I can’t think of a better time than the beginning of a new calendar year to implement important changes to your academic routine. Students are better attuned to the expectations of their teachers and are beginning a brand new grading period. While working hard is paramount to any successful academic campaign, I have found that the following three simple tips enable students to study more efficiently and to achieve greater success in their courses.
1) Try Not to Stay Up Too Late
I cannot think of a more important piece of advice than this one! Contrary to popular belief, high school and college students work very hard. They are expected to spend at least seven hours of their day attending classes before completing homework. It is no wonder that an increasing number of scientific studies suggest that students become less productive in their tasks as the evening progresses. Assignments that may only take a student an hour (or two) to complete when they possess more energy right after school may riddle a student later in the evening and require many more hours of attention. I always recommend that my students complete their homework right after school and have found that this simple schedule change can make all of the difference in the world.
2) Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Distracted While Working
There are more distractions facing students in 2015 than ever before. There are literally thousands of television channels to watch and an even greater number of fun and interesting apps to play with. Our phones, tablets and laptops are seemingly always in tow and represent an insidious distraction that prevents many students from focusing on their work. I always recommend that students begin the practice of distancing themselves from these distractions by purposefully housing their electronic devices in different rooms then the ones they will be studying in. Such discipline enables students to clearly focus on the task at hand and prevents them from being involuntarily distracted when they are trying to complete their work.
I encourage every student to spend a few weeks experimenting with these two subtle changes. I think you will be happy you did!