Resources For Students
There are a number of factors that have a bearing on how effective your studies are and how well they will translate into the results you expect. Some of these include the following:
- Your own attitude towards studies – are you motivated to study or do you study out of fear of not doing well.
- Your style of learning – if you can identify this, it will help you follow the correct style of studying that makes your grasping and retaining the learning better. e.g. some students use both eyes and ears to retain information so they tend to read aloud when memorizing; others prefer to underline notes or make short notes when studying etc.
- Your own intelligence – this is largely hereditary but cannot be made an excuse. In fact, when they say hard work it means some who are less endowed with grasping power, retention, numerical ability etc need to put in more effort as compared to someone who has a natural flair.
- Your peak study time – Do you prefer to wake up early and study or sit late nights and study. Some may prefer a different time of study like noon or evenings. The key issue is to find out your most productive time of studies and study the more challenging and / or tough subjects at that time.
- Length of study session- Never study continuously for more than an hour. Always take a 10 minute break after every 45 mins to 60 mins of studies. The break should be as far as possible physical like taking a walk or at least getting up from your seat and moving around.
- Have a study timetable – Always have a study plan. This will ensure that you have got an overview of the portion of each subject to be covered, you have accounted for the degree of difficulty for you of the respective topics, you have a clear idea of how much time you have for the respective subjects etc. More importantly a time table gives you a pre-defined focus and a goal for each minute of your study time.
- A proper study environment – A proper table and chair, adequate lighting and ventilation, a disturbance free area and all the study related paraphernalia including text books, reference books, calculator, sufficient pencils, pen, etc.
Cope with challenges of distractions / procrastination / inability to concentrate / fear of certain subjects/ topics etc.
Despite the above, if you are still not getting the results then you will have to ask those around to give you feedback as to what you are doing wrong. In addition, also examine if your expectations are reasonable and commensurate with the effort and your own abilities. If the results are way off target then seriously examine your own answer papers whenever you get it back to check what kind of observations the teachers are noting on your answer sheets and work on those.
My suggestions to prepare a useful timetable are as under:
- Identify your most productive time – Your timetable should be drawn up using this as the fulcrum. Some people are most productive early mornings, quite a few believe they study best at night, there are others who are sure that daily review of lessons and practice even if for just a couple of hours works best for them.
- Break up the time into meaningful slots – It could be 45 minutes or 60 minutes or 90 minutes etc. The key is to know your mental strength to keep going without a break or getting tempted or distracted.
- Know your style – Some people prefer to warm with easy subjects to get into the groove. Others prefer to do practical work first as a warm up. There are others who get more relaxed when they have tackled their most challenging work first. Your time table should be adjusted to take care of your style.
- Get a mentor to keep you on track – If possible get a friend / well wisher / parent/ sibling to keep an eye on you so that you do not slack. Tell them your study plans and seek they support to ensure you stick to the plan.
- Get rid of all possible distractions – What ever your time table, however determined, temptations are hard to overcome. Ensure you get rid of all distractions if you want your time table to be effective.
- No excuses- Remember school days and homework. No matter what the tough teacher never accepted any excuses for not doing your home work. You be that teacher for your self.
You certainly have an interesting challenge. You seem to have, what most people would envy, ambition, potential and motivation; yet your life is not going the way you want it to.
I can only hazard a few guesses as to what may be causing you problems; hope you can identify the right one that applies to you and hopefully you will take corrective action to attain all that you aspire for.
- Your wild ambition maybe tempting you to attempt too many different things. As a result, your energies are being expended fruitlessly on different things. This effectively means all of them progress at a slow rate thus frustrating you.
- Perhaps you lack the discipline to focus and complete the key tasks. Possibly you get distracted or do not take the right decisions.
- Maybe you are attempting to do things which are not part of your core competence. You should delegate tasks that can be done by others or take the help of experts where needed.
- Have you bitten of more than you can chew because of your wild ambitions? It is possible since you may have bench marked your ambitions to the best in class. Bounce of some of your ambitious ideas with some experts and get a reality check done.
- Do a reality check on your potential as well as motivation. Sometimes in the euphoria of having lofty ideas, we tend to overestimate both our potential and our motivation to attain it.
- It could help if you find a good mentor; an experienced person who can guide you, correct you, support you, motivate you and criticize you. It would be a pity if your enormous potential is not fully realized.
At the outset let me clarify that each individual is unique in his/ her way of responding to situations. Hence the answers here will give you pointers to what to do, but you must pick and choose what you think will wok well of you.
If you are dead serious about getting inputs from the suggestions here, please get a pen and paper before you read any further. As you read, jot down the suggestions / ideas that you think suit your individuality.
While a goal is a good thing to focus on, what will really drive you to act is the intrinsic / extrinsic benefit that you visualize from attaining your goal. e.g. Why are you so keen on that dream career? How will it impact you? Now you have something more tangible to visualize and spur you on. Similarly, apart from looking good what other reason do you have to focus on working out for a good body? Maybe you can wear a variety of clothes that you dream about or maybe you believe you would look better in photographs. These end objectives would be great motivators to get you going.
The lure of a more agreeable activity is a major cause of procrastination. We succumb to our temptation to get distracted from our core responsibility. Find ways a means to eliminate the distractions. e.g. When going for a meeting / church / temple try not to carry the mobile phone with you. I normally leave it in the dashboard of the car or in the draw of office table. This will eliminate any temptation to peek into the phone while my priority is the activity I am engaged in.
Break your goal into smaller tasks so that as and when you achieve each task, you get a sense of satisfaction as well as you get to see the progress you are making. Your goal will not be overwhelming. e.g. When I first started blogging I decided to write one post of around 300 words per day. After the first week I was exhausted and had spells of writers block. However, since I had already written for a week I didn’t want to tarnish my record plus the fact that I had to write only 300 words looked relatively do able. In 2010 I managed around 300 odd posts in my blog www.actspot.com blog Now here is another fact. I did not have any goal for the next year and I must confess I hardly wrote 40 posts that year. My current target is to write around 500 words once a week and so far I am managing fairly well.
Trust my suggestions will help you quickly start of with you first goal. Hopefully you will also made it a habit to keep a pen and paper handy when reading the responses to your queries and also make relevant notes.