Form the Right Study Habits to Become Effective in Life

“More money, more problems” may hold an element of truth. An adult who doesn’t have a job only needs to focus on that single problem. Once you start earning, there are more things you need to be concerned with. How do you manage your spending? Should you take on a side hustle or start investing?

Of course, choosing between those two scenarios is a no-brainer. Most people would rather have to worry about what condominium insurance to get, where to invest their money, or how they can budget their travels. These are good problems to have.

But you don’t get to be in this position unless you combine hard work with effective application. And that’s something you can train yourself to do from an early age. It all begins with the way you approach your studying.

Your brain needs grease

You might have heard people praise the ability to multitask, but don’t fall for it. Handling multiple problems at the same time dilutes your brainpower. Studies show that your cognitive capacity is impaired, and productivity drops by up to 40% when you multitask. Focus on one problem, and your brain performance will improve.

So how does this help you study? After all, most students don’t open multiple books and attempt to read them at the same time. But look around your study environment. Conduct an honest appraisal of your study habits. How many distractions are present when you study? These interruptions can be hindering your ability to learn.

People moving around or talking can disrupt your focus. Mobile devices within arm’s reach might be inviting you to take a quick break, play a game, or check social media. Even if you resolutely ignore notifications, the fact that they are there can be distracting. And effective study is hard. Your brain needs help; give it some grease. Create an environment for yourself that’s conducive to concentration and retention of knowledge.

Put your devices in another room and fill the background with your choice of white noise. Set boundaries so that friends and family won’t disturb you during scheduled hours. Conversely, by observing these boundaries, you can discipline yourself. You’ll be able to grease the groove for your brain to slide into ‘study mode’ more quickly.

Effective studying is a skill

Maybe you’ve noticed that some people simply seem to be gifted when it comes to studying. Set two students to read the same chapter, and one of them might have it internalized within an hour while the other isn’t halfway through. This can happen regardless of the study environment. What gives?

Like artistic ability, people have varying levels of innate proficiency when it comes to studying. And with art, many people think that’s the end of the story. You’re either gifted or not. But the truth is that everyone can begin learning how to draw. Through smart practice, they can get better and draw more than stick figures. They level up what was once a negligible artistic gift.

Just like art, studying is a skill. You don’t have to be limited to the initial level you start at. You can put in the effort and use proven tactics to focus better and retain more knowledge. U.S. memory champion Nelson Dellis didn’t start with a fantastic memory but practiced memorization techniques until he reached elite levels. You can experiment with his system of “See, Link, Go,” or research other methods. There’s no shortage of memory tips and tricks you can find online. As long as you keep on trying to improve, you’ll get better.

Help others, help yourself

Students often form study groups at school. This isn’t just an option for people to socialize more while they try to study. It has the potential to benefit everyone involved.

It’s easy to see how advanced learners can help others to comprehend the course material and bring them up to speed. But if they are already ahead of the curve, how do these advanced students benefit in turn? Teaching others is a powerful tool for internalizing lessons. It challenges you to master concepts to explain them to others adequately.

You can harness the power of teaching even in a solo effort. Talking out loud, try to explain lessons or quiz yourself. But it’s simply more fun and rewarding to be part of a team effort. What comes around goes around. You never know when you might be the one needing help from someone with greater expertise.

Studying effectively requires both effort and application. And if you can make that a habit, you’ll build up advantages along the way. Land a great job, earn more money, and enjoy all the problems that come with it.

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