight until you’ve finished studying. That way, you won’t be tempted to turn it back on and check it.

3. Create Flash Cards

You’ve probably heard of this before but that’s because it works. By creating flash cards, you can quickly and effectively test your knowledge of key definitions, concepts, and quotes. Don’t spend too much time or get too fancy when creating them though or you won’t want to get back to studying at all.

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4. Take Study Breaks

You have to be very careful with this one or you’ll end up spending too much time not studying at all. With that said, taking a quick 5-minute study break every 45 minutes or so is good for your memory. It will also ensure you’re able to concentrate and continue to study for longer periods of time.

5. Read Out Loud

Reading out loud is a more effective way to remember something compared to just reading it in your head. Just make sure you’re not in the quiet area of the library when you try this one.

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6. Draw Mind Maps or Diagrams

Some people are visual learners. So be sure to incorporate a few mind maps or diagrams into your study notes if it’s something worth remembering. That way you’re covering all bases.

7. Skip The Music

Although you may like listening to your favorite online music sites and apps while you study. Research has proven that listening to background music while you study hinders reading comprehension. Do yourself a favor, and cut out this distraction. You’ll have plenty of time to listen to music after you’ve aced your exam.

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8. Teach Someone What You’ve Learned

It’s now scientifically well known that one of the best ways to remember and learn is by teaching it for yourself. So be sure to try teaching what you’ve learned to a family member. If there’s no one around, your dog or invisible friend will do.

9. Study With A Group

Studying can be extremely boring and lonely. Which is why sometimes it’s better to change things up and to study in a group. It’s probably not as effective as studying alone, as it’s a lot easier to be distracted when you’re surrounded by people. Still, studying in a group is a nice change up every now and then and is also the perfect way to teach someone else what you’ve learned.

10. Reward Yourself

If you put good effort into your study session and were able to get done what you had planned, then be sure to reward yourself. A little piece of candy is usually more than enough. This will reinforce your good study habits. Just don’t cheat yourself and give yourself a treat when your study session was terrible or you’ll only reinforce the bad behavior.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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