Studying should be enjoyable because it only takes you closer to your goals and isn’t that fun? :D Once you think it’s fun, it will no longer feel like a burden.
These are some tips that works for me, but you should always stick to what works for you.
By studying, you are becoming smarter. Therefore, it is making you a better person so you are more equipped to contribute to society! I mean who doesn’t like to be knowledgeable? For me, I feel like I am putting my life into good use when I learn new topics. I also feel very accomplished when I get good grades because it shows myself that I can be awesome just by investing time. The feeling of accomplishment is extremely enjoyable!!
The purpose of studying is to learn and become better at the subject. If you make it your priority to learn, then good grades will come with it.
For me, studying can be really fun because I like to use colorful pens to make my notes look appealing to my eyes. I also find drawing diagrams/writing with pens super enjoyable because everything comes out so neat.
I take sample tests and pay attention to the topics that I missed and only study those. I also write down things that I missed/not comfortable with on a piece of paper and look at that everyday, rather than the whole textbook. By eliminating all the information that you already know, it makes the content a lot more approachable because everything is more concise. After narrowing down the content that you must study, you can also dedicate most of your time to the topics you struggle with.
Always start with the big picture, then go into the details. I always go over chapter summaries first before reading the actual chapter.
3. Reward yourself.
Rewards motivate people to work because they offer a sense of accomplishment. Rewards can be anything that makes you happy. My parents used to reward me with money when I get good grades, but I don’t ask for that anymore because I feel that it is unnecessary. For me, the reward of getting good grades is self accomplishment and nothing beats being happy with myself. I feel like money doesn’t make me as happy as the feeling self pride in the form of an accomplishment. I also like to reward myself daily with drawing/internet time when I know that I have worked hard that day.
Something I look forward to every day is dinner with my books. I know that this is not the most I guess socially acceptable thing to do, but it’s what really motivates me to do something that satisfies me more. For example, I’ll read and take notes of one paragraph, take a bite, read and take notes of another paragraph, and take another bite. This is why it can take me hours to finish a meal but it works for me.
4. Take breaks/Break it up
If you don’t take breaks in anything you do, you are going to experience a burnout and feel unwilling to work for a long time. Therefore, taking breaks are ultimately more productive than working through the whole thing in one go.
Because I know that I am the type of person who can not physically be still for a very long time, I get up every 30-45 mins to walk around when I study. On weekends, when I have the whole day, I will always alternate between tasks. For example, I’ll study for 45 mins, wash the dishes, study for 45 mins, and mop the floor. Therefore, I am getting multiple tasks done at the same time, leaving me feeling awesome at the end of the day. Constantly switching between tasks enables me to begin each task with a recharged brain, which also increases the quality of my work.
4. Use your resources.
But be careful of distractions. The internet is a wonderful sea of answers but you are just one click away from a black hole. For me, I usually have a clear objective of what I want to accomplish during a certain time which enables me to stay focused. But I know that distractions can be a major issue for a lot of people. There are some websites that can block social media from your computer, or you can study with a friend/parents around so you have people around you that can keep you in check.
My phone is my best friend and I can not lie. I love my phone so much because it enables me to take any information that I need anywhere I go which enables me to be productive everywhere I go and productivity is my favorite thing. I’m always taking pictures of textbook pages so I can work on homework anywhere, without having to wait till I get home so I can do something more fun instead when I get home! Sometimes, all the computers at school are filled and I can always rely on my phone to get some good research done!
Some of my favorite apps for productivity include podcasts and pocket. I enjoy listening to downloaded podcasts and audiobooks to listen when I run/walk home so I can learn something at the same time so I feel smarter and productive. I love pocket because I can save any content from the internet/certain news apps to it for offline use. So when I’m waiting for something in an offline environment, I always have something interesting to read at my fingertips and learn something new!
5. Live healthily.
Just because it’s finals week or you have a big test coming up, that doesn’t give you an excuse to sit around all day with junk food next to you as you spend hours trying to get information into your head.
If you eat healthy food, your body will reward you with the ability to better retain information because your body likes healthy food and if you give your body what it likes/needs, it will give you what you want. Avoid refined simple sugars aka fast release carbs such as candy and soda. Instead, stick to complex aka slow release carbs such as fruits and vegetables so you will not experience a sugar crash.
Exercise is also important because it gets your blood flowing, delivering more oxygen to all the mitochondria in all the interneurons in your brain, enabling them to efficiently make ATP which powers them to make more synaptic connections, so you become smarter. Your body also really likes it when you exercise so it will thank you.
6. Don’t stress
Nothing good ever comes easy so you can never expect success without putting in the work for it. It’s going to be hard, but it’s worth it. There is no shortcut to success, because if there was one, everyone would be equally successful.
Your brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. You should be confident because you can achieve anything with consistency and dedication. Therefore, you shouldn’t stress about it because you already know what you have to do.
Procrastination is a stress that can be easily avoided by simple planning. Procrastination is unnecessary stress.
7. Find a great spot.
Have a spot in your house where you can study with no distractions around. Make sure you are either standing or sitting upright so you will stay focused. Don’t study on the comfort on your bed because your brain will just want to rest, therefore not work in such a comfortable environment.
I turned my dresser into a standing desk because it helps me stay more focused than I am if I sit. If sitting makes you feel tired, you should try standing.
Listening to music is also something that really helps me stay focused, but can be a distraction for some people. The music I like to listen to is usually in japanese/korean so there is no way my brain can pay attention to the lyrics so that helps me focus on what’s in front of me. Music also helps me tune out other people in my environment so they won’t have to be a distraction to me.
8. Make connections.
People learn best when they can apply concepts to previous experiences/different things. For example, the hormone glucagon is secreted by the pancreas when blood glucose levels drop below homeostasis. Glucagon is released when glucose is gone! :)
9. Flash cards.
If you’re like me and you’re too lazy to make actual ones on paper, quizlet.com is an awesome website I use to create flashcards. They also have games hat you can play to help you to learn your terms.
Productivity is one of the things that I value most in my life next to happiness. I feel like I must be productive at all times or else I will feel horrible for wasting my time. I feel like I’m a little different than most people in that sense. Part of it may be that I used to spend so much time playing video games and wasting my time like that. At this point of my life, I feel so guilty of doing so, so I guess I’m just making up all the time that I have wasted on video games.
1) HAVE A GOAL AND VISUALIZE SUCCESS
You need to know exactly what you want from your life so you know what to do in order to achieve that. Goals are also important because they give life a purpose.
If you picture success, that would motivate you to achieve your goals. You need to love that feeling of success so much that it will drive you to move in the direction of your goals.
Since I love running, my goal is to run faster than I what I ran in the past. Personal records give me so much satisfaction. When I try to achieve this goal, I strive to learn more about running to apply it to my life. Every time I fail, I try not to be upset about it. I try to tell myself that it’s a learning opportunity and it’s only going to get better from there because I know one more thing that doesn’t work for me. When I’m running in a race, I try not to think of how much pain I am in. I try to enjoy the pain so I keep going at it. I try to think about how accomplished I would feel when I finish the race, running a personal record knowing that I tried my best. To me, there is no better feeling than knowing that you tried your best to achieve your goals because you know that you deserve it.
Also, I like having a goal where it’s just to improve, therefore I don’t set numbers on myself to only allow myself to be happy until I hit those numbers. This makes life more enjoyable!
Be aware that everyone progresses differently. There are times where you suddenly excel and times of plataeu. In 8th grade, I improved my mile from 8-9 mins to 5:58, and in 9th grade to 5:38, and 10th grade (when I wasn’t injured) I didn’t improve, and 11th grade to 5:08.
2) DISTINGUISH YOUR DISTRACTIONS
Distractions hold you back from your goals. Therefore, you must distinguish what they are and know to stay away from them if you like to accomplish your goals.
For many people, social media is their distraction. It sucks up so much time from many people. In order to overcome this distraction, you need to make it inaccessible when you work. The more you stay away from it, the more you will start to realize that it’s actually uneccessary to spend so much time on it. Also, since you are putting more time into your goals, you feel more accomplished and realize that the feeling of achieving goals is so much better than the feeling of how you just spent the last two hours scrolling mindlessly on the internet.
I have two desks in my study room. One of them does not have a computer on it, and that’s the one where I do my homework on. Physically removing yourself from your distractions is a great strategy to focus on your work.
I used to be addicted to puzzle and dragons and MapleStory. But the more I tell myself about how playing this game will get me no where in life, the more I am inclined to stay away from it because I like do to do things with my life. Every time I played, I would feel so guilty of wasting my time and that would motivate me to stay away from it.
3) REWARD YOURSELF
Rewards are motivation to work. Rewards can be anything that makes you happy.
When I know that I’ve been working hard, I like to reward myself with drawing time or internet time. I don’t believe that spending time on the internet is bad, just in moderation. I know that I can get sucked in sometimes so I only try to go on the internet after I finish my tasks so I feel like I deserve it. I also set time limits for myself. I see the internet as a great (and addicting) place for inspiration and ideas. The internet can be a dangerously enjoyable place to be.
4)TAKE BREAKS/BREAK IT DOWN
Everyone has a limit. If that limit is exceeded, then progress will start falling backwards.
I find this extremely applicable to running. In the summer before 10th grade, I over trained for cross country. A typical day would consist of 7-10 miles in the morning with 1-2 hour long classes of zumba/dance classes at the YMCA with my mother at the YMCA. This little routine set me up for failure. As a result, I got a stress fracture on my right shin and running just seemed not fun. But then again, I am so grateful that this happened to me because it made me realize the dangers of overtraining and I have learned so much about myself because of it. It also gave me so much motivation to try harder when I get the opportunity because it’s so easy to get injured.
If you break a huge task into smaller tasks, then it would seem less intimidating, therefore more approachable. If you work a little bit each day, you are refreshed when you approach the task everyday with a fresh mind so the quality of your work increases as well.
When I study for big tests, I make sure to start very early and distribute my work evenly each day so that I am never stressed out. If I think about how much work I have to do in such a short period of time, I feel stress and not enjoy life. Because I value happiness in my life, I start my work early.
I feel like this is one of the most important factors to achieve productivity. Setting a routine gets your mind dialed in to making sure that you perform your tasks every day.
Doing your most challenging tasks in the beginning of the day is great because you start off your day with a win.
Every day when I wake up, I make a mental note to myself about what I plan to accomplish in this day and how I am going to accomplish it. I set myself deadlines to make sure I stay on track.
Experimenting is important as well. Try new things to determine what works and what doesn’t work for you so you can keep improving yourself.
Breaks are important. To enhance productivity, I like to structure my day with tasks that use different areas of the brain. For example, I’ll study, draw and wash the dishes, study, mop the floor and go for a run, and study.
6) DON’T PROCRASTINATE.
Procrastination makes no sense. Eventually you’ll have to do it anyways and it would make no difference whether it be now or later. If you finish it now, then you wouldn’t have to worry about it later, now isn’t that awesome??
For me, when I have things on my to do list unchecked, it bothers me. It bothers me so much that it makes me want to do something so it will no longer bother me. Because I don’t like to feel bothered, the only thing I can do about it is to finish it so I can enjoy my life more.
7) YOU ARE IN CONTROL
You don’t hope for a good day, you demand it. You set yourself up to win. You don’t react to life, you create it. You are the boss of your own life. When you are in command, you are more excited to work.
Don’t just do tasks. Ask yourself why. What are you going to gain from doing this task? Is it really worth my time?
Everyday, we get bombarded with unnecessary things. You should try to eliminate the things that will not move you towards your goals so you have more time to spend on working on your goals.
It’s not selfish to prioritize yourself over everyone else. You are not equipped to help others if you are not in a good state yourself. The better off you are, the better things you can give off to others. You must love yourself first before you can love others.
You must enjoy the feeling of success because that’s what is going to drive you to work for it. Anything can be enjoyable if you think it’s enjoyable. You can make yourself think and feel anything you want because you are in control of your emotions (refer to my previous post about how to be happy)
Clean your environment so you can easily find the things that you need. A clean desk is also more approachable to motivate yourself to actually work.
Our gigantic mountain of postcards came in! Everyone who pledged will get a set of three double sided postcards! We’ve ordered the charms, pins and standees as well. We’re going to start shipping postcard tiers as early as this week! We also ship the giveaway rewards during the first shipment. Sorry for the wait but we had to make time to draw your sketches. Please take photos when you receive your rewards. We’d love to see! Also another reminder, KS backers please fill out the survey so we can make our shipment for the T-shirts, same goes for GOFUNDME backers, please check out your email and junk mail just in case. More soon!