The pomodoro technique is a good strategy; I often use it for 45 minutes with a 15 minute break. Some will probably prefer shorter breaks, but I find myself to be the most productive with this length of the breaks.
Some other tips for a productive studying session includes:
- Create an area for studying that is not used for anything else. This will put your brain into "study mode", and not any other mode. I find that this increases my concentration a lot. If you don't have one at home, go to your school library or something like that.
- Make a study plan you want to follow, and stick to this. If you're a student, then you should be very careful of falling behind on your studies, so stick to your plan, and you won't have to study 24/7 just before the exams.
- Be creative when it comes to leaning. Some learn best by reading books, but others should employ more creative methods to learning what they need to. For example, try creating posters with the most vital information, where you use different colors to represent different types of information. This is a great method for many.
When studying for anything whether a school project or trying to further your understanding of something for your career it's important to not just read through something quickly for the sake of covering the material but rather slowly dissect the information and ask why am I doing this, what does it mean, how does it impact or relate to other things, what is this significance of this item and how to process or handle each situation in a real world sense. Don't be afraid to ask questions either or ask for help from those that already have knowledge in those areas. Learning is what you make of it and if you make a conscious effort to really analyze something and understand it you will take that information and go further with it.
1. Don't try to force learning in one session
Usually, successful students always spend shorter learning times and rarely force learning all in one or two sessions. The key, learn consistently and do regularly even in a short time.
2. Plan when you will study
If you want to succeed in learning, arrange a schedule with a specific time for a week. And try to be firm with the schedule that you have made. Those who study sporadically do not usually perform as well as students who have arranged their study time with discipline.
3. Learn at the same time
Not only is it important to plan a schedule when to study, but, you also learn to be consistent with daily learning routines. When you study at the same time every day and every week, it will become a routine part of your life. Mentally and emotionally, you will be better prepared when the learning session arrives and is certainly more productive.
4. Every learning activity must have a specific goal
Thinking simple learning without clear direction will not be effective. You need to know clearly what you need in every learning opportunity. Before you start learning, set the goals of your learning. This will support the overall academic goals.
5. Never delay learning
It is a very easy thing to generally cancel a study session that you have planned because you are not interested in the field of study, or you have other things to do, or because the assignment given is very difficult to do.
Successful students never postpone their time to study. If you do, your learning activities become ineffective and you will not get what is needed. Delays will also cause chaos and be the number one cause of failure.
6. Start with the most difficult lessons
The most difficult task or lesson will require the greatest effort, mental, and energy. You should begin with this. Once you can complete this most difficult task, it will be easier to complete the rest. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult work will bring a huge increase in the effectiveness of your study sessions and academic performance.
7. Always review your notes before starting work on the task
The thing is certain, before you can review the records that you have, then you must have these records. Make sure that you always make good notes while in class. Before starting each study session and working on the main tasks that must be completed, make sure you know how to do it correctly.
8. Make sure there is no interference during learning
Look for a place to learn that is safe from interference. When you are disturbed while studying, it will disrupt concentration and learning activities become ineffective.
Thanks for sharing the concept of pomodoro to me. Seems like I have been using this technique all my life without knowing it's name. Haha..
My style of studying is to break my time into 30mins slots. I focus and study during each 30 mins slot and take 15 mins break in between. Typically I don't have more than 10 of such 30 mins slots each day (i.e. I don't study for more than 5 hours each day :p).
I started practicing this since young as I realized I am unable to focus more than 30 mins consecutively. Hence, it's inefficient to force myself to study after 30 minutes without a break. During breaks, I will snack, watch a quick video, play a quick round of game or just simply lay down and daydream.
In addition, I like to study alone. I know some people who like group studies, but I find it ineffective as we will just end up chatting away. In Singapore, it's quite common to see students studying in cafes or other public areas. This is something I find baffling too, as I need peace and quiet in order to study efficiently.
I guess there is no one best studying style. You probably have to experiment with a few ways and pick the one that you enjoy the most.