I'm sure you're familiar with the classic image of a student with a coffee at 2 a.m. on the eve of an exam surrounded by a million notes. Well, I have good and bad news for you, so which one should I start with, the good or the bad? Let's start with the bad news to leave the good news for last: drinking liters and liters of coffee at the expense of not sleeping to memorize the concepts will not help you study more effectively or retain the information better. Want to know the good news? Other techniques will allow you to invest your time and energy more effectively so that you don't have to reach that extreme situation.
I can say from my own paper writing experience that, after spending my life studying non-stop, I have been able to try different strategies, from barely sleeping the night before to studying non-stop for many, many hours and even drinking coffee through my vein. But, unfortunately, many of them have not been particularly useful. That's why I want to tell you some tips based on my own experience and many things I have read throughout my years of study. It is not about studying more, but about learning smarter.
Each person is different, and not all of them may work for you, but it is a matter of trying which one fits you best.
More is not better; better is just better. It will always be better to do 10 1-hour sessions than to do 1-10-hour sessions. It is because your brain is better at interpreting information when you dose it. Before you sit down to study, consider how you can spend your study time more productively. Make sure you have the suitable material and are in a comfortable place that favors your ability to concentrate.
We will not deny that a last-minute study at night may have saved you from some. Still, it is scientifically proven that your ability to reason and memorize is considerably reduced if we reduce the hours of sleep. When we study every day simultaneously, we are creating a study habit, and our brain interprets that by reducing the energy required to perform that activity. Therefore, it will be significantly easier.
"Space and time are two inseparable concepts." Find the personal space that helps you maintain your concentration. It is a personal thing. I admit that I prefer a quiet place, but some can study in areas with some noise or even music.
I have already mentioned the importance of creating goals to have a clear vision and avoid wandering. In addition, it helps us to organize ourselves and reduce the probability of procrastination. Developing the habit of setting small goals and objectives will help you focus your efforts better and plan your time.
Studies have confirmed that when you spend more than 45 to 50 minutes doing work that requires intense intellectual effort, your ability to maintain concentration drops, and, therefore, so does your performance. Thus, incorporating the Pomodoro method into your study habits can be effective when organizing your study hours. In this article, I will tell you more about it.
When you learn something to transmit that knowledge, your brain organizes the information much better. In other articles, I already told you about the Feynmann technique and how to apply it. Instead of memorizing names, dates, numbers, or concepts, this technique prioritizes deep understanding. To say that you have a deep understanding of a topic, you have to explain the topic to other people.
Studies show that by teaching, you can retain up to 95% of the information while reading, listening, or observing only 10, 20, and 30%, respectively.
Putting into practice what you have studied can significantly help you to understand and reinforce the concepts. If it is a subject in which it is difficult to look for the practical part, you can choose to elaborate questions and answers on the topic. Develop the habit of asking yourself why during the study process and look for solutions based on what you have studied.
From Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp to television. "Studies show that the idea of a student being able to multitask, such as chatting or reading an email while listening to a lecture or participating in a workgroup, is false, as the human brain is only capable of performing one cognitive task at a time. What happens is that the brain connects and disconnects continuously, which affects the ability to concentrate and learn.
Technology can be our most incredible resource and our most significant distraction. For this very reason, we need to be aware of how we are using it and whether it is bringing us closer to or distancing us from our goals.