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5 Tips to Improve Your Study Habits

5 Tips to Improve Your Study Habits

Whether you’re having trouble because your subject is difficult, time consuming or – let’s be honest – boring we have some tips here that can help you improve your studying habits. Keep reading for 5 ways you can study smarter from Kristopher Quaioit over at Bright Brain Learning:

Feel like you’re working hard but still can’t reach your study goals? Here are some quick tips to help you make the most out of study time.

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1. Study with a partner or in groups, and peer teach.

Rather than living in a cave with your nose in the books all day, grab a friend from your class and study with them. Group studying helps you to engage and process the information more deeply. Of course, it means more than just carpooling to the library and studying with your headphones on. Have fun with it. Play charades guessing the characters of The Great Gatsby. Draw a picture of your modern interpretation of the Boston Tea Party. Race to solve an algebra problem first and discuss it afterwards. You can also divide the class topics and take turns teaching them as creatively as you like. Sometimes the best way to learn something is to teach it, even if you haven’t mastered it yet. Actively engaging the information with someone else not only helps you to learn, but makes studying more enjoyable. Just avoid turning your sessions into social hour.

2. Step into your teacher’s shoes.

Ask yourself “If I am the teacher, what would I put on the test?” You have probably experienced a few of your teacher’s tests and quizzes by now. Learn from them for the next test. The structure is usually the same, and teachers have specific types of information that they want you to learn. Remember, teachers don’t expect you to memorize every single detail, just the ones they feel is important. It’s your job to figure out what that is. And not everything is important. Don’t be that student who turns a stack of notes into a highlighter coloring book. If in doubt, by all means, ask your teacher.

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3. Paint bigger pictures.

Find ways to connect what you are learning to real life or to other related concepts. It’s harder to remember each piece of a puzzle individually than it is to recall the completed picture. Find ways to relate pieces of information to each other and cluster them.Try this exercise: memorize these numbers in order.6…….2…….9…….1…….3…….8…….4…….0…….5

Now try to memorize these numbers 629….138….405

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The bottom is easier right? It is the same order of numbers, but put into the context of bigger numbers. Creating context gives information meaning and also turns learning into an experience rather than simple absorption.

4. Feed your brain.

A hungry brain is an ineffective one. Those Snickers commercials were not kidding. Your brain needs the proper nutrients to keep it going. Because of this, what you eat and drink also play a huge role in how sharp your brain is. Healthy foods provide nutrients to your brain cells to keep them energized; junk foods increase fatigue and tend to lead to the infamous food coma. So ditch the bag of fried potato chips for a healthy snack bar and a yogurt.Don’t forget the H20. Hydration is equally important. Your brain cells need water to function properly and increase their efficiency. Staying hydrated is known to combat anxiety and increase short-term and long-term memory function.

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No need to break your piggy bank to buy that bottle of high-end water. You can turn any bottle of H20 into “Smart Water” by simply drinking it.

5. Take breaks.

Your brain is like a muscle. It needs exercise to make it stronger, but it can also tire if you overwork it. Imagine that each minute of studying is a push-up and you have to complete 100. If you try to do them all at once, you’ll fatigue to the point where you can’t continue. Essentially you burn out and, despite how hard you try to push, you can’t get your chest off the ground. Your brain is no different. You can try to pound the information in after studying non-stop for an hour, but learn little. On the contrary, if you divide the 100 push-ups into 10 sets, taking a 2-minute break in between, completing 100 is not that bad. If you divide studying into 15-30 minute blocks with quick breaks in between, your brain will feel refreshed, grateful and ready for the next challenge you throw at it.

 5 Tips to Study Smarter | Bright Brain Learning

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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