How to Develop and Maintain Good Study Habits

A train in the country side

Good Study Habits vs. Bad Study Habits

Every day, you have two choices. It’s either you continue sleeping with your dreams, or you wake up and chase them. So, choose your study habits wisely; because believe it or not, it will help decide on what your future will be. Nothing is ever too late not unless you’ve given up right from the start. We all know that the student life is hard. But who says you can’t make it easy? Well, you actually can! In this article, you can find comparisons between the good study habits and the bad ones. Let’s see what’s gonna be your choice after reading the whole of it!

Many students are well aware of our number 1 bad habit, do you know this one too? Well, maybe this is the right time to finally forget about it! When a person procrastinates, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is lazy. But procrastinators often set aside all the things they have to do until the very last moment and then crams to finish all of it. Here are some things that can possibly happen to you when you do this bad habit:

1. Wasted Time

How many hours did you spend sleeping, watching television, and surfing the internet before doing your homework or project? Yes, you haven’t missed the deadline yet if that’s your reason. But if you see it from another perspective, you will realize that time is indeed gold. If you have all the time to sleep, binge watch, and browse the internet, then that definitely means that you also have a lot of time to study for a different subject, to research more about a paper you need to do for your other professors, and organize your schedule.

2. Missed Opportunities

If you think that there’s not really a great harm in being a procrastinator, then you’re wrong. If anything, YOU are harming yourself. By doing so, you deny yourself the chance to become better. Education plays an important role once you start working. So, while you’re still given an opportunity to improve, explore all the possibilities you can do. Spend more time doing extra-curricular activities instead of slacking.

3. Rushed Outputs

Because you have little to no time at all to prepare for your homework or project, you can’t give your hundred percent effort into it. You may have all the great ideas in mind, but once you decide to do it last minute, you are faced with a great pressure to finish it. That’s why the quality of your work will only come second. You now only care about the importance of submitting it. At least you submitted it, right? But always remember, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

How Proper Study Habits Can be Developed

You will be unlikely to find the time to get the benefits of the testing effect as you work on completing your college curriculum. The testing effect is sometimes used by military units and in some internship scenarios, but it is not conducive to higher or professional education. Cramming and crash studying may eventually lead to memory loss situations that will make you feel as if you are a faulty computer. The stakes are high because you may not only risk failing a course but also run into future situations such as a crucial job interview where you have to recall market structures.

Good study habits can be developed as a set of routines; the goal is to condition yourself in a manner that allows you to focus on your materials and absorb all information, not just possible test situations. Here are four steps you can take in this regard:

1 – The Right Environment

If you can recall classical conditioning and Pavlovian responses from high school, you will understand the importance of setting up a spot where you can really study, concentrate and learn. This space will become the pillar of your good study habits routine, a place you can repeatedly enter and send a signal to your brain that you are ready to focus and learn. This step becomes even more crucial when you choose a fully online program such as FNU’s Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies .

2 – Efficient Organization

When your course materials are a mess, you will find it extremely difficult to concentrate. After you choose the right environment, be sure to keep it tidy and stocked with the tools to enhance your studying: pencils, calculators, highlighters, or a browser page open to Wolfram Alpha. One FNU course that just about every student will encounter is SLS 1501 – College Study Skills, which promotes good habits such as creating simple systems for class assignments, materials review, research, and other study factors. To learn more about this course and similar subjects, contact one of our academic advisers .

3 – Time Management

Many FNU students are working adults who must balance their jobs with family time, leisure and education. Without a time management plan, completing a certificate or degree program at FNU would be nearly impossible. FNU provides flexible learning options such as online courses to busy students, but it is up to you to make the most out of your time. Work-life balance can come naturally to many students, but anyone can benefit from enhancements available from smartphone apps such as Rescue Time . As long as you can firmly commit to a schedule for a few days in a row, you will find time management to be one of the easiest steps towards the development of good study habits.

4 – The Right Mix of Goals and Motivation

Life is full of distractions, and going to college is not an exception. As much as FNU strives towards providing an immersive learning environment, our students are bound to be bombarded with distracting external factors that are part of life in this 21st century. Boosting your personal work ethic can go a long way towards resisting distractions, but you will also need a system to reward yourself for small achievements. A nice cup of coffee with friends, for example, can be a good way to celebrate getting good grades on a course assignment; in this case, you should visualize both the grade and the reward as goals, and your motivation would naturally unfold into envisioning the next set of goals.

Strong study habit tips to defeat your enemies

Knight lying down in defeat

As you may have figured out by now, the phrase “strong study habits” is basically synonymous with “developing the willpower to do a little bit of work every day because the alternative — cramming — is less effective and even more time-consuming in the long run.”

Math equation that shows strong study habits pay off

In other words, doing just a little bit of extra effort every day (no exceptions!) for an entire year will exponentially increase your performance, while slacking off every day will erode your performance or knowledge toward nearly zero, such that you have to start again from scratch (e.g. “cramming”) at the last minute.

Tip 1. Anchor new habits to old ones

Rope tied in a knot

As we mentioned above, our brains don’t like to expend lots of energy on hard mental work. But when something becomes a habit, it doesn’t take energy or willpower; you do the thing on autopilot.

For example, if you study better in the morning, then bring out your notes and do your study session while you have your first coffee of the day. The first coffee is your anchor habit, and study is the new habit you’re attaching to it. Quite quickly, you’ll see that studying also becomes automatic.

If evenings are your chosen study time, then build your habit on something you do every evening. For example, you could spend an hour studying every night after dinner, or you could work through your notes before you go to bed each night. Or you could use the Feynman Technique while you’re out walking, exercising, or commuting.

When you tie your new habit with an existing habit, you’re taking advantage of neural pathways that have been already laid down. With consistent practice, your new study habit should start to feel effortless in a couple of weeks.

Tip 2. Start one micro-habit at a time

Workers building a wall

If your goal is to study every day instead of waiting until the last minute, don’t start by promising yourself that you’ll study for two hours a day or re-read 5 textbook chapters at a time. That can feel so daunting that you’ll end up quitting the first time a major wave of inertia hits you.

Instead, maybe just commit to studying one 10-flashcard round in Brainscape every day, or to making digital flashcards for just one small textbook lesson every day. As long as you have broken up your studying into bite-sized milestones, it will be much easier to develop these habits and stay motivated to study.

Admittedly, tiny daily study sessions might not initially be enough to totally prevent your needing to cram more at the last minute. But at least you’re establishing real habits, and you can always add to your goals once your small starter goals have begun to stick.

Tip 3. Keep the chain going

Strong chain to develop strong study habits

Another hack for building strong study habits comes from comedian Jerry Seinfeld. For years, Seinfeld would write a joke every day, no matter what was going on in his life. After many days, this chain of daily practice became its own incentive.

Tip 4. Bribe yourself to study

A handshake

Every time you sit down do study, give yourself a treat. Whatever floats your particular boat: whether it’s chocolate, gummy bears, or your favorite TV show. Naked and Afraid anyone? Once you’ve studied at least 10-15 minutes (of Brainscape flashcards :), give yourself the treat.

Tip 5. Discover your best time to study

Many black and white clocks

To build strong habits, it’s very important to study at the same time each day whenever possible. We’re cyclical creatures, and keeping your study schedule regular will cement the habit much more strongly than shifting it around each day.

Everyone has a circadian cycle of sleep and wakefulness. Paying attention to this cycle means you can go to study at times when your energy is optimal. To discover your cycle, spend a week observing yourself (or read this article). Look for the times of day or night when you are at your best and able to tackle difficult mental tasks.

Build your study system

  1. Choose an existing activity you habitually do at these times and tie it to your new study habit.
  2. Keep the chain going—maintain a record of your daily sessions, and create an unbroken chain of them.
  3. Decide on your study treat and bribe yourself with it at the start and end of your session.
  4. Note the times of day when your brain is sharpest. Choose these as your designated study times.
  5. Start celebrating your inner nerd. Spread the gospel of daily study to your friends to create a consistent character you have to live up to.
  6. Push back against FOMO by turning off your phone and staying ignorant of what your friends are doing.
  7. Be unapologetic when ducking out of social events in order to keep your study habit.
  8. Choose your accountability partner, and decide on some (very unpleasant) consequences if you don’t follow through on your study plan.
  9. Set up a special study space with everything you need.
  10. Prep your study materials and Brainscape flashcards so the first few minutes of study can be done on autopilot
  11. Study daily to build character

Remind yourself that studying is actually a way of honoring yourself and keeping your promises. Every time you keep your commitments, you’re building your willpower muscle, and this will help you throughout your entire life.



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