Take Notes The Write Way
We might all hate our handwriting, but if we to remember something, we should write it down. Science has shown that students who type up their notes on a laptop had more trouble recalling the information than their paper-and-ink peers. The logic is that because scribbling with a pen requires more effort we don’t copy the info verbatim, and it’s this shortcutting that helps the facts stick.
Set Mini Goals and Reward Yourself
Everyone hates studying, but everyone likes treats! Set yourself small goals, like finishing a chapter or writing 500 words, and give yourself a reward on completion. Your favourite sweets or chocolates work well, or you can use a site like Written Kitten, which will show you an adorable kitty-cat for every section of your essay you complete.
Turn Off Temptation
Smartphones and social media are super distracting, and it’s far too easy to procrastinate on them when the other option is a task we really, really don’t want to do. If you don’t trust yourself, you can take the choice out of your hands by using one of the many websites or apps that restricts your internet access. Freedom will shut off all your internet or phone access for a set amount of time. It’s great for concentrating, but make sure you won’t need to look something up for your work! Other options are Cold Turkey and Self Control. They’re less customizable, but have the benefit of being completely free.
If you’re feeling sleepy because you’re reading a boring textbook, pop a stick of gum in your mouth. Research shows it makes us feel more awake. Plus, your study buddies will appreciate your minty fresh breath!
You simply cannot work well for hours and hours. Like any other part of your body, your brain gets tired when it’s been working hard, and slows down or switches off completely. To keep yourself engaged, take regular breaks. The app DeskTime recently found that people who work for 52 minutes then break for 17 minutes are the most productive. Wondering what to do with your break? Staring at social media and napping are both science-backed ways to get your focus back up. You’re welcome.
Listen to Lyric-Free Music
Good news for music lovers; having your earphones in while studying can help you concentrate and make the task seem more fun. It’s a good idea to avoid lyric-heavy tunes, however, as the words can be distracting. If that rules out your collection of rap, take the opportunity to listen to some calming nature music. Or whip out some Mozart and Beethoven and impress everyone with how refined you are.
Make It More Visual
We all learn in different ways, but most study methods are strictly in the reading/writing style. Why not switch things up, engage some different senses, and make the whole thing much more fun in the process? If you’re studying a novel, hunt out the film version to watch. Learning a language? Check the DVD options on your favourite movies; most will offer foreign-language subtitles or even dubbing. And whatever subject you’re studying, you’re sure to be able to find some cool and relevant documentaries to watch.