Forming good study habits in college

Break the cycle of procrastination by following these three study tips

Forming good study habits in college

Break projects up

Often when faced with large projects, or a test that covers a lot of material, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and push off studying. “Break projects into tiny pieces to keep yourself motivated,” suggests Olivia Lindquist Bowen, Founder & Director of Education of the Royston Writing Institute. “Not only is it satisfying to cross something off your list, but by splitting an assignment into many small tasks, it will be easier to motivate yourself to take action. Go as small as you need to in order to wipe out excuses.” For example, start studying for a test a week ahead by dividing the material into sections and reviewing some each day, leaving time for a comprehensive review of all the material before the test.

Use a calendar 

But how do you keep track of these small tasks? Use a calendar or scheduling software that gives you enough room for more than just final deadlines and/or make a list of tasks that have to be completed each day. Schedule your days so that you have enough time for studying, your job, extracurriculars and hanging out with your friends. If you are particularly busy with several tests and papers one week, it might not be a good time for a "Harry Potter" movie marathon with your hall. You have to make sure you have time to fit in everything that you’re obligated to get done.

Get the worst done first

Bowen also suggests two other techniques for getting dreaded tasks out of the way. One is known as the Pomodoro Technique, in which you have to choose a task and work on it for 25 minutes without stopping. Then, take a quick five minute break to give your brain a breather before starting on the next 25 minutes. And what should you start with? The task you want to do the least, which will not only get it out of the way, but also give you a sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated.


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