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Student Guide to Effective Note Taking

Student Guide to Effective Note Taking

Note taking is one of the most effective ways to comprehend studied material. It’s challenging for many people because effective note taking requires a lot of attention from you, which is something most people find difficult. However, if you want to kick away poor note taking, the following strategies can help you do it effectively.

2-6 Note Taking Method

This is one of the most effective note taking strategies, according to experts. It’s also known as Cornell Method. In this method, all you need to do is partition your notebook into 2 parts, as shown in sample below. The smaller 2 column can be used for the highlighting. Use the column on the right for the most important materials and what you think will be tested. The result of this strategy is that you have enough content to scan when the time comes for you to do so.

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2-6 Notes Taking Method

    Split Page Technique

    Since what you learn in class is only comparable to what exists in textbooks, you need to activate two parts in your notebook with a straight separating line. Here, all you have to do is take class notes on one side and textbook material on the other side. When you’re revising, you will be able to have materials from both sides integrated. You can also add a set of questions to ask the professor in a third partition on the page. You can also use Wiki for better note taking.

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    Use Group Notes

    You also need to activate other people’s perspectives insofar as notes are concerned, especially when you don’t feel like taking notes during class. When you don’t have to take notes in class, make sure that you’re totally active in class and attentive, as this will aid you further when you review all of your notes before a test. You could also take a few notes of the crucial parts during class time.

    Capture as much info as you can

    It’s very important to understand the art of note taking. However, although many people assume this is rocket science, note taking is not much more than simple common sense. It’s also important to improvise new ways of capturing what is said in class because many times, it’s so hard to differentiate or capture everything the professor says. A good voice recorder can help you capture lectures for later revision. To this end, always try to transcribe the materials when it’s still fresh in your mind.

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    Identify noteworthy sections of lesson

    Not everything you hear in class should go to your notebook. Some material is better left out. Hence, when you’re taking class notes, make sure the materials are actually worthy of reviewing or reading. Once this is done, you should consider reading or retyping all the lecture notes and removing the irrelevant parts as you strive to keep the a logical sequence of work done. Experts recommend going over the work within the first 24 hours of the lesson to improve the retention rate.

    Attend class

    One of the most ignored tips among students is the need to attend class. If you want to have the right notes or increase your chances of understanding them, it’s best to try attending as many classes as you can.

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    Attending classes is important because it improves your retention. In addition, you should try to prepare for each class beforehand. Familiarizing yourself with what is being taught prepares your mind, helps you determine what to ask, and helps you avoid taking worthless notes.

    Use more color

    For effective note taking, use of different ink and color also adds up to value received. In fact, researchers associate retention to between 50-80 percent when different ink is used to make notes.

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

    10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

    Being demotivated is arguably one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel as though you have no direction and, despite the fact that you are not getting any enjoyment out of getting nowhere, you feel no urgency or drive to make the effort to change your situation.

    While this may seem like a bleak situation, fret not! Motivation is like money; even if you have none of it at the moment, you can always get some more!

    If you’re reading this, you have most likely run into a wall of demotivation. If this is the case, let’s dive right into the reasons why you may be experiencing this and what actions you can take to get out of it.

    1. You Are Working Without Purpose

    The biggest reason why someone may be feeling demotivated is that they are living their lives without goals or intent.

    If you’re living a life without purpose, you are bound to go through the motions without any sense of direction, feeling as though you are doing things simply for the sake of doing things rather than to work towards something that you want.

    Sounds familiar?

    Fortunately enough, demotivation that is caused by a lack of life purpose can be easily fixed. All you have to do to work on this demotivational factor is to figure out what it is you are looking for out of life and to establish specific, bite-sized, achievable goals that can help you to get there.

    With a life plan you are passionate about, you’ll feel motivated in all aspects of your life quite quickly once more.

    This article can help you find your purpose to work: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

    2. Your Lack of Motivation Stems From Fear

    When we fear progress, we refuse to move forward, becoming stuck at a certain point in our lives that allows us to only achieve so much on a daily basis. Whether this is an obstacle you have created for yourself in your professional life or your personal life, it becomes more difficult to break free of this cycle as each day passes. This, in turn, manifests into discontent and demotivation.

    So, what can you do about this fear when it affects your motivation levels?

    The first thing to do is to take note of the fact that you are putting off progress because you are afraid of a certain outcome.

    Next, it is important to ask yourself what you are afraid of hearing in relation to your situation and whether or not that fear should really be stopping you from moving forward.

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    Finally, you need to start chipping away at that fear step-by-step until you face it head on and conquer it.[1]

    True that life can be scary at moments. But is there anything scarier than missing out on opportunities and not living your life to the fullest?

    3. You’re Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons

    Our body knows how to react in any given situation and the lack of motivation that has you down may be a direct result of what you are doing.

    Ask yourself, is everything I do done for the right reasons?

    Say, for example, that you are currently working a job that pays well but isn’t truly fulfilling. You know you are working for the financial stability and this keeps you there but it is not truly what you want to do. This slowly wears you down and, because the position provides no purpose for you, you don’t have any real motivation to continue on with the position.

    This concept is applicable to all areas of life and, if you feel unmotivated, it is quite possible that you are doing things for the wrong reasons instead of doing things that fulfill you.

    4. You Take on Too Much and Are Overwhelmed

    It’s great to be ambitious and it is also perfectly fine to take on quite a bit of work and achieve as much as you can during the day. However, when you take on too much, you stretch yourself too thin and become burnt out rather quickly.

    If you’re too overwhelmed by the many projects you are pursuing, you are less likely to want to do them. If you fall behind, you lose further motivation and you wind up not enjoying the tasks you are supposed to accomplish and lose the drive to see them through.

    The key to staying motivated with anything is to take as much on as possible without making it unenjoyable. Being able to get through your day without feeling stressed and pressed for time goes a long way in helping you to keep your purpose and motivation intact.

    If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important that you learn better time-management skills and more about your limitations in order to craft a better schedule for yourself immediately.[2]

    5. You May Be Dealing with Symptoms of a Mental Illness

    Although mental illness symptoms are easy to spot for some, others can deal with a mental illness without ever suspecting it.

    For example, there are plenty of professionals who deal with dysthymia for years, which is a low-grade form of depression that leaves the individual able to engage in their day but still provides the classic symptoms of fatigue and lack of motivation.

    You may also be dealing with full-blown depression, which can result in hopelessness and a lack of enjoyment in daily activities. It also carries more severe consequences if left untreated.

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    If you believe that you may be dealing with a mental illness, it is important that you seek for mental health assistance immediately to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and learn how to properly cope with the condition.

    You are worth it!

    6. Your Goals Are Too Big

    Having goals is necessary to leading a purposeful life. However, it may be your goals that are actually at the source of your current motivation problem.

    Do your goals look like this:

    I want to launch my website and fill it with 100 blogs by the end of this year.

    Rather than this:

    I want to launch my website by the end of next month and write one blog each week for my new website.

    The difference between the two goals is that one is far too large and vague while the other one is achievable and specific.

    Think about your to-do list. Is it filled with endless tasks that seem impossible to tackle or is it filled with small steps that foster achievement and excite you when you finish them?

    If your goals are too large and you are expecting too much from yourself, you are not going to motivated to chip away at that goal on a consistent basis. Smaller steps are much easier to accomplish and will keep you motivated to achieve the larger end goal.

    Break it down and keep it simple! Learn how to set achievable and specific goals here: How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life

    7. You’re Engaging in Self-Sabotage

    Perhaps you feel that you don’t have the skills to see it through. Perhaps you think others don’t think you’re capable of achievement and are purposely sabotaging yourself and prevent yourself from moving forward.

    In either case, your lack of motivation may be due to your desire to stunt your growth rather than to unleash and prove your greatness to the world.

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    Why do you feel that you aren’t capable of what it is you seek to do? If it is the other way around, why do you feel as though others don’t think that you are capable?

    Sit down and write down a list of your accomplishments, skills, and strengths. Once you see it written down, you can easily begin to see your own value.

    Whether it is to prove someone wrong, to prove yourself right, or to simply shine, breaking through self-doubt or self-sabotage can help you to regain your motivation that is lost under these circumstances.

    Learn how to overcome your self doubt in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

    8. You Believe You Should Have Accomplished More by Now

    With the exception of a rare few, a lot of people put pressure on themselves and put themselves down because they think that they haven’t accomplished enough out of all of the time that they have been alive.

    It can be easy to get into this state of mind. But the past is the past and the only thing you are in control of is the future.

    When you allow yourself to indulge in the past, you fall into the habit of giving up and going through the motions. This habit strips you of motivation and prevents you from making any progress whatsoever.

    As the old saying goes,

    “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

    You can’t expect to meet your life goals instantly. Instead, work hard each day and measure your progress. Each step forward is a step in the right direction.

    Don’t give up!

    9. You Have a Habit of NOT Doing Anything

    It can be hard to hear but some people are just one of those individuals who do absolutely nothing on a daily basis.

    They have plenty of tasks and potential but they choose to not do it simply because they don’t feel like it. And when they finally sit down to take responsibility and move forward, they wonder why they feel demotivated and have such difficulty getting things done.

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    The truth is that getting your life together is hard. You are going to have to do a lot of things you don’t enjoy to get back on track and live the life you want.

    Sit down, show up, and do what you must in order to get to where you want.[3]

    Lifehack’s CEO has some unique advice on this: How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

    10. You’re Settling and Refusing to Push Your Limits

    On the opposite spectrum of overwhelm is underwhelm. Underwhelm begins to set in when you are settling on accomplishing less rather than pushing your limits and doing what you know you are perfectly capable of handling.

    This choice to not do what you are able to and push your limits can cause a lack of motivation as you are consciously deciding to settle for less and stay in mediocrity rather than moving forward and accomplishing more.

    It’s something that we all do when we start to feel a little lazy or tired but it is up to you to hold yourself accountable.

    If you can make it happen, it is up to you to make sure that you follow through.

    Still doubt if it’s better to push your limits? This will change your mind: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

    The Bottom Line

    Even the best of us become demotivated but it is necessary that we get back our drive to push forward and live our best lives.

    Using these 10 points, you are guaranteed to find the reasons behind your lack of motivation and the next steps you need to take to recover that drive and passion.

    Featured photo credit: S O C I A L . C U T via unsplash.com

    Reference

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