I know this is not the normal post on this blog, usually about starting that side hustle or improving your habits so that you can start to experience more of what life has to offer. But, with finals coming up in college for many people and even high school seniors getting ready to take finals and jump into the college experience, what better time to share how you can maximize your studying.
These techniques will work for more than just studying for a test as well, if you are looking to master and learn a new topic or industry, or even just learn more about the one you are in now so that you can excel in your career, stick around and give this a read.
If you have been around the blog for a while now, you would now that this is not just going to be the average "habits" or "study tips" blog, this is going to actually be more focused on how to maximize what you are currently doing to learn.
You don't get to master a subject when you just learn how to study it different, you master it when you know how to implement it into your own life and are able to teach it to someone else and this is exactly how to do so.
Why is Studying In College Different Than High School?
This is the big leagues now, time to master a skill.
We aren't just going to history and science class everyday anymore (except maybe to grind out some general classes), we are hammering down now to find our niche in life. This goes for in college and after college, we have to learn how to really take a deep dive into the subjects we are focused on in that point in life, they might change throughout our lives so don't try to find something you want to do forever, focus on what you are passionate about now.
Even more importantly, in college we are not just trying to memorize facts for a test and then forget them. Instead we are trying to understand the "why" of situations and how to problem solve and create our own opinions. No longer do you just have to learn something quick for a test, you need to know how to apply it into different areas of your life and the world.
This is not a hard task at all, especially when you really enjoy the topic you are learning about, it is just about really diving into learning something. Outside of class is where yo can really set yourself apart from the other students, take time to listen to podcasts and read books based on your interests in life. This is something you will never regret doing because the more knowledge you have coming in, the more ideas you will have coming out of your head.
What Are Good College Study Habits?
These work pretty well on their own, but there's a way to make them work even better.
This is just going to be a small section here because there are a million posts on random study habits that you can try online. The next sections are going to be what will actually set you apart from the crowd and take your studying to the next level. The next sections are going to help you remember more, understand more, problem solve better and increase that confidence for the exam. But check these couple things out first...
The thing that I found works best is to do what works for you, test out different study habits and see what works for you. What is going to work for you might not be what works for other people. For example, I know people that study for 8 hours for every test, yet to me that seems like a waste of time because I can get the same studying done in an hour and get the same score, that is made possible by only doing what I have found works for me.
Going off of that thought, figure out when you are not getting anymore value from studying. For me, after that first hour, I don't really see a difference in the amount of things I remember, so why would I waste my time studying another 2-3 hours if I will just remember the same amount of information? We all have lives outside of school, or could have lives outside of school, so why waste time you can't get back for no real benefit?
That is what MMNTM is all about, helping you experience more of life, even if that is just freeing up more time to do what you actually enjoy doing, rather than studying. You have to find what that hour mark is where you are not going to get any more value from studying and you be able to trust yourself and your memory enough to stop studying and move onto something else to work on.
Being able to trust yourself and your memory is going to be much easier after putting the habits in the next sections to use, which will make you much more comfortable when not studying as long as you normally would.
In terms of what to study during your "peak studying hours," if you enjoy your professor and take good notes in the class, then just read those and focus on knowing why something is the way that it is, like why a certain ratio effects a company's finances, instead of just remembering the ratio (this give you a much better chance of remembering it).
If you have a class where your professor is not as good as you would like, get the main points for the test or quiz and then go over to YouTube where I'm sure there are a million videos explaining the same topic in a way that you can understand.
A little bonus and really random thing I found that worked for me while learning a new subject, was to try and learn it like I had to teach the subject to someone. When you focus on studying this way, you make sure to understand the information better so that you would be able to explain it to someone else later down the road.
Finally, I know a lot of kids struggle with reading the textbook, myself included, and I have found that I learn best when I am listening to something, rather than just sitting and struggling through reading it. Luckily, many textbooks have an option where you can listen to it rather than just read it. Or even just find a podcast that is on the subject and listen to it while at the gym or in the car.
If you listen to the book while you are at the gym or in the car, this goes for more than just the textbook, you will remember more as the motor function of your brain is distracted with the simple task, and the other parts of your brain can focus on the learning.
How Most College Students Are Studying Wrong
They are not learning how to actually learn.
When is the last time you actually took the time to learn how to learn? Probably elementary school if you are being honest with yourself, where they taught us how to read and write.
When is the last time you purposely tried to improve your memory or problem solving skills? Probably never.
And this is exactly where most people go wrong when they are trying to improve their study habits. They spend all their time trying to read more, understand it more and listen to more videos but they never take the time to help their brain function better so they can actually do those things.
If your brain isn't at optimal function, then you are not going to be able to remember more even if you have put in the extra hours in the library. This is because you just haven't built those extra neural pathways in the brain through consistent training.
Sure, that extra two hours in the library might be able to help you pick up a few more facts, but what if you could spend less time and actually understand and be able to problem solve in a subject even better than before.
That is exactly what improving your brain function will allow you to do, this is how you get ahead of those other kids in your classes, even if you aren't spending as much time as them studying.
I suggest you continue reading to find out how!
So, How Do You Improve Your Brain Function?
This is what will set you above the competition and other students.
Better memory, better problem solving, less brain fog and more ideas, sounds great. But how do you exactly get there?
Start with your nutrition, since nutrition plays a larger role in almost every area of life than we realize. Cut out the extra sugars, fast food and unneeded carbs from the diet as these are the main things that cause brain fog. Also, start adding more leafy greens, fruits and vegetables to your diet to make sure you are getting sufficient vitamins.
Next, is the things that can actually help train your brain, starting with one of my favorite apps, the Dual N-Back training game. This game tests your memory fro two different variables at the same time, usually a sound and then visual, and is probably the most frustrating thing for the first week or two while you get the hang of it and start to improve your memory and brain function. It is free to download and proven/ tested in many studies to improve brain function and sometime IQ scores as well (check out the case study in Dave Asprey's book "Game Changers").
Also, a few other apps that I have found super helpful are Lumosity and Right vs Left, both brain training games that give you specific exercises to improve things like patience, memory and problem solving. I really enjoy word games, such as Wordscapes, on my free time when you find yourself with 5-10 extra minutes or are waiting in line for food or something. These are fun to play and challenge your problem solving ability.
All of these apps are free, so you are really doing yourself a disservice if you don't download and start using them today!
The other thing I am going to mention for brain function is supplementing. If possible, it is ideal to get your vitamins from natural sources but sometimes you need to supplement those ones you can't get, such as krill oil. I also take a supplement called Masterbrain from 1st Phorm, which is a powerful nootropic. A nootropic is a category of vitamin known as "smart drugs" or "brain enhancers" and they are by no means cheap (about $50 per month) but they do amazing things for your brain when coupled with the strategies I mentioned above. They can help memory and reducing brain fog as well as just overall clarity in your thinking.
Finally, if you are not looking to pay for those supplements right away, l am going to recommend some of my favorite habits for clarity, problem solving and more. First, get more deep sleep by turning your phone on airplane mode when you are sleeping as well as going to be a little earlier. Next, take a walk in the morning and listen to a podcast, don't be on your phone at all during the walk just enjoy the podcast and nature.
Last but not least, start meditating. Yes, you read that right and no I am not crazy. Meditation can really help to ground yourself and organize your thoughts more and stay focused during the day, all essential for study habits as well as just remembering more of what you study. Just do a quick 5 minute guided meditation from YouTube in the morning and night, I'm sure it will make a difference.
I'm no master at brain function, these have just be things I found to work for myself thanks to reading "Head Strong" by Dave Asprey. This man has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars researching and testing different thing to improve your health and cognitive function so what better man to learn from.
Follow this link right here to check out the free resources on his blog >>
Thanks for stopping by today's blog and I really hope you got some value from it, below is a guide I would love to give you to share a handful of my other habits that have helped me in other areas such as health, happiness and productivity, not just cognitive function!
Click here to grab your copy of this FREE Guide >>
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Have a great rest of your day,
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