There are many good study tips, but one of the first things you can do to improve study habits is to be clear about your goals. Be specific. What are your school goals for this year? This semester? This study hour? Write them down. Keep an eye on the prize! How will goal setting improve study habits? For one thing it relieves inner struggle. You’ve committed internally, and that clarity can help dissolve tension and confusion.
THE MAGIC IS IN THE LIST
After setting your goals, another of the good study tips is to set up a checklist that works for you. This does two things. First, if you set up the list yourself, no one is hovering over you to “do your homework”. You’ve taken the initiative and can follow through with much less internal (your mind) and external (parent, tutor, teacher) friction. Second, as you complete your assignments, the list provides “visual” feedback that you are making progress. You see that completion is associated with rewards. Using lists is not just a great study tip– if you use them in other areas of your life, you will feel better about yourself as you learn the skills of accountability and time management.
Setting goals and using lists combine to make one of the best good study tips. No need to sabotage the process from the beginning without a goal or destination! Set a specific length of time you are going to study, or a specific goal for the session, and speak to yourself in terms of what your reward will be at the end of the session. An example would be “after I complete these math problems, I will be free to play soccer for an hour”. Don’t set yourself up for internal tension by saying “I’m stuck here again doing these stupid math problems…”
POWER STUDY TIPS – DO IT WHEN YOU’RE FRESH
Do you put your homework off until after dinner, video games, and checking text messages? Ever notice how easy it is for you to get sleepy just when it’s time to do assignments? If you begin the habit of doing studies early in the day, you’ll find it is much easier to complete them. First, you are likely to have the energy to do the mental heavy lifting, and second, it is more motivating to have a study break just ahead of you rather than two hours ago.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take breaks! Taking time to chill after school for a half hour, especially if your day was hectic, can be one of the good study tips too. Just don’t fool yourself about the reality of setting your goals and getting them completed.