Whether we know it or not, most of us have some bad study habits that can affect us to a great extent. If you have a favorite routine that works great for you, good for you and keep it up! If, on the contrary, you always study so hard for an exam but somehow you can't seem to get the desired results, keep on reading, as you may be sabotaging yourself. Here are 7 very common bad study habits that can affect your productivity:
Among the first bad study habits you should get rid of is working in the wrong environment. You can't really focus properly if you have to squint to be able to read, you're constantly fidgeting because your chair is so damn uncomfortable or, on the contrary, you're dozing off every 20 minutes on the fluffy, cozy sofa you've set up your "work desk" on. You need to create a proper study environment, with good lighting, an ergonomic chair that promotes alertness, and no distractions. Most importantly, no social media websites open!
Out of all possible distractions, what's more dangerous than your own inner monologue? That voice (hopefully not voices) in our head that loves chattering away often seems to act up when we're trying to focus the most. How many times has it happened that you suddenly realize you've been lost in thought for an hour instead of focusing on your work? You have to learn to put your wandering thoughts in the background and keep them there, as they can waste you mountains of time.
Don't get me wrong; pairing up with another student to study can be very beneficial, but you have to choose wisely, as not every colleague does a study partner make. Don't pair up with someone just because you like spending time with them, as you might end up doing only that: having a good time and getting distracted from your work. Choose a person who complements your skills and habits and who is actually interested in studying.
There are many students that either tend to write down everything the teacher is saying or don't take any notes at all. The key is to actively listen and write down the most important points. This way, you already start to absorb the information and it will be much easier for you to study later on. Plus, you avoid ending up in the dangerous cloud of thought we've talked about.
Highlighting your textbook to death is another one of the bad study habits that can reduce your productivity. Use your textbook to complement your notes or to keep up on reading assignments during the semester. Highlight only to draw attention to the key points on the page – never entire blocks of sentences. If you go overboard with it, you'll end up reading almost the whole text again instead of the points that actually matter. Plus, you'll be wasting a lot of time only "painting" the book.
Being able to do more tasks at a time is awesome. But when your multi-tasking is getting too complex, you might end up getting a lot less done (or done poorly) than you would if you did things one at a time.
I must admit I've always been guilty of this one. Out of all bad study habits, procrastinating may just be the worst. Whenever I had to study, I suddenly "realized" that it's highly important to clean the bathroom right then. Or call a friend to see how she's been doing. Or walk the dog. Or take a short nap. Or watch just "one more" episode of whatever. You know the drill. I know you're there, fellow Master Procrastinators! Try to fight this sweet temptation and get back to work!
So, how many of the points above do you see in yourself? Have you discovered any good study habits you'd like to share?
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