Hey guy’s, I know I know you should be thinking what am I going to tell you about study habits n all, but you should know that every person has flaws and every student has bad habits but in today’s post I’m going to tell you how you can stop doing it and improve yourself! I don’t want to discourage you from studying! It’s pretty much always a good idea no matter how you do it but some methods are better than others some study methods will actively harm your ability to remember things and some just aren’t as effective as they could be! Not as great of a use of your very limited time if you do some of the things that i say are not to do and you find that they work for you that’s no big different things work for different people, obviously!
This blogpost is just based off of research and my personal experiences talking with people i know about what works best for most people not necessarily all people but if you’re a little bit lost this most people direction. Will hopefully offer you some helpful guidance without any delay, let’s get started!
1.Setting clear goals: The first mistake is forgetting to set clear goals and concrete plans ideally you don’t want to view studying as this endless slog to just get through every day there’s an end goal which is to master a certain amount of knowledge and goals are important because you need to know where you’re going so that you can clearly chart a path to get there which makes it more efficient for you to arrive at your final destination than to just aimlessly wonder around not knowing where you’re going and to apply that to studying you need to know what you need to know so that you can pick your study methods and organize your information accordingly instead of doing this aimless time wasting wandering around just pick a goal and set up a plan for it the way i recommend laying out a study plan is first making a general outline of everything you need to know and then planning which day or week you’ll do each of those topics if you want more details i’ll put another blog about and let’s move on to the next
bad study habit.
2. Avoid Multitasking: The next mistake i would avoid is multitasking which is any sort of attempt to do multiple things at the same time for example maybe like listening to a lecture while reading a book even some background noise like having the tv on in the background or listening to music while you study can be too much of a distraction at times the thing about multitasking is that no matter how much you believe you’re successfully doing two things at the same time to maximize your hours in a day like you can’t physically multitask so you’re just switching between the two tasks as quickly as you can there’s a lot of research that shows that you know the brain can’t handle that many signals going in and that many signals going out at the same time and for that reason multitasking is generally not that effective you’re not putting your full effort and focus into doing one thing a hundred percent well and even if you somehow are able to do both of these tasks quite effectively you’re still being less efficient than you could be because it takes your brain extra effort to keep doing that switching back and forth rather than just focusing on one thing at one time doing the switch only one time and then working on the second task instead of trying to do so many things at the same time just do one at a time i promise with the level of increased efficiency you’ll have from single tasking you’ll be saving time and doing better work than if you were multitasking in the first place and concerning background noise when it comes to studying try to study incomplete silence but if you can’t do that i would recommend some sort of ambient noise or music with no words that is not too distracting.
3.Re-reading or Passive studying methods: The next mistake is re-reading or other passive studying methods this includes things like re-reading your notes or textbook or just recopying notes without really thinking about it yes something like re-highlighting rewriting your notes is aesthetically pleasing and quite easy to do but that’s the problem it’s way too easy and training your brain to solve certain problems or remember certain information takes a certain amount of struggle kind of like working out a muscle simply being able to recognize the information just look at it and think hey i’ve seen that before maybe i know that is not the same as being able to recall it in a situation where you know you’re asked a question and you’re just given a blank page being able to recall all of the information from scratch is the skill you’re actually going to be tested on on an exam so make sure you’re working on that skill by using active studying
methods instead of relying on easier but less effective passive techniques some examples of active studying techniques are things like flashcards or practice tests or teaching a friend if you’d like to learn more about effective study methods which are generally active studying methods i have a video about my top 10 studying tips which i will link in the cards here it’s been too long since i filmed a video i don’t remember where the cards are anymore i think it’s this side. Something else to avoid is only doing what’s easy like i get it we’ve all been there it’s really comforting and you know easy to just keep redoing that easy thing that you already know! For example for math, one thing i kind of did when i was feeling lazy, was just keep running through that one really easy type of problem that i knew! for sure that i could do instead of struggling to figure out a harder one. In this sort of case, where you will be tested on everything regardless of whether or not you are willfully ignoring it. Ignorance is not bliss to go back to that analogy of working out. You will strengthen your brain and your knowledge by doing those things that are outside of your comfort zone just like how, when you’re working out, you wouldn’t want to keep redoing the same weight over and over that & you’ve already gotten used to the real way to strengthen your muscles is to add on some more to the point of discomfort focusing on patching over your weak points will help you get better scores because you know your weak points are probably what makes up that differential between the score you got and the score you want to get and it’s just a lot more efficient to focus your time and energy on fixing up the things that need fixing instead of wasting time on fixing things that literally do not need to be fixed so instead of redoing easy problems identify what you struggle with and focus on that topic. The way i recommend identifying these weak points is taking a full practice exam such as you know free tests that are available online or maybe an old version of your professor’s midterm and take a close look at what you tend to get wrong maybe it’s a certain topic or type of question.
4. Studying in your bed: The next mistake is studying in your bed, psychologically the context in which we learn something and practice, recalling it, is very important to our abilities to perform well on assessments. Studies have shown that if you learn the information and study in the same location as the place you are going to take the test such as in the same classroom at the same desk you’ll do better on that test so in the context of studying and especially in the age of online learning it’s important to pick and stick to a good study spot the ways that our brains have conditioned ourselves to associate certain states of mind or emotions with certain locations is also an important factor to take into account if you decide to study in your bed! The thing about being in your bed is that generally we’ve conditioned ourselves to feel sleepy and perhaps fall asleep when we’re in bed so no matter how much you think you will be focused and productive while doing your schoolwork in bed, it’s really hard to override those years and years of conditioning that have trained you to just be drowsy , so honestly it’s far too likely that you will either be completely unfocused or just straight up fall asleep especially if you’re studying late at night ! Instead i recommend you pick a good study spot and make it a nice place to study as previously mentioned the purpose of sticking to one study spot is that it kind of conditions you into activating that focus mode, whenever you’re in a particular location. I also recommend optimizing the spot to be a good spot to study by making sure distractions like your phone or the tv are far away and making sure that study essentials like paper and pens are close by and just make it comfortable you know that physical comfort is probably why you might gravitate toward your bed in the first place so maybe add a cushion to your chair, have some warm blankets! you can even lay down a yoga mat on your floor, so you can lie face first not something that i ever do making your study spot a comfy and nice place to be will make you more eager to be there and therefore, hopefully more eager to study!
5. Not giving up easily: Last but not least something to quit as soon as possible is refusing to seek help! Don’t get me wrong, it’s always a good idea to start off by working through your difficulties individually and look for resources by yourself, that way you don’t get overly dependent on anybody else but at a certain point, it might be time to acknowledge that you do actually need outside help and from a real person not just google or hank green people like your teachers! A tutor or a study group you know they all have actual knowledge that they can help share with you and the benefit compared to the internet is that you can actually interact with them and have, this sort of back and forth exchange to clarify your understanding usually my rule of thumb is, if i’m stuck on a problem for longer than 15 minutes or if it’s just some sort of misunderstanding that i just literally have zero knowledge on i’ll just go ask for help! It’s all well and good for me a random stranger on the internet to tell you hey, you should go ask for help but,
in practice it is very very hard to actually do that and there are a couple of different mental roadblocks as far as asking for help those that i can help you to try to work through one of them might be pride and i can assure you right now that there is no shame in needing help literally every single person including the smartest people in the world, nobel prize winners!
My professors like everyone collaborates with other people in order to have the best possible understanding of what they need to know doing something that is so difficult that you decide you need outside guidance is a sign that you’re challenging yourself that you’re being brave and going outside of your comfort zone! It doesn’t mean that you don’t know enough or that you’re not smart enough, it just means you know certain things, other people know certain things and they can teach you the things that they know that you don’t know! Yet another problem that you might run into that was my main issue is being way too shy. The thing you want to remember is that people generally want to help you teachers and those are generally very nice helpful people, sometimes you might run into a few bad apples that are just rude and not fun to be around but those are the bad apples not to the entire bunch! These people picked their job as an educator as someone whose literal profession is helping students, learn for a reason, because they want to help students learn and it’s generally the same with friends and classmates as well just think about how if someone asked you for help within reason you’d generally be excited or at least willing to help them out and the majority of people feel the same way that you do so don’t be afraid and don’t be too proud to go ask for help when you need it !
I hope you found this post helpful and if you feel kind of called out because you do a few of these things i know i definitely still do a few of these things.
Today’s the day you can start making incremental changes to your habits one by one!