Small Bites

by Carol
(Smyrna, TN)

It helps me if I break down my study time into small bites. I break off small sections of the material and focus on that until I feel comfortable moving on to the next bite -- and then reward myself with a short break.

That gives me time to reflect and absorb the information I have just studied and spreads out the studying as opposed to trying to swallow a large amount in one sitting.

* * *

Studying in manageable blocks of time is a great way to get it done effectively. Some form of reward is also helpful as something to ‘earn’. Just as importantly, it means you give your brain a break.

The trick, of course, is to commit to studying for whatever length of time you deem appropriate and then to actually do it.

You mention that you break off small sections of the material and focus on that. Do you work to the task until it is finished, or for a pre-determined length of time?

The Pomodoro technique advocates working in 25 minute bursts with a five minute rest as a reward, after which you repeat the cycle.

For things that it would be easy to procrastinate for, a shorter length of working time may be necessary to reduce the internal resistance and so start working -- often the hardest part of studying.

For example, committing to 20 minutes, or 15, or even just five minutes may be what is needed to ‘flick the switch’ and get going.,

Many students do struggle to get started with their work, but, once they have, the momentum kicks in and away they go.

It also helps to make an appointment with yourself to study. Putting it onto your daily planner reinforces the commitment to actually producing something of value.

Combining these techniques until they become habits is a highly effective way to produce relevant work.

- Tim

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