Off the edge Education

Go offline and focus

Do you feel uncertain about a career? Do you lack the freedom to choose a subject that you really want to pursue? Do you always feel low on self-confidence? Are you constantly doubting yourself? A Q&A column to assuage your doubts

I usually sit to study for along time (continuously for three to four hours), but I am unable to study effectively. The output is not as much as it ought to be. Please give me some tips for precise and effective studying. — Rehan Aadil

Dear Rehan,

The key to effective studying is not cramming or studying longer, but studying smarter. First up, please study in blocks of 50 minutes only, followed by a 10-15 minute break. You could do four to five such blocks as we process content only in blocks of 50 minutes.

How do you approach studying? Be in the right mind-set. Do not force yourself and feel intimidated but motivate yourself by identifying your skills and capabilities and enjoy the process of learning. Take it up as a challenge to get done in a set time frame. Bite as much as you can chew — set realistic targets. Avoid comparing yourself to others, make your own goals and stay on your own pace, whatever it is that works for you. Use a dedicated ‘study space’ and a dedicated ‘study time’. Keep your space clean, well ventilated, brightly lit and sit with everything you need for that study block. Keep distractions away and reward yourself post completion of a goal set for the block. Outline, make notes, use memory games and mnemonic devices, get enough food, exercise (and the sun) and rest at night.

I am a class IX student and I want to be the class topper, but it is hard. I also want to be the first in the upcoming board exams, and win awards for it. But mobile phones have taken over my mind. Please guide me on how best I can concentrate on my academics and achieve my goals. — Shini Prajish

Dear Shini,

You are not alone my dear friend! There is an entire generation that is struggling with mobile phone addiction. How badly do you want to come first and do you believe it is possible and doable by you? If yes, then nothing can stop you. Snap out of it and get cracking. Everything will still be there on your phone — the WhatsApp posts, Instagram feed, Facebook updates, videos, messages, the tweets and so on post your exams and you can leisurely immerse yourself into it to your heart’s content. Give the phone away to your parents if you are unable to ‘moderate’ its usage. Delete unnecessary apps, lock your phone apps and de-activate the apps the time you sit to study, turn-off the notifications, use a real alarm clock, do not use the phone in bed and lose track of time, make sure your meals are phone-free. Take responsibility and accountability for your behaviour. It will take a week to detox and once you are able to see the difference it adds to your productivity and overall efficiency, it will not be hard to follow it through, till the exams get done. Go unlock your potential!

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The writer is a practising counsellor and a trainer. She will answer questions sent to eduplus.thehindu@gmail.com. The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:29:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/off-the-edge/article30366464.ece

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