If you are a student, we love you. If you are not, we love you all the same :).
But I think this is something we all can relate to – the difficulty to concentrate while studying!
I have found it way harder to sit in front of the books to study than doing some live project work or sitting in a lecture or getting involved in a discussion with a team. Books and study demand a lot more concentration; left to ourselves this is something which is not the easiest to achieve. Nevertheless, we try to decipher the 7 tips to improve productivity while studying.
We all have heard of this. Set a goal and you know where you are headed. The next step is to plan and then execution – It sounds very cliched doesn’t it? So, we are not going to focus much on that.
The point we try to make here is simply that it is important to set a short term goal for the duration of the study. If you are sitting for an hour or two, set a goal as to what you want to achieve, rather than a long term goal of completing a whole assignment. The more real the goal is, stronger the motivation!
Make sure that this goal is achievable and something you can actually enjoy.
Now this would be extremely important. You can’t be unreasonable in setting expectations – set something which is clear. Stay away from all ambiguity, keep it simple and specific.
And when you set the goal, please don’t keep it time based. Don’t say “The goal is to study for an hour”. That doesn’t make any sense. Rather, this sort of studying destroys the productivity. You would eventually end of spending an hour or two in front of your study desk without many results to account for. You need to ask that question – what is more important – Time or the outcome.
I know this sounds like a fun idea. But if I were you, I would seriously steer away from it. I do understand that studying with a friend is fun. Whenever, I have done this, I have spent more time having fun than actually getting things to work.
Eventually it ends up becoming a complete waste of time and I don’t get too much of useful stuff from it.
This is one more idea which sounds very exciting. I infact enjoy a little bit of music when I work, but that works only for short spurts of time. It is a great way to get re-enegaged, but I wonder how productive it is going to be for studying if you are looking at long term productivity. Pick a place you are comfortable studying, keep the targets specific and single. Don’t mix too many things or else you will end up enjoying neither of these.
This is one tip which I found incredibly useful. Initially I used to read as if I was going to complete and remember everything in one go. This would reduce my speed of reading by a significant bit. From the time I came across the 10 simple tips to read faster and better, I figured it is more convenient to actually identify important points in an article or text, mark it and then come back to it.
Segmenting work into different areas increases productivity and also helps the memory to segment stuff better.
People always claim about the 3Rs of reading – reading, recollecting and revising. I would rather say, skim read, identify and write down the important points somewhere so that you can come back to revise while studying. I do understand that revising is not the most attractive one and we tend to ignore it cos it can easily be done later. But that rarely is the case and we rarely do it effectively.
If the content is not too much, we would strongly recommend a good amount of revision on the go.
There is a reason why we talk about planning in the end. This is because, we want to focus on how you are going to use this study for the next bit of work you are doing. This is to ensure that you have achieved the goals you set out on and to understand that you are really in a path to make use of your studying effort.
This way, you know where you are going, how it has been useful and it gives a good amount of motivation for the next session.
All said and done, it all finally boils down to the execution. And you will be able to figure out a style which works the best for you. None of the ideas here are prescriptive and like you know, we are always open for a debate. Would love to hear your tricks of study so that we can make this post as useful as possible.
Do join us for more such updates,