One of the big challenges when it comes to studying is to actually do it. Lets face it, it is the odd person that actually looks forward and enjoys studying. There must be a ton of other things you would rather be doing. However on the day of the exam or even more so the day of the test results, you will have wished you spent more time studying. So here are eight tips to help you study and avoid wasting time.
1. Write down your reasons for studying. Are you studying to get an “A” on the test, to get a better job, to set an example for your children or simply to pass the final exam. It is much easier to study when you know why you are doing it. Take this list. Make photo copies and place it where you study and where you are likely to procrastinate.
2. Write down the pitfalls of not studying. OK, you know why you are studying now write down what may happen if you do not, for example, will you fail the test, let down family, not be able to get into grad school or the college of your choice. If the the first tip was the carrot, this study tip is the stick. Copy and post this list like the first one.
3 Set a time and place to study. You need to make studying part of your routine. Much like a successful exercise program if you go to the gym and work out every morning your will lose weight, but if you go to McDonald’s instead, you will not be successful. The library is an excellent choice if it is possible for you. Otherwise set up a desk in a room that is quiet. Put a sign on the door if necessary telling people not to disturb you.
4. Turn it off. Turn off the iPod, television, cell phone, computer, etc. Yes, I said the computer. It is OK to use the computer if it is for writing or looking something up, but surfing the net or checking your email may be too great of a temptation. Plus you need to be focused on what you need to accomplish.
5. Set mini goals. As you study you do need to take breaks, but you don’t want to take too many or for too long. Use breaks as a reward for accomplishing a task. I will rewrite my notes and take a 5 minute walk around the library or I will finish this chapter and then eat some ice cream. Notice I did not say call my friend or check my email. Those activities can easily steal your time and are best left for when you are done.
6. Be prepared to study. Have all your ideas together and a plan of what you are going to study. Now, do not spend an hour preparing as this would be procrastination in itself. But you do not want to get to the library only to find out you did not bring your notes.
7. Let people know that studying is priority for you. Make it perfectly clear to family and friends that you need to study and why (you have your list from one and two). Explain that your cell phone will be off and what time you plan to be done. If you have children it will help if you have someone to watch them or at least entertain them.
8. Take a break if you mind starts to wonder. Reading you notes or flashcards while thinking of the beach will not help you on the day of the test. Daydreaming is a form of procrastination caused by mental exhaustion. Take a 5 minute break and go for a walk. Then focus when you come back.
I hope these eight study tips will help you stop procrastinating. Now turn off the computer and start reading your textbook.