When Should We Study?

When should we study?

Exams are coming closer, closer and closer. Some of you might be getting very tensed up. Some of you may be saying, “It is okay yaar, I will deal with it”. But in either case we will be having a lot of people who will be telling you study hard, study hard, study more. Actually I do not believe in that, you know. I do not think studying hard gets you results. I think studying smart gets you results. What do you mean by this thing called ‘study smart’? It means being able to know when to study. There are times when you need to study and there are times when you do not need to study. It means to know where to study. Oh my god, it makes so much difference where and how you study, you know that. And then comes the techniques, how to study. There are different ways of studying. What suits you should be the one that you should pick up. Once you do that then you become selective, what to study. After you have mastered this or while you are mastering it, there will be one question that you will need to ask yourself that it is why to study. Why study at all? Is it just to get that a bit extra marks, no, it is much more than that. So, what I am going to do is, I am going to take you through this process of when to study, where to study, how to study, what to study and why to study. If you understand these concepts, believe me, you will not only do much better in the exams, you will have true learning taking place. What goes in will remain permanently with you. Okay, best of luck.

Now let me talk to you about when to study. Ideal time to start studying is right now, actually it was yesterday. We all procrastinate, it does not matter if you have lost time, it does not matter if the exams are coming pretty close, but now is the time to really get going. Do not tell yourself that I have got three months more, I have got one month more, I have got some many days more, no. Inevitably, there is that Murphy’s law no, if something has to go wrong it will go wrong and that is what happens when you are preparing for your exams. There will be some wedding, there will be some party, you fall sick, somebody will have go somewhere and you will realize that you are losing that many days. So start at the earliest and tell yourself that you have 20-30% less number of days then you actually have for the exams, calculate in that way. Now look at what we refer to as your biological clock. There is a clock inside you which keeps telling you when you are fresh and up and all that, when you are little down and out. There are some of us who are morning people, there are some of us who are daytime people, there are some of us who are evening people and there are some of us who are midnight people, you find out what you are good at. Once you find out those different timings and when you could do that then study the most boring, the most difficult, the most important subjects at a time when you are fresh. The time you are feeling down and out and this and that do not neglect it, do not say I am not going to study, do study but do some revision, catch up with some of the easy subjects, just read something which you have already read out earlier or something of that sort. Then there is one more thing about when to study, remember that you need to take breaks. Not everybody can study at a stretch for 2 hours, 3 hours. Again it is your biological clock, some of us can sit for two hours and study, some of us one hour, some of us 20 minutes. It does not matter, when you feel that after 20 minutes my concentration goes down take a break, even a 2 minute break helps. Time is very very important. You will start getting tensed up but those 2 minutes will help you to concentrate for another 20 minutes, 40 minutes or whatever it is. At the same time, remember, do not study when you are sleepy that is obvious and you know that. Do not study when you are hungry and do not study when your stomach is absolutely full. In fact during these days try and see if you can have smaller and more often meals. If you are used to having three meals, make it four meals, four and a half meals. So your stomach is never empty. If you had breakfast at 7 and you go on studying till 1 o’ clock or 2 o’ clock, take a break at 11 and have a snack to eat and if you just had your lunch and you are feeling absolutely full go around for a walk or something of that sort. The other thing to remember is that if you have something pending, some task is to be done, I have to get going on something or I have to do something, either go and finish off and come back so that you are free in your mind or if it is not possible to do it right now then jot it down, write it on a piece of paper, take a piece of paper and write down after this I have to before the shops close and buy this, this and write it down and put it away in one corner. Now you know that when you are through with your studies that task will be there and you will not forget the thing.

When should we study?

Talking about time, a lot of people say, I did not get time to revise. I did not get enough time to practice those sums or something. Nobody has time management issues, we only have priorities. Remember that everybody has 24 hours, but you prioritize is what comes up.

Then lastly, one of the most important thing that we forget is, what are your time wasters. Please make a list of what are your time wasters. Most of us are now aware of how much of time we spend on the phone. In a day, if you think that you spend only 30 minutes on the phone and when you actually check out, pull out your phone and check on that day how much time I have spent on the phone you will be shocked to realize that it was 72 minutes instead of 30 minutes. So list out all your time wasters and each one of them start cutting down. Let me not spend too much time on the phone, let me not spend too much time on this, list that down and do it at least till the exams are over. Once the exams are over you will have all the time in the world to do whatever you want, enjoy yourself. This is the time for you to focus your time, to control your time and give the best shot.

This is a transcript of a video talk by Dr. Ali Khwaja: When should we study?

By Ali Khwaja


Career Guidance

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