The truth of the matter is that the typical student life these days is incredibly busy.
Between various student councils, an active love life, and intense, epic football games, it's difficult to get good study habits established.
Below are a few guidelines I set for my students when they are struggling to find balance and still succeed in the classroom.
Know where you Spend your Time Many students don't pay too much attention to where they are spending their time.
You go to lunch with a few friends between classes, during which you have a good time, and all of a sudden you realize that you didn't make those flashcards that you intended to make.
I usually suggest in these instances that student literally record what happens during the day.
Make a log and record both the start and end times of each activity.
This includes social events, time in the class room, travel time, everything.
What this does is makes the student aware of what is going on.
Thus, he can get a good sense of where his time is being spent.
The student must know this first before making strategic changes.
Understand what is Effective rather than Efficient There is a difference between being efficient and being effective.
One can be efficient at just about any activity.
But the question that is more important for students is this: what is more important? The student must be able to make a judgement call and decide for himself whether or not his choice will make a significant contribution to his end goal, which is usually, to pass the class with a good grade.
This is effectiveness.
An effective activity makes a valuable contribution to an end goal.
An efficient activity simple allows that activity to pass more quickly and without many errors.
Once a student knows where his time has been spent.
He will be able to make better judgment calls about his time based on his awareness of his time.
Remove distraction When you are in the act of studying, do the work.
The work of studying requires mental energy and focus.
The best way to facilitate doing the work is the remove distractions.
This means, turn off the TV, the cell phone, and the iPad.
Study in a room that is not very interesting, make sure you have gone to the bathroom, and that you are no longer hungry.
Bring a timer with you to the study area, set it for at least 20 minutes, and focus until you hear the buzzer go off.
Direct Focus Part of effectiveness is directing focus.
Some students don't realize that focus is limited and it must have an objective.
Without these two things, effective work cannot be accomplished.
The effective student knows that he must accomplish certain things in order to do well on the next test.
For example, he might understand that he must memorize certain vocabulary words for the next science exam.
He understands that what this really means is that he must feel confident about his knowledge related to these words.
As a result, he is must focus on achieving this objective.
Once he feels confident, he knows that he is done.
Rest Being human beings, we become tired.
As a result it is incredibly important to keep a balance between, work, play and sleep.
While work is important, it is also important to find activities that take your mind off of the work.
It is during this rest time that your body regain strength and give you the energy that is necessary to be both efficient and effective.
While this is common knowledge, it is harder to achieve than most students realize.
Sometimes after long hours, a student should force himself to rest.
Many of the greatest ideas of our time have come from periods of rest.
The five tips that I have outlined above are just an inkling of the amount of information that is out there on becoming a successful student.
They certain provide a good foundation for the student who aims to reach his full academic potential.
Click the following link to learn more about ways to improve your study and organizational skills.