Study skills can help you to overcome the challenge of focussing on your workbooks. Follow these 5 study tips to improve your study skills and set up a productive study environment designed to suit your personality and work preferences.
According to US Professor of Psychology Art Markham, ‘A core goal of education is to create lifelong learners. Success in the workplace requires an ability to pick up new high-quality knowledge. The foundation for these study skills is the learning habits that are acquired from early in school. After all, most learning in life takes place outside of the classroom.’
Markham’s point is valid. And one of the requirements needed to develop the habit of developing effective study skills is an off-campus, comfortable study environment. Of course, not everyone is able to create a perfect workspace, but the five tips that follow may inspire you to set aside a corner in which you can comfortably nurture your brain and develop your study skills.
Study Skills Tip 1: Find a good place and position for studying
Modern technology allows us to work at a desk, on a sofa, in bed or even on the floor. But, according to Markham, ‘It is hard to maintain the same level of concentration when lying on the floor or propped up in bed as when sitting at a desk. The body’s habit when lying down is to relax and sleep. It is not helpful for a learner to have to fight that tendency when studying.’ You can’t take notes or type while lying down, and students who work in bed play a less active role and stand far less chance of improving their study skills than those work sitting up.
Study Skills Tip 2: Get rid of distractions
There’s nothing like settling down to study to allow your mind to be distracted. Your cat may wander in, your smartphone or iPod may demand your attention. For copywriter Roya Tocchini, it’s her poodle. ‘It sounds silly, but my poodle Louie is a very distracting little guy,’ she says. Her solution? ‘When I have a big project, I make sure that he is comfortably closed up in my room with his food and water and that he stays there until I am done or ready for a break. I get so much more done when he is not hovering around, needing attention.’ So, before you focus on the task at hand, figure out what distracts you and get them out of the picture. Prof. Markham’s advice for developing successful study skills is to ‘park the portable technology elsewhere in the house. Keep the smart phones and iPods out of arm’s reach.’ Remove instant messaging from the computer and switch off Facebook during study time to avoid falling into what Tocchini calls ‘the black hole of your virtual social life’.
Study Skills Tip 3: Organise your space
You may not think it makes a difference, but studying in a clean and tidy environment actually makes you work more calmly and improves your ability to develop better study skills. When I’m trying to open a book or folder on my desk, a coffee mug or plate left over from lunchtime can really get in the way. So, to improve work and study skills, get rid of the dishes, stack all the scattered papers into three piles marked ‘Take Action’, ‘File’ and ‘Bin’ and clear your desk for work. Really, it does help. Try to keep your desk set up the same way each day. ‘Children who study at a communal table at home should have a nearby box or tray with supplies where they can regularly find what they need without having to spend a lot of time thinking about how to prepare for studying,’ advises Prof. Markham.
Study Skills Tip 4: Bend and stretch when you wake up
Spend 20 to 30 minutes in the morning working out. It’s great for your body and really gets your mind an energy boost to absorb information – the best mental preparation for enhanced study skills. I enjoy playing music that makes me want to dance; it pumps me up for a work session.
Study Skills Tip 5: Take regular meal and snack breaks
Schedule breaks and stick to them. Keep whatever you need to drink beside you and don’t give in to urges to sneak to the kitchen for a chocolate or a handful of biscuits. Focus on the task before you and stick to your breaks as you would at school and college. If you’re struggling to focus, take a supplement such as Flora Force Focus Formula™, which combines herbal extracts designed specifically to safely assist you to concentrate, and, thereby, indirectly to improve your study skills. When you’re too anxious to focus, Flora Force Rescue Remedy will calm your nerves, allowing you to make the best of your study time.
So, to develop the best study skills, commit to these good study habits and practise them until they’re as automatic as switching on a light, riding a bike or tapping on your smartphone. The human mind looks for actions performed consistently in a particular environment and allows those actions to be performed again in the same environment without thinking. So train it to work properly. It’s not difficult, really it isn’t, and as they say, ‘Everything is possible with the right attitude.’