A few months ago, I wrote a post explaining “5 Ways to Waste Study Time“. Because of that post’s popularity, I have decided to write a companion post explaining five more ways to destroy precious study time.
1. Poor Planning
All too often, often I find myself going over my days tasks in my mind when I should be working on studying for some class. Bad planning can lead to distraction as you try to remember everything you need to get done. To solve this problem, keep a written plan or checklist so that you can concentrate entirely on the task at hand without worrying about forgetting your next tasks.
2. Skipping Class
Skipping class is another way to ruin perfectly good study time. Although classes can often seem like frustrating time drains, attending class is (almost) always a benefit. For instance, in one class I am taking this year, the written homework plan is often modified in class. If I skip class here, I would not know what to do for homework, so I would have to contact other students and ask them.
In addition, some professors use the lecture content on the test. Once a friend of mine skipped the lectures on an easy math class and just studied from the book. When the test came, he was in for a shock. The book built everything around a rectangle, but the test used another shape one that was only explained in the lectures he had missed! Thankfully, he was able to apply the principles he had learned well enough to pass the test, but it must have been a nervous time. Be very careful about skipping classes!
3. Failure to Read Directions
This is a mistake I make all the time. Instead of carefully reading the directions before completing the material, I often quickly scan the instructions and eagerly start of the questions. Obviously, this method can easily cause the student to miss question unnecessarily because he did not realize what he was supposed to be doing. Time invested in reading directions is time well spent.
4. Over-Reliance on the Internet
As we all know, many websites on the internet contain faulty information. Unfortunately, many students still are too trusting of information found on the internet. Before you use information in any of your papers, research the website it is from. The best sites are .edu or .gov because only educational institutions or governments can use those domain names. The worst site is Wikipedia because anyone with a computer can create content there. Use the internet carefully, because your professors will notice.
5. Failing to Ask for Help
Although asking for help to often or too quickly is a problem, so is too much independence. If you simply cannot find a particular piece of information, ask someone! Start out by asking one of your fellow students so you do not interrupt you professor unnecessarily, but, if the other students do not know the answer, you should definitely politely ask your professor. As long as you to not ask to many questions, your professor will usually be glad to help.
Now, time to put this into practice!