What is the best way to to spend time in college? Studying. What is the most difficult way to spend time in college? Once again, studying. Today, I will explain five of the most dangerous enemies of quality study time.
- Poor Organization – A badly organized desk creates a badly organized brain. If it takes five minutes to find a pencil and a piece of paper, you will most likely forget most of what you wanted to write down. In addition, a disordered desk will deter you from concentrating on your study assignment. For example, if clearing your desk involves moving your half-eaten lunch, you will most likely take a “short study break” and eat. The first requirement for quality studying is an orderly environment. Choose a place for everything and make sure that everything is in it’s place.
- Not Taking Reading Notes – Reading without taking notes is setting yourself up for failure. Most tests include points from the reading in addition to topics covered in the lectures. If you do not remember what you “learned” during the reading, then you will do badly on the test. Some students profess to think that they can quickly review their reading a day or two before the test. Really? You think that you can review hundreds of pages filled with tiny letters in one or two days? Obviously, it is not really possible. However, you can review the main points in a few days if you have taken notes.
- Studying After Midnight – This point should be entirely obvious. Surprisingly though, many college students seem to think that the best time to study is between 10 at night and 4 in the morning. Studying late at night is a bad idea for many reasons. First, you cannot concentrate well in the middle of the nights. Second, late night studying damages your health. Third, staying up most of the night causes you to be sleepy and not concentrate well in classes the next day, which causes you to need to study again that night, which destroys your concentration the next day, and the vicious cycle continues. The only way to get out of it is to stop studying at night. Then you will be better able to concentrate in classes, so won’t need to study as much anyway.
- Trying To Do Too Much – You will find the studying gets done much faster when you are not worrying about your next day’s math assignment, reading your history book, chatting on your cell phone, and periodically (meaning every thirty seconds) checking your email. Our generation has been called Generation M for multitasking. This is not necessarily a compliment. While some multitasking can be useful, it can easily be overdone. Too much multitasking can be defined as, “Failing many things at once.” How much is too much? It depends on the person. As a good rule of thumb, if something is really important, do not multitask it.
- Procrastination – Procrastination ruins learning in many ways. First, a procrastinating student will not have as much time to study. Because he has waited until the last day or two before studying, he will be in a hurry and will, therefore, not be able to concentrate well. In addition, he will get behind in other subjects because he will be spending all his time working on catching up in the subject in which he procrastinated.
Clearly, there are more than five ways to waste study time. What do you think is the most dangerous study time waster?
Image Credit: Rae Whitlock