Spending the last couple years in college has taught me a few things about, well, college.
Here are a couple of tricks I’ve picked up along the way:
1. Be Organized.
A huge waste of time is spent shuffling through papers trying to find yesterday's notes or last week's exam.
Multi-subject notebooks are a lie. Not only do you blast through the paper faster than SpaceX launching their Falcon 9, but when you run out of those pretty lined pages, you end up with notes for one class in multiple notebooks.
The fix? Use separate notebooks (binders) with pages you can take out. Not only does this keep all of your notes in one spot, but if you're studying a particular section, you can just take out the notes for that section (unless you like lugging extra weight around and are really trying to build up those back muscles).
2. Minimize distractions.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but distractions aren’t always easy to recognize--even when our fingers are fondling them.
Thats right, I'm talking about those electronic devices; granted they're useful for research and learning, but when your initial search for KhanAcademy or Paul's Online Math Notes leads to Facebook or Instagram, it's time to set the device aside. AND turn it off or set it to silent.
The constant 'ping!' of incoming texts isn't exactly conducive to learning, and responding to the text is even worse. The first semester I bought a smartphone it took me one week to realize texting and studying didn't mix; the phone got turned off and my grades flashed me a smile.
3. Study smart.
There is studying, and there is studying smart.
"Practice makes perfect." False. "Perfect practice makes perfect."
IT DOES matter how you work. Focus. This goes hand-in-hand with minimizing distractions. Working for five minutes, stopping to check your email, then going back to your homework is a sure recipe for inefficiency.
Which brings us to location. You know yourself, and you know where you study best; for some it's shut in the silent basement of the dimly lit library with those trolls some call 'Librarians' roaming around.
For others (like me), it's at a coffee shop with earbuds stuck in your ears (and if you are one of those people but have issues with people distracting you at coffee shops, consider purchasing the minion shirt which reads "Earbuds are in. Why are you still talking?").
The bottom line is you have to find a place where you focus. If you're not focused on your work, you’re TRYING to work, and not working.
4. Make your phone faster.
It's there to serve you, not vice versa.
While we just spoke about avoiding distractions, this tip applies to when you are actually using your device properly, as an aid.
My suggestion? Install WhereDat, the productivity app. By reducing the time you spend swiping endlessly at your phone, WhereDat enables you to get faster answers and gives you more time to perfect that bad posture of your head stuck in a book.