STUDIUM The statement – “work hard and work smart” can also be applied to the way one studies. Hence, it is not only about how long you spend in studying but also how you do it and how much you get from it. The following tips on how to study smart will enable you to profit from each hour spent in reading.

The following tips on how to study smart will enable you to profit from each hour spent in reading:

Tip 1: Keep your Study and desk organised

Do you have books spread out around your studying desk? Then the first advice for you is – “always keep your table organised before and after studying”. An organised study and desk prevent you from being distracted from whatever thing that might have been carelessly dropped or laid around.

Tip 2: Set a study goal and stay true to it

Yes, set a target before starting out to study a course or a topic. That is, decide what you intend to accomplish. This aids in keeping you stimulated throughout the study journey and helps you to stay focused. In addition, write down the things you ought to understand at the end of the topic. This is usually stated at the start of each topic (topic or course objectives).

Tip 3: Set a time limit

This goes alongside the second tip. Usually, after setting a goal, you have to decide until when the goal is to be met. This is necessary for the sake of organisation and alignment with other planned tasks. Besides, time pressure might further stimulate you. However, it is always essential to fulfil your goal even if it means going beyond the set time.

Tip 4: Take short breaks

Do you enjoy reading for long hours? If yes, then remember to make short breaks in between. I used to love reading for about 3 to 4 hours before taking a break of about an hour or more. Then I realised that I was doing it all wrong. Here is the best thing to do: if the intention is to study for 3 hours, then make a 5 to 10 minutes break, after every hour, or 20 minutes break after 2 hours of reading. Taking a break gives your brain some rest and provides you with some new energy to keep pushing on. Moreover, do you sometimes study and then reach a point where you aren’t getting anything even though it hasn’t been up to an hour yet? Then, that is your brain asking for break. Now read the next tip to find out what to do during a break.

Tip 5: Do simple exercises, play some music or watch your favourite TV show

Ever heard that you shouldn’t watch TV or play with your phone and so on and so forth, while you are in the middle of studying because it distracts your concentration level? No? Then good for you because it isn’t true. Whenever you make a break, you can do such things as stretching your muscles, taking slow and deep breaths, playing some music or just tuning in to a favourite TV program. Nevertheless, avoid getting too much into it, 10 minutes maximum is good enough after having read only for an hour. Such activities help to relax your mind and reenergizes your entire body.

Tip 6: Reward Yourself

Who doesn’t like a reward after doing something good? Set something up for yourself for every milestone and watch it work magic. This is all about being competitive with your own self. It could be as simple as deciding to only do something after reading so and so number of pages of a  topic. For instance, you have a packet of your favourite yummy snacks beside you, set an objective and be determined to only open them up when that objective has been met. By the way, deciding to only take a relaxing break after having achieved a set target can also be a form of reward for you. Try it!

Tip 7:  Do a revision

So, you have read up to the last page of a certain topic and you are excited about closing up your book. Well, not so fast. It is time to quickly go through everything you have read to check how much of everything you can remember. The best way to revise is by going through the course or topic objectives.  Did you meet them? Are you satisfied?  If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then excellent,  give yourself a tap on the back. It’s time for some proper rest or some other exciting activity. But don’t leave yet, read the next tip before taking off.

Tip 8: Set an objective for your next reading

Before you go, determine what you intend to study next time and/or what you intend to accomplish next, perhaps in the course that you might have been studying. The reason behind this is to keep you eager for your next study schedule. By the way, remember to keep your desk organised upon completion – Tip 1!

Finally, it is important to note that you might only remember about 3% of what you read last time or sometimes nothing at all, even after following the above-mentioned tips. All the same, don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t give up.  Simply go through what you had read before.

So, these are the strategies I use to keep those high grades coming. Can you relate to them? Do you have other tips or reading styles? I am eager to hear your views. Let me know what works best for you in the comments.

Don’t Only Study hard, Study Smart Too

Franka Ebai
MSc student in Business Administration
major Business Development & Promotion