It may not seem logical, but you actually have more time on your hands in college than you do in high school. High school is typically 8 hours a day, five days a week, for 40 hours of class. A typical college semester is only 12 to 16 hours a week of class.
Unfortunately, many students have a struggle with studying when they go to college because they don’t manage their time well. Developing good study habits can make all the difference, and the best way to do that is to think of study as a job.
- Set Hours – In a job you have regular work hours. Do the same for college. Set up a weekly schedule that takes in class and study time, and stick to it. Prioritize and break down your study into separate achievable tasks rather than trying to cram it all in at once before an exam. To make scheduling easier, use free online tools such as Any.do, Todoist.com, and Google Calendar. Research shows that reviewing notes shortly after class helps with retention, so keep that in mind when making your schedule.
- Realize There Will Be Overtime – Just as employees sometimes have to work extra hours on the job, there will be times when you will need to spend time beyond the scheduled hours when studying. Plan a little extra time when making your schedule to give yourself some flexibility.
- Organize – Find a comfortable, clutter-free, quiet study area with enough space for your study materials. Have all your materials gathered before you begin study. If you have roommates or a noisy dorm, consider using the school library.
- Eliminate Distractions - You wouldn’t be able to go online for personal reasons, tweet, or message on a regular job, so don’t when on study time. Let your friends know your study schedule and tell them you aren’t available at those times. Avoiding distractions is especially important for procrastinators. Stick to the schedule.
- Plan Some Personal Time – Employees in most jobs don’t work 24/7. Reward yourself by giving yourself time for social activities and down time from study and class. You’ll be more motivated and productive if you have time to unwind and reenergize.
- Take Care of Yourself – The stress of college can wear you down. Employees who are sick, always run-down, or sleep on the job, aren’t productive and don’t last very long. The same is true for students and study. Be sure to keep hydrated, get plenty of rest, and eat healthy.
- Turning study and classwork into a habit is easier when you take a “9 to 5” attitude. Become more productive, and don’t let all those extra hours you have in college slip away. Work hard and work smart, and your “promotion” will be achieving your degree.
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