Study & Learning Hacks
Learning new skills or ideas can take a lot of time. Whether preparing for a school test, figuring out new software for work, or trying out a new hobby, it can take substantial time and effort to study and learn something new. Over the last several years, I’ve spent a lot of time gathering information and new skills while researching study habits for success. Here are a few of the top ways I’ve found to acquire a new skill easier and to study better overall:
The first critical habit to develop is just simply consistency. Ensuring you are taking the time to get better and learn every day. You’ll pick up a skill much quicker if you take a half-hour to learn each day versus several hours once a week. The trick is to keep plugging away at whatever you want to learn, and you’ll see the results soon enough. It’s also important to be consistent in the time you select for learning. This leads into my next point:
Pick a Time to Study
Try to study at the same time every day. Over time this will form a habit for you and make it much easier to accomplish your goals. Once an activity becomes a habit for you, your brain will no longer need to use its limited willpower to get you to study. It will become automatic. Think of a time that you can consistently work every day. It might have to be after work or school, before, later in the evening, or whenever you feel like you can take the time regularly. Once you have your time in place, the next step is to plan out your environment.
Plan Out Your Study Environment
Where you study or learn is often just as important as how you study. Figure out a space where you can learn in peace and comfortably with minimal distractions. Find a seat or spot to sit in that you can stay in for long periods of time where you won’t get muscle aches or stiffness. Make sure that it is a space just for studying. For example, if you spend your time studying in your bedroom, you might trick your brain into thinking it’s bedtime when you want to read or it’s study time when you want to go to bed. A similar thing can be said if you do your learning beside the TV. You might catch yourself wondering what’s new on your favourite streaming platform. It’s better to have a space that is purely designed for studying if possible. This will clear your mind of other activities you could be doing and let you focus on your work.
Plan Out Your Study Time
Another essential component is planning out how you will spend your study time. Beginning with a plan allows you to efficiently allocate your time to the subjects and topics that matter most. Figure out ahead of time what you want to accomplish with this study period. Are you trying to finish a select chapter? Complete some kind of problem? Create a goal for the session and plan your time around accomplishing that goal before the session ends. Then figure out what you need to do to finish that goal and do it! You’ll feel and be much more productive if you don’t aimlessly begin studying for the sake of it. Always start with a plan in place!
Periods of Intense Work Followed by Short Breaks
The final hack I want to touch on in this blog post is the idea of having periods of intense work and studying. And when I say intense, I mean laser focus with zero distractions. Turn your phone off, go someplace quiet, and eliminate all distractions. Take this time to focus purely on work. Sit down at your desk and don’t leave until you either finish your work or have been studying for at least one hour. Once that hour is up, take a five-to-ten-minute break and walk around. Get your legs moving and your blood pumping a bit. This will clear your mind and rejuvenate it for the next session. Then sit down and study again for another hour. Rinse and repeat as time allows.
Studying, writing, and learning can sometimes feel like an absolute chore. But planning out how you will study ahead of time will make things much more manageable and help keep you on track. Maintaining focus and consistently working at the same time every day will also help you develop habits that will make it feel like a breeze to learn new skills and knowledge. Let me know in the comments if you want to see more like this! Happy studying!