Study sessions might last hours – some students even don’t have any sleep in order to prepare for an upcoming test or to complete an essay before the deadline. However, spending a lot of time studying doesn’t actually mean getting the most out of it. Reducing your study time might give you some benefits – like having more time for your hobbies, sports, and socialization. But what’s even more important – you can become more productive! Here are a few ideas on how you can make short study sessions work for you.
The most important thing about studying is to spend your time with maximum benefit. Whenever you are pulling all-nighters or trying to study for many hours straight, you lose focus eventually. It happens because it’s hard for your brain to stay concentrated and keep the same level of productivity. It’s a natural process and specifics that you should keep in mind.
What you should do instead of cramming is to have frequent and short study sessions. This way you will constantly keep your memory fresh as well as gain the maximum level of productivity. When you come to your notes or the previous paragraph right the next day – you don’t need to struggle much as you still remember all the information you learned the day before. Start with 30-60 minutes but make it an everyday routine and you will see that you don’t need to read the same pages twice and you will have no difficulties with understanding even complex concepts.
The way you spend your time between the study sessions is as important. It seems like only the time you spend with textbooks counts as study time, but in fact your brain needs some time to comprehend, analyze information and “put it in the right drawer.” So, when your session seems to be over – your system is still working on a task.
Sleep and eat well – these are the most crucial things about being productive and energized. Having at least 8-hour healthy sleep each day helps significantly when it comes to concentration and brain activity. The more tired you feel – the less productive your brain works as it needs to save energy. That is why all-nighters are usually minimally effective though it might seem otherwise.
If you want to reduce the study time you need to make the process smooth and planned – in order to avoid wasting your time during the session itself. Make a list of tasks and goals for the session before you start. A simple list like “read paragraph #15 and make notes” or “finish the essay” is more than enough to feel more comfortable and focused.
Another important thing is to keep your space and your notes, files, projects, and assignments organized. If you study preferably with help of your computer, make sure you have all of the dates and deadlines in your calendar, files, and notes in the right order; additional materials and texts in a separate folder. The less time you spend searching for a needed file, the more you can achieve during your study session.
Whenever you are reading another paragraph or watching an online lecture, make sure you take notes. Notes are very helpful when it comes to memorizing, understanding, organizing, and practicing. Reading textbooks is not as effective as it doesn’t require running multiple processes, like taking notes. Want to remember – write it down, you will increase your chances of getting the information right as well as come back to your notes later.
When you are multitasking, it’s hard to keep the same rhythm and concentration. Focusing on one and only task is much more effective and allows you to save your time though multitasking might seem like a time-efficient method.
It’s like two modes – turbo and diffused where turbo one is when you are focused on doing something specific and put all your effort into one process. While diffused mode will probably result in a frequent state of spacing out – when your brain reduces productivity in order to avoid overload.
It also to distractions like music, TV shows, scrolling through your social media, texting, etc. Manage your attention and learn how to maximize your productivity – it will make your study sessions short but very effective.