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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 October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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