How to Study – 10 Powerful Habits That Top Performers Have

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    If anyone had the ability to grant you wishes like success and happiness, you’d be a happy camper, right?

    Well, did you know that studies show a strong correlation between happiness, success and the number of hours you spend in study hall?

    Yes, there is an art to studying that can lead to unsurmountable success and happiness. It only makes sense to figure out how to study, right?

    Consider the following ten tips in order to get started.

    How To Study

    How to study - 10 Powerful Habits

    1. Set clear study goals

    Unless you are in the same class with another of your study mates, most people have various study goals.

    Some people are studying to pass the test. Others are studying to pass the class. A number of people are studying in order to retain the information in the long run.

    The key is to do them all. When you study to retain the information, you’ll pass the test and the class.

    Before you get started with your study sessions, create specific goals.

    One good goal to set involves the frequency of the study sessions. You can opt to study for three hours every other day for success in the course.

    Another goal involves how long you remain on one topic within the subject. If you’ve noticed that you’re still struggling with a specific problem and three weeks have passed, it’s time to call in some reinforcements.

    This might mean that you’ll want to have a few study sessions with a really good tutor or talk to the professor. When you know your study goals, it’s a lot easier to remain on task with all you desire to accomplish.

    2. Prioritize study assignments

    Take a look at your priorities when you’re creating your study goals. Then, it’s time to look at the various study assignments you’ll want to take care of. When you’re looking to prioritize efficiently, it’s best to focus on the most pressing task. If you have a major paper due for a specific class in a week, you don’t want to procrastinate on that because you’re studying for a test that’s in three weeks.

    One great approach involves creating a calendar. Write down all of the pressing assignments and tests you need to prepare for.

    While you’ll probably work on a few assignments at a time, you can break them up into bite-sized chunks that you’ll work on until the due date arrives.

    Break each large task down into daily tasks. As you remain on task with your daily habits, you’ll gain a lot of progress in the long run. It’s also important to consider the other priorities in your life.

    While you don’t want your family to feel neglected, your studies are extremely important. Find ways to prioritize your family life, work and other priorities. However, make sure your studies don’t suffer because of your lack of priorities.

    3. Start studying early

    There are two approaches to studying early.

    First, it’s important to study early in the sense that you don’t want to wait until the night before a test.

    While some people really love the adrenaline rush that comes along with cramming for a test, it’s not a great habit to develop. Since you’re studying to pass a test, you’re not working on retaining the information in the long run.

    Think about it in another way. Would you want a surgeon to operate on you who studied the night before all of his medical exams? No. You wouldn’t feel comfortable in his abilities in the same way.

    The second approach to studying early involves waking up early. Benjamin Franklin once famously stated that “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” If you take a look at many of the most successful CEOs, entertainers and public figures, they’ll admit that they wake up early in the morning.

    When you’re able to wake up early and seize the day, you’ll get a headstart on all you need to do. Plus, the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll finish. Studying at night isn’t a bad thing. However, a lot of people stay up late, and you’ll leave yourself vulnerable and susceptible to a lot of distractions.

    Alternatively, the early morning hours are typically quiet and peaceful. Since there are fewer distractions in the morning, you’ll give your brain the fighting chance it needs in order to succeed. Just remember to get to bed early the night before.

    4. Create study routines

    You know yourself better than anyone else does. This is why it’s important to dig deep in order to figure out a schedule that works for you. If you can’t fathom sitting for three hours straight, create a study schedule that includes breaks.

    If you tend to feel more alert and clear when you study in the morning, consider waking up early before the sunrise. When you wake up before sunrise, you won’t have to worry about distractions like phone calls or other interruptions because everyone else is asleep.

    Create a study plan that’s centered around what’s most important to learn first. Then, as you create a schedule, you can diversify each session with different learning tactics. Consider what your actual learning style is.

    If you’re a visual learner, you might want to invest in a whiteboard, dry erase markers and flashcards. If you’re a kinesthetic learner, use clay, crayons and other tactile resources in order to help yourself remember the content.

    As you become creative with your study plan, you can turn studying into something you actually enjoy doing.

    5. Minimize possible distractions

    Oftentimes, people talk about eliminating distractions when it’s time to work. However, the concept is really relative. What’s a distraction for one person might be a beneficial study tool for another person.

    Some people love to listen to music while they study because it helps them to focus more. There are other people who can’t listen to music because they’ll start to sing along and dance.

    Some people love to turn on the television while they study. Others will spend more time watching television rather than study.

    The key is to know yourself. If you’re too distracted by social media when it’s time to study, leave your phone in the car.

    Truthfully, many people like to have distractions nearby because they’re used as coping mechanisms. When people don’t really want to do the work, they’ll use a distraction to avoid the impending doom. However, the key is to eliminate the distraction because you’ll get your work done so much faster.

    If you’re already in the position where you don’t want to do something, why prolong it by setting up mindless distractions? Instead, get clear on what you need to remain focused, eliminate distractions and zoom through your study sessions with clarity and precision.

    6. Eliminate multitasking

    There are plenty of people who will try to kill two birds with one stone. While it works in certain circumstances, studying isn’t one of them. When you’re trying to absorb information, your brain can only take so much.

    When you’re in a study session, you shouldn’t try to simultaneously send emails to the group members who are working on a different class project with you. Instead, work on being present.

    If you’re studying English and you’ve found a great podcast on grammar, it’s fine to listen to it in the car. It’s informational, and it’s nice to listen to something while you’re driving.

    However, if you’re driving while trying to read your textbook, that’s dangerous and ineffective.

    7. Test yourself frequently

    As you study and learn various concepts, take time to quiz yourself on the material. When you’re constantly recalling information, it’ll sink it deeper.

    When you’re studying, the goal is to make sure the information sticks in a way that allows you to repeat it without hesitation because it’s so ingrained in you.

    There are plenty of ways you can test yourself frequently.

    Start by looking online for practice tests. Ask your professor if they have any practice test questions you can have.

    Join online study forums to see what questions they’re asking each other. As you develop a repertoire of study questions on a specific subject, you’ll be able to get a well-rounded approach of ways to solve the problems.

    If you’re studying for a vocabulary test, flashcards really do stand the test of time. Write the vocabulary word on one side. Write its definition on the other side. Practice a cycle with the flashcards within each study session. As you improve, add more flashcards and vocabulary words into the mix.

    Another way to test yourself and challenge your intellect involves timed testing. When you’re in the classroom with a test in front of you, you only have an allotted time to complete it. When you know the material, it shouldn’t take you hours to finish a 45-minute test.

    Therefore, work on timing yourself as you take practice tests. Try your best to slice your time by a few minutes each time. As you improve, this will be a sign that you know what you’re doing. However, make sure you’re taking different practice tests each time. Otherwise, you’re just regurgitating the same answers every time.

    8. Find a study partner or a study group

    There’s something to be said about finding strength in numbers. When you have two people or a small group of people who are willing to remain focused on achieving a goal, they’re unstoppable. The key is to be accountable to one another.

    There are many people who will turn a study session into a social hour. When you have a serious test to study for, you can’t afford to do that. That’s why it’s a great idea to connect with like-minded individuals within your class.

    Pay attention to the ones who seem to be the most attentive and focused in class. It’s also wise to pay attention to who’s sitting next to you at the honor roll ceremony. Surround yourself with people who are committed to success.

    Pay attention to the ones who seem to be the most attentive and focused in class. It’s also wise to pay attention to who’s sitting next to you at the honor roll ceremony. Surround yourself with people who are committed to success.

    Send an email blast to some of the students in your class. Ask them if they’re interested in a study session. Create a list of rules regarding attendance and remaining on task.

    You can also opt to find an online study partner. If you have a friend who is studying at a different university, you two can still study the same subject. Biochemistry is still biochemistry at any school you attend.

    Depending on how many people are in the online study group, you all can use video conferencing software in order to connect with each other. Everyone can have access to a specific Google Drive that contains the notes from the study session as well as any other helpful tools. So many people are shifting to digital platforms for maximum efficiency. You can do the same with your study sessions.

    9. Have fun away from your studies

    As you set study goals and crush them, don’t forget about the art of balance. If you’re solely working all the time, you’ll run the risk of burning yourself out. Instead, find ways to have fun away from your studies.

    A break is important. Think about when people exercise. Oftentimes, it’s wise to take a day or two off from exercise. This is because you need to give your body a chance to repair itself. The same concept applies to your brain.

    When you’re trying to cram it with as much information as possible, it can become overwhelming. Before long, it’ll be hard to retain anything. Instead, find ways to study and have fun at the same.

    For the day when you have a four-hour study session, schedule a break a 30-minute break after two hours of intense study. Meet up with a friend for ice cream during the break. If you don’t want to leave your study room, order takeout, and enjoy a 30-minute television show.

    When you’re studying with someone else, it’s a great idea to play a quick card game or a board game. If you need to release some stress, put away your books and pull out a coloring book. Put your headphones on as you zone out and color.

    As hard as it might seem, schedule time with your friends and family. Don’t forget to make time for the things you enjoy. When you’re intentional in this effort, it’ll help you feel more well-rounded and balanced in the way you approach life.

    10. Build a relationship with a mentor

    When you spend a lot of time studying, you’re trying to learn and retain the information. Even if you dedicate many hours to your studies, it’ll be worthless if you’re studying the wrong information. This is one of the reasons why a mentor can be so helpful.

    Not only will a mentor keep you accountable to your goals, but they’ll make sure that you’re studying the right information. Consider developing relationships with more than one mentor. First, find a mentor in your field of study. Then, find someone who can be a consistent mentor regardless of the subject matter.

    In order to build a relationship with a mentor, it’s best to allow them to find you working. When you’re already in the trenches doing hard work, this will show a mentor that you’re worth their time. Be the best and most active student in the classroom.

    Ask the right questions. Take it a step further by learning how you can serve your mentor. When you’re looking for a mentor, remember the fact that they don’t need you. You need them.

    Asking your potential mentor for a cup of coffee doesn’t really serve them. It serves you. Instead, ask if there’s a way you can make their load lighter. This might mean that you’re running to grab their lunch, make copies or do a simple task in their classroom.

    Acts of servitude show that you value their time, and you’re committed to providing value to their life. When a person sees that you’re not just there to take from them, it’ll be a lot easier to gain the mentor of your dreams.

    In Conclusion

    When you’re working on learning how to study, know that it doesn’t have to be a complete bore.

    • Customize your study plan to fit your needs. When you gain traction and reap the benefits of great study habits, you'll see that your study sessions are where your superpowers reside.

    Before long, it’ll almost become impossible for you to skip a study session. As you remain faithful in your efforts, you’ll achieve the success you desire.

    Now that you know the keys to happiness and success through the art of studying, how will you apply these tips to your own schedule?

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