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Whether you are in school, or simply trying to learn something new it is important to make the most of your time.
There is no need to study a topic for 3 hours, when you can learn just as much with 50 minutes of effective study.
In this edition of the Habit Change Profile (HCP) series, we'll talk about five of the most effective study habits. While each is easy to implement, when combined, they can bring your ability to learn to a whole new level.
Do the following right and you can easily triple your learning speed.
(Side note: Want a PROVEN method to mastering your next test? Then take this short masterclass on how to study for exams and getting excellent grades)!
What You Will Learn
- 5 Study Habits to Help You Learn Faster
- Study Habit #1: Get your Mind Right
- Study Habit #2: Understand What Works for You
- Study Habit #3: Create an Ideal Study Environment
- Study Habit #4: Map Out Your Study Sessions
- Study Habit #5: Review, Record and Refine
- Final Thoughts on Effective Study Habits
5 Study Habits to Help You Learn Faster
Study Habit #1: Get your Mind Right
It is hard to study and learn effectively if you are not in the “right place” mentally. This is a matter of focus and being ready, willing and able to learn.
Understand “why” you are learning something. Is it for a degree? To get a job? To improve your current job? Or just to learn more?
Knowing “why” you are studying a topic, goes a long way to learning new information and putting it into context.
Remind yourself of your unique skills and abilities. In other words, get rid of limiting beliefs like “I can’t learn this,” “I'm no good at this topic,” or “I have a bad memory”
These thoughts will doom you to failure. Having a negative mindset is surefire way to prevent long-term learning.
Before you begin to study, put yourself in the right frame of mind by visualizing yourself learning (and retaining) the information. Remind yourself that you CAN learn the information and that you WILL learn the information.
If you get frustrated while studying, remind yourself that you can do the learning and that you must use the study time effectively.
The most important part of getting your mind right is to use the 30 day habit. This is a technique where you focus on a single habit for a month to make it a permanent change.
Let's say you want to learn another language. What you can do is set aside one hour every day to practice this new habit. Make it part of your routine and it will quickly become something you do without thinking.
Study Habit #2: Understand What Works for You
How many hours do you currently set aside for studying every week? Do you need more time? Where do you do it? What is the environment like? Is your study area conducive to learning? Do you learn better with background music or absolute silence?
These important questions will maximize your study potential. Effective study habits include either being alone, or in an area where you can be free from distractions.
For instance, you might study better in a library. Or you might find that you can't effectively learn in front of the TV or surrounded by friends or family. Also, music might be a distraction for you as well.
It is important that you find out what does and doesn’t work. You should be able to study for 50 minutes and focus on the topic you are trying to learn. Eliminate everything that distracts you from this outcome.
Study Habit #3: Create an Ideal Study Environment
It is important to have everything you need in one area. A good study environment should be:
Study Habit #4: Map Out Your Study Sessions
Those who fail to plan; plan to fail!
If you don't focus on developing an effective study habit, then you simply won't maximize your learning time.
The best way to do this is with the 30 day plan I mentioned earlier. The trick is to create a study session schedule that takes the guesswork out of this routine.
Here's how to do this in five steps:
1. Take action when the time arrives.
If you have a study session set for 10am, then get to work at this time – no excuses.
2. Set alarms and reminders.
You can use your cell, your PC or even an old reliable alarm clock. And if you have trouble remembering – use them all.
3. Set accountability.
Ask a friend or family to keep tabs on how you are doing. A good friend will be able to hold you accountable to your new habits.
4. Set scheduled breaks with a timer.
It is important to give your mind and body a regular rest. Going for more than an hour without a break is counter-productive. Never go longer than 50 minutes without taking a break. A great way to break up this time is to get up and take a short walk.
5. Use the Feynman Technique.
If you're having trouble remembering the material you're trying to learn, then The Feynman Technique can help you solve this issue.
Study Habit #5: Review, Record and Refine
Focus on improving your overall study technique and habits.
Keep a record of your study sessions. Make sure to rate how you feel after each one. If studying is part of a class, then use your grades as a measurement for the effectiveness of your study habits.
Also, monitor the types of interruptions and distractions that often occur during a study session. Then find a way to reduce or minimize these distractions. With the higher degree of motivation you should subsequently be able to continue to study more effectively.
Final Thoughts on Effective Study Habits
Effective study habits are an important element of the good habits that you'll use to improve your life. By following these five habits, you'll get more out of each session, learn faster and will have more time to enjoy the fun things in life.
If you want to learn even more about “how to learn” why not check our some great learning and study habit books. These books include things like: speed reading, neuroplasticity, creative thinking and other great books that can help us learn with increased efficiency. See it here.
Finally, if you want a PROVEN method to mastering your next test, then take this short masterclass on how to study for exams and getting excellent grades.