How to Reduce the Amount of Time You Have to Study

 

Let’s be real. You do not want to spend hours on hours studying. Studying to get yourself through college is essential, but there are ways that you can reduce the amount of time you study and increase the effectiveness of the study session. Right now you are learning about time management. Time management is the most useful thing you will ever learn to do. (If you are not learning about time management click here.) However, if you are not able to work effectively in these moments, then you most likely will start to have trouble with having enough time because the things you are trying to do are taking much longer than they should. We are going to start with tips to reduce the number of hours you have to study.  

 

Here is what you need to know. 

  1. Study at the same time and same place every day. Doing this helps to train your brain to know that when you come to this specific place that it is time to study. We are creatures of habit and this is one way that we can use that to our advantage. To enhance this, you can also use a scent like orange or lemon to take the habit forming even deeper. You want to set the scene for some epic studying to take place. Create an environment for you to thrive in.  
  2. If you have notes that you need to memorize or a speech, record yourself reading the materials and then listen to it while you are working out, walking to class or driving. I always do this with speeches. I will record myself giving the speech just like a plan to and then on my way to the event I will listen to it over and over again. If your instructor allows, you can also record the lecture and listen to it later. 
  3. Pay attention to how you are treating your body. If you are not getting the right amount of physical activity or drinking enough water, there is a good chance that you will not be able to stay focused for long periods of time. Get up and move around every 30 minutes. Drink several glasses of water and do not forget to do your workout. Avoid sugar. Sugar will kill any study mojo that you are hoping to gain. 
  4. Train your brain to work without distractions. For 1 hour turn your phone off and all other directions so that you can focus for one hour with a 2 minute (social media free) break at the 30 minute mark. Your brain is just like any other muscle. It can be made stronger. Your goal is to be able to sit for an hour without breaking your concentration. 
  5. Don’t cram. It might work in some situations, but it is stressful and most likely will not yield the best results. Study gradually. Study in smaller 1 hour shifts. And recall the information as much as possible by talking about it, writing about it, or just thinking about it. This way you are committing it to you memory where it can stay for a long time. 

 

Here are some things that you want to avoid if you are trying to get the most out of your time. 

  1. Coffee shops are great but they are packed full of distractions. Avoid studying in a coffee shop or any other place that has loud noises and lots of people. 
  2. Studying in bed or another place that makes you sleepy. 
  3. Being hungry during study time. 
  4. Being exhausted during study time. 
  5. Negative self talk about studying or your ability to learn and retain information. For example; “I will never get this.” “How am I supposed to know this.” 


Your brain is a powerful tool. Often times people will say things like I am so forgetful. I can’t remember anything. Even though this is true, it is a choice. You can take control of your learning and how easily you can retain information. It is up to you. Train your brain. Most of what I know about training the brain comes from Jim Kwik. He has a podcast, a blog and some digital courses on how to train your brain. If you want to go deeper into learning about your brain and how to improve memory go to his website here.

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