Discover your study groove
Ask yourself these 4 simple questions to learn how to study a little each day.
Time of Day?
When are you perkiest? What time of day are you the most productive?
For a close friend of mine, that time is between 9pm and 1am. That floors me! I like to be asleep by 9 o’clock, and she’s just getting started! She can focus at that time. She likes how quiet her home is, how quiet the street is, and how easily she can contemplate tasks that require complete concentration.
Personally, I find that same level of quiet and highly focused time begin for me as early as 4:30 in the morning and lasting until I wake up my children. I reserve the first hour that time to pray and read God’s Word.
You may not need or even want total silence while you study.
Simply begin to notice when you are the most focused, productive, and energized for studying.
Where do you study best?
I like to study at home. Others prefer the park, the library, or a coffee shop.
If you would rather study away from home, does the answer to the first question (best time of day) match the available hours of the place you most like to study? The friend I mentioned above loves to study at her local library, but it closes long before 9pm. Because of that, she does most of her studying at home but also schedules one library visit per week into her calendar.
She reserves that library trip for some of her lighter study responsibilities that don’t require her to be at her very best while working, but it still gives her the chance to spend some time each week in her favorite place to study.
If you like to study at home, where in your home do you do your best work? I like the living room/kitchen area, which is one wide open space in my home. There’s a desk to sit and type, a recliner to read and contemplate, and a high counter to place my laptop on when I want to stand while studying.
Where you study, as well as what time you study, makes a big difference in how much studying you actually accomplish.
What Else Is Already Set?
Some things in our schedules are non-negotiable. Work. Parenting responsibilities. Attending class in person or online.
Studying a little bit each day will mean studying outside of times that are already filled with non-negotiable tasks. Rather than viewing this is a limitation, consider it as pre-set boundary. Knowing when you can’t study, helps you see when you can.
How long will you study each subject?
Choose a minimum of 30 minutes a day to a maximum of 60 minutes a day per subject you are studying in school. This may seem too short, but studying a little bit each day is just that: a little bit.
But that little bit will add up over time. Each day you will remind your mind of definitions you are memorizing, remind your fingers of the tasks they need to perform, and remind yourself to that you have set aside a regular time to take move from memorization to understanding.
30 Minute Tasks
Reserve the 30 minute tasks for knowledge you need to imprint on your brain. Rote memorization. Vocabulary terms. Ordered sequences. Games or practice tests on a study app.
60 Minute Tasks
Take a little more time with 60 minute segments. Use this time for required reading or to draft/edit a written assignment. With an hour set aside for a task, take the time to make connections among the different items you have memorized, work toward longer assignment, watch videos that break the topic down into manageable parts. You can even use part of this time to post comments to discussion boards, email instructors for clarification, or reach out to classmates when you have a question.
Now put it all together
It’s time to take your answers to the 4 questions and map out your study schedule so you can study a little each day.
Here’s what it looks like for me:
Time of Day?
5:30 to 7:30am by myself
9:00am to noon independent study time with my children in the same space
3:00 to 4:00pm with my children allowing me to practice my skills on them
My living room/kitchen area
What else is already set?
Homeschooling my kids and working from home
30 minute tasks
These are the courses I am studying currently during my training in Chinese Medicine.
- Taiji practice (5:30am)
- reading on the practice of personal cultivation (6:00am)
- pathophysiology (6:30am)
- point location memorization (7:00am)
60 minute tasks
- anatomy & physiology (9:00am)
- foundations of energetics (10:00am)
- energetic diagnosis (11:00am)
- palpation and point location practice (3:00 to 4:00pm)
Now it’s your turn
Discover your best time of day, where you like to study, what else is going on in your day, and how you want to split up your study schedule by course. Exactly how will you study a little each day?