How to Study Effectively: 7 Tips

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How to study effectively? Like FOR REAL. Sitting in one place, studying, and doing homework can be really boring and really tiring. I used to feel so too! But here’s how I overcame it. I will tell you 7 tips on how to study effectively that I used and they REALLY helped me to get my work done. There is no #1 rule. All of the tips are just as important!! 

Before I get to it, make sure you read my other post on a new daily routine that I came across that has CHANGED my life. Guys, after this, remember to check it out!

1. Write nicely and neatly

Okay, so this is the first tip on how I make sure I study effectively. You know the feeling when you first start writing something on a brand new book? You start off with the most beautiful handwriting but as time goes on, with errors and eraser marks you lose the motivation to continue writing nicely. So you start writing ANYHOW.. and the next time you pick up the notebook, you don’t feel the same anymore.

Well, the trick is to make sure you keep the notes as neat as possible.

Have a rough book for workings and other rough work. On your actual notebook, make sure you only put down notes with no errors. This way, whenever you look at the notebook, you’ll remember how hard you worked to maintain this notebook and it will be really easy for you to go through your notes for mini-tests or right before your exam. 

How to Study Effectively: 7 Tips - Write nicely and neatly

2. Get some good stationery

I have this strange thing, I have a SPECIAL pen that I use to write. When I write with this pen, I feel REALLY confident in my work. Strangely enough, when I write an exam with this pen, I tend to score better. And somehow, I actually feel like studying when I use this pen. It is not special because it’s expensive or rare. It’s because the pen color, the pen tip size, and the design of the pen itself match me perfectly. 

You have to find a pen that matches you perfectly.

When I was in Singapore, the pen I used was the “Zebra Sarasa Clip” marine blue gel pen in size 0.5. It was THE pen that I made sure to take with me to every single exam hall for the past 4 – 5 years. When I moved back to Sri Lanka however, I didn’t have that pen anymore. Right now, I’m hooked on the “Ten QT” ballpoint pen. It only comes in one pen size and even though it’s not mentioned, I’m pretty sure it’s 0.5. It’s only Rs.10 and I have almost a million of them at home and I always have one with me when I’m getting ready to study.

How to Study Effectively: 7 Tips - Get some good stationery

I also really like having pens of different colors. So when I’m taking down notes, I can differentiate between titles, text, and formulas easily. I keep highlighters in 3 different colors with me. 

  1. Turquoise – to frame formulas
  2. Yellow – for important words
  3. Purple – to write the title on every page

This helps me to keep my notes organized and really easy to look at while studying for tests and exams in the future. If you want to study effectively, this is a MAJOR tip.

3. Organize your study table

Trust me, when you have your study table really nice and tidy, with all your books kept nicely in one place, all your stationery in the pen holder and it’s just you and your book in front of you, you’ll feel this sudden boost to want to study. I have a nice white table cloth put over my study table. find it easier to focus on studying when I’m surrounded by a minimalistic environment. I also have a small green plant (fake plant) with purple flowers by the side of my study table. I do this to create the illusion of “nature” and somehow, it really makes me feel good. 

organize your study table

4. Take a break

Okay when I say take a break, I don’t mean take a 3-hour break. Just 5 to 10 minutes should do. Take a walk outside, listen to some music, take a power nap, watch a funny video – anything. This has to be something FUN. Anything other than studying will do.

What I do is after every 2 hours of studying, I take a 10-minute break. This works for me because 2 hours of constant studying really drains me. After the break, my energy is usually back to around 80%. This helps me to make sure that I study effectively and that it’s not just a waste of time.

take a break once in a while

5. Organize your notes

So one thing that I find really annoying is when I want to know something but I don’t know the page or I don’t know where I wrote it down. So stickies really help me a lot. I put them on the specific topics and write the name or put a symbol on it using a felt pen. This way, whenever I want to find a note or a formula, I know exactly which page to turn to. This makes it much easier for me to study.

organize your notes

6. Listen to some music

I usually listen to some chill music when I study. It keeps me calm and stops me from getting bored quickly. I know that there are some who prefer to study in absolute silence, so this is optional. But it works really well for me. This is why I love studying at cafés. The soft jazz music and the white noise in the background and the SMELL OF COFFEE LINGERING IN THE AIR – URGH! It’s so awesome 😛 

Listen to some music while studying

I actually have a carefully curated Spotify playlist just for studying. I’ll share it sometime in another post! It’s like my GO-TO playlist when I want to study. I’m honestly SO happy that Spotify is FINALLY available in Sri Lanka. And guys, in case you didn’t know – you can get THREE WHOLE MONTHS of free Spotify PREMIUM when you first sign up. Also, students can get Spotify Premium for only around Rs.250 per month. You just need to submit a photo of your ID to Spotify. (They verified mine in LESS THAN 5 MINUTES) So check it out for sure! 

7. Have a study group

So a few days ago, I and a few friends of mine decided to have a group study session to work on Finance. We can’t exactly go outside (cause of COVID-19) so we took a group call on Zoom instead. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a flop. I mean come on – Me? and my FRIENDS? It’s obviously just gonna be a chit-chat session and then the day’s gonna end and it’s just not gonna be productive.

But, it went SURPRISINGLY well. Honestly, it was more fun than studying on my own. I helped my friends, my friends helped me, ALL OF US revised together, managed to ask questions and discuss the topics – it was just perfect. It was definitely very productive.

So if you have a group of friends, try asking them to join you for a study session every once in a while. It’s good for everyone!

have a study group

So these are the 7 tips on how to study effectively. If you follow these, I can almost guarantee that you will AT LEAST find the motivation you need to study harder. 

All the best! 

p.s remember to check out the life-changing daily routine I was talking about!

xoxo ♥

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