How can one learn well

These 10 habits will help you learn twice as fast as before

by Tim Reichel

Every time your studies get serious, there is a scarce resource that counts: time. In the exam, while you are writing your thesis or generally while studying. You will (felt) always have too little time and have to hurry.

You might take it easy at first, but the closer your deadline gets, the greater the pressure and the more valuable your remaining time becomes.

But you can easily do something about this time problem and make sure that your next exam preparation or the final phase of your study work does not become too stressful and is a little more relaxed. All you need to do is incorporate a few small but incredibly effective habits into your everyday life that will help you study and support your learning process.

How is that supposed to work?

I have put together 10 habits for you that you can implement immediately and easily integrate into your daily schedule. If you follow these steps regularly, your learning success will go through the roof and a huge chunk of exam stress will fall off your shoulders.


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10 habits that will help you learn twice as fast

With these routines you will be able to study many times more productively - without great effort - and will be significantly relieved in major pressure phases:


# 1 Address different senses as you study!

Our brain hates monotonous processes and switches to energy-saving mode during boring activities. So if you set out to read definitions and summaries for four hours, it won't get stuck in much - unless you repeat it 20 times, but you don't have the time.

Therefore, try to address different senses while learning and to challenge your two brain halves: Work with visual stimuli and draw a mind map, a sketch or a diagram. Watch an explanatory video or listen to an interview that fits your topic. It doesn't really matter how you do it, but avoid monotony.


# 2 Learn in small stages!

Break up your learning sessions into small bites and learn in stages. Large units - without a break - do not get you any further and are inefficient. Small breaks in which you can consciously distract yourself, on the other hand, have an invigorating effect and promote your stamina.

The only danger is that your little breaks will turn into big breaks. Solution: Plan your interruptions and do specific things. It also helps if you work with a timer to remind you to keep going.


# 3 Practice single-tasking!

Don't do too many things at the same time, just concentrate on one specific task at a time. When you multitask, you quickly get bogged down and learn inefficiently. This makes you dissatisfied because you feel like you haven't really achieved anything.

Multitasking won't get you anywhere; the opposite is the case: multitasking throws you back and blocks you - physically and mentally. Singletasking works much better. With single-tasking you bundle your strength and concentration on a single task. Distractions and trivialities no longer stand a chance.


# 4 Always take notes!

Get in the habit of writing down everything that might be relevant to your studies. Always take notes and do not imagine that you will already memorize this and that. You won't remember it - there are too many things haunted in your head to distract you and draw your attention.

Therefore: If an important sentence comes up in the lecture - write it down. If you were able to develop a helpful train of thought in the study group - write it down. If you understand a connection while reading the script - write it down. Notes help you a lot afterwards and save you valuable minutes or even hours of work.


# 5 Work with a smart to-do list!

I bet you have a to-do list - and I bet it's badly organized. If you're bothering to make a list of your to-do items, please do it right. Here's how: Don't fill your list too full and really only include the most important tasks. Sort your tasks into categories, assign priorities and assign a deadline to each point.

Create some structure on your list and turn your tasks into clear, motivating goals - because then you will be able to tick off your to-dos much sooner and not let the pressure put you off.


# 6 improve your speed reading!

In your studies you have to read an incredible amount: textbooks, scripts, articles, case studies, academic papers and so on and so forth. So get used to a few quick reading techniques and continuously improve your speed reading.

Speed ​​Reading helps you to scan large amounts of text in a short time, while still capturing the most important information. It has little to do with relaxed reading, but this method is ideal for getting a quick overview and getting a grip on your literary chaos.


# 7 Use waiting times!

Make it a habit to use waiting times productively and to do something for your studies on the side. This approach is known as passive learning and means that you combine everyday activities (where you don't have to think) with learning units.

For example, you can learn three new definitions by heart while brushing your teeth or read a specialist article while waiting for the bus. You can put formulas together in your head as you peel potatoes or go through the structure of Chapter 2 from the lecture while you're in the shower.


# 8 Swap theory for practice!

You will have the greatest learning success when you apply theoretical knowledge and put it into practice. In other words: when you do the things that you have read before. In many degree programs, however, this is not that easy. Example: If you study aerospace engineering, you will hardly be able to build a rocket engine in your living room.

Nevertheless, try to reinforce the theoretical basis with plastic examples. Think about use cases, adapt case studies or think up your own experiments. Solve exercises yourself and apply your theoretical knowledge - this way the content stays in your memory longer and you need less repetitions.


# 9 Teach others what you need to learn!

If you slip into the role of the lecturer and explain the lecture material to others, 99 percent of the content will never be forgotten again. By teaching you will deal with the material much more intensively and you will also subconsciously prepare yourself for further questions.

You can use this routine excellently in your study group and at the same time help your fellow students with their studies.


# 10 Study before you go to sleep!

While we sleep, our small, hard-working brain continues to work. And what is it doing? Mainly with the things we last tackled - before going to bed.

So if you look at your study materials before you go to sleep and plan your next projects, your brain will work on it overnight. Without you having to do anything, this content is easier to remember and better remembered.


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Your success in your studies is mainly determined by your habits. If you regularly use small but effective actions that support your learning routine, you will work much more efficiently in the future and have a lot more free time.

Just build a few of these habits into your everyday life and you will be amazed how much faster you will learn in the future.


Image: © Ryan McGuire /