How To Study Like A Pro & Get Stuff Done!
The secret to getting stuff done is to….*drum roll*
Let me ask you this. Have you ever sat down to study for an hour or two and come away with the feeling that you could have been way more productive with the time you just spent?
Well, you’re not alone. It’s easy to lose motivation and get easily distracted when there is no clear target for what you want to achieve. And even if you did have a target, you won’t know if you’ve reached your target unless you have a way of measuring yourself.
So here’s how you set an effective target, to get the most out of your next study session. It’s called setting SMART goals.
SMART stands for:
Specific – Be as precise as you can on what you want to study/achieve. E.g. Practice essay writing for Module A in English
Measurable – You need to define what a successful outcome would be. E.g. One English essay, 30 Maths questions.
Achievable – Be realistic in what you can achieve in the time you have. If it takes you one hour to do 60 questions now, expecting to the same in half an hour next time, is being unrealistic.
Relevant – Make sure what you are studying/doing is actually useful to your end goal. For example, if there is a major assignment due soon that you haven’t started yet, that would be more relevant than most other things on your plate.
Time-bound – Always put a time limit so you know there is a pre-determined end to the task. This will help you focus better knowing that once that time is up you can relax.
So next time you sit down to study, don’t try to “do a couple of hours of English” or “read a few pages of business studies”. Instead aim to “write one complete essay for English Module A in the next 45 minutes” or do “do 30 questions on differentiation for 2 Unit Maths by 6.30pm”. So by the time 45 minutes or 6.30pm rolls around you’ll know if you’ve hit your target or not.
If you achieved your goal GREAT! You can decide if you want to push yourself to achieve a stretch target like doing a bit more in the same amount of time or doing the same amount but in a shorter time frame.
If you didn’t achieve your target, then you know this is an area you need to focus on a bit more, so it will go higher up in relevance of what you need to study.
So the next time you study, take a few seconds (and it really is a few seconds) before you start to set a SMART target so you can get the most out of your time.
Your turn: What tips do you use to maximise your study output? Got any awesome tips you want to share? Or burning questions about the above? Leave us a comment – we’d love to hear from you.
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