10 Ways Top Students Boost Productivity While Studying
Ever wondered how some students are able to top their class, maintain a host of cool extracurricular activities in their schedule, and still have time to hang out with friends? The following are 10 pieces of advice from top students at Ivy League schools or schools of similar caliber, on how they study effectively in as little as half the time as their peers.
1. Start productive. Productivity breeds productivity, and procrastination breeds procrastination. If you sit down at your computer and immediately open YouTube or Facebook, you set a poor tone for your study session. Immediately get to work, and this will carry through the entire session.
2. Take breaks selectively, but LEAVE YOUR DESK. If you take a break by getting out your phone or opening up Facebook without moving, suddenly you have brought distraction into your study space, and furthermore this kind of break does not re-energize you by breaking your study session into parts. Getting up and getting a drink of water, walking around, even if you bring your phone, maintains your workspace as just that. Furthermore, the little bit of activity wakes your body up, and the physical distance from the work makes it truly feel like a break. You can return to your desk, and know right then that your break is over.
3. Be smart about your music choice. Research has shown that much of the music people study to is detrimental to studying, but has also found some types of music that actually augment brainwave activity associated with problem solving and learning. Check out our article on this research here to learn what types of music may be hurting your productivity, and what types can actually boost it. Also, make sure to check out our study music page for streaming of recommended music and our custom playlists.
4. Create an ideal study space. You should study in a place where studying is all you do. When you enter that place, your brain knows to focus on studying. Make it a place with minimal distraction. Be sure you can sit with good posture, or even better according to recent research, make it a place where you can stand while working. One cool and effective growing trend among students has been using a simple standing desk converter for making your desk in your room into a standing desk.
Make your study space a place dedicated only to studying, and one with minimal distractions. For even more productivity, follow in the footsteps of Google and other top companies and convert your dorm room desk into a standing desk with a simple converter like these ones.
5. Exercise in the morning. Exercise in general is a great way to increase blood flow to your brain, and doing it in the morning leaves you feeling great the rest of the day. Even if you are short for time, you will more than make up the time through increased productivity if you take 20 to 30 minutes to jog in the morning.
6. Drink Water. Drinking water throughout the day keeps you energized and productive. Dehydration, even if you do not feel thirsty, will suck energy out of you and limit your ability to study.
7. Teach it. The fastest way to gain a comprehensive understanding is to learn it once on your own, then teach it to others. Teaching reinforces concepts effectively in a shorter amount of time than almost anything else.
8. Take notes, do not highlight. Recent research in cognitive psychology has found that highlighting is a very inefficient method of learning, as little will be remembered or processed from the reading. You may be able to get through a reading faster when just highlighting, but you will not be saving time because you will need to return to it multiple times.
9. Everything Connects. When reading through your textbook or lecture notes, connect the information. Whether there are direct links, or just patterns or ties you notice, forming a web of information leads to better understanding and recollection. The forming of the web in your head itself will help you learn the subject more effectively than most methods will.
10. Turn off your cell phone and if necessary, block websites. Check out the infographic below for all the convincing you will need to put your phone away while studying
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