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Monday, August 18, 2014

How To Find Time To Study

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If I had a homicidal thought for every person that told me they don't have enough time to study then... Wait... Never mind.

It's the most common excuse for not studying around. I know... I know you happen to be the one person that isn't full of crap but I was that person too. I once thought I was way too busy to get any studying done too. I'd tell myself, “I've got this and that and this, and at some point I've got to find time to sleep.” It wasn't until I forced myself into a double workload in college that I realized how full of crap I really was.

After setting myself up with a double course load in college I learned how to make sure I always had enough time to study. Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Get Honest

This is a point I was not so subtly hinting at in the introduction. Most people are completely wrong when they say that they don't have enough time to study. Look at what you spend your time doing and try to be as judgmental as possible. Try pretending you're a third party looking at your life, would this person agree that you really have no time to study?

Some of the problems are obvious. If you just watch a ton of television, or play on the internet for hours a day then you do have time to study, you're just choosing to use it to entertain yourself instead.

Your problem is probably not that you can't find time to study. That makes it a problem that's completely impossible to solve by finding more time. I could give most people a 25 hour day and they still wouldn't find the time required to study. Finding the real problem can make sure that the problem can get solved.

This, of course, applies to most people. I do know of mother's and fathers, and professionals going to college while maintaining their responsibilities. They usually aren't the ones asking for help finding time because they're too busy getting everything done and prioritizing to have time to complain.

2. Prioritize Studying

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If not studying would cause you to die then you would find time to do it. Think about it. If your life was on the line, you'd study. You'd skip your workout. You'd call out at work. You'd beat up the dragon sitting on your textbook (or try.) You might even wake up early to study if your life was on the line (short chance but still.) My point is, you need to consider how much of a priority studying is to you.

Is studying less important than watching tv? Then you better not expect good results. There are unfortunate rules we all have to live through. (Damn gravity always keeping me down.)

Find out where studying belongs on your priority list consciously. Most people just let their mind decide priorities in the moment. This isn't a productive way to solve the problem. Think about it and decide what studying is more important than (and what it's not more important than.) Then follow through with those priorities.

3. Reduce Your Need

Okay... Most students dramatically overestimate their need for studying. If you're not in one of the most intensive programs or schools in the world, you don't need to study for hours a day. Most students can get by studying only 15 minutes a day.

If you go through your day looking for a free hour to study then you are going to struggle but anyone can find 15 minutes that they're not being particularly productive. You probably spend at least 15 minutes a day waiting for other people to do things or during commercials.

The fastest way to find time to study is to start thinking about studying in a more reasonable way. Unless your goal is to ace everything, you don't need to waste excessive amounts of time studying. Until you accept that you're always going to struggle to find time. Focus on efficiency over quantity.

4. Attack Unproductive Time

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There are two main areas that you can always find more time to study.

The first area where you can find unproductive time is in the times I mentioned earlier. Do you ever just hang out waiting? Maybe on laundry day? Maybe you get to class five minutes early? As long as you have small sections of time available to study you can use it. Most people have better options but never forget that quick bursts of studying a few times a day can be highly effective.

If you carry a few flashcards in your pocket through the day then whenever you have 60 seconds in line or waiting for something, you can start studying. Pull the flashcards out of your pocket and finish a few of them. That will not only help you study for more time but it will help your brain integrate that information as important. (If you think about it randomly throughout your day your brain will prioritize it.)

The second area where you can find unproductive time is with what many people call “NET” time or “No Extra Time.” While you may need to fold your laundry, you can always listen to an mp3 of a lecture while you're doing it. Your laundry folding will barely suffer but you'll be learning significantly more than just mindlessly folding. By using net time you should always be able to find a few minutes to learn something.

5. Stop Making Excuses

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Once you start finding the time to study, naturally, your body is going to fight to find another excuse not to study. Don't worry, it's completely normal. Everyone's mind does it. After eliminating not having enough time as a reason you're going to start thinking, “Well... I'm not in the mood.” Or maybe your brain will start saying, “I'm too tired to study.” Or maybe it will say, “I won't need to learn this.” Any of these excuses may be true but based on your previous excuse you have to look at them with caution.

When you catch yourself in one excuse like not having enough time, you can't trust your future excuses without serious thought. In most cases, it's better to just assume your excuse is crap.

Getting better grades is not as difficult as most people make it sound. You don't need to be gifted and you don't need to invest your whole life into it. That's what this whole blog is about. If you want to learn more about how to cut down your study time while increasing your grades then be sure to follow this blog (and maybe check out one of my books.)

Do you want to learn the secrets about studying that the mainstream educators wont tell you? Follow this blog.

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