While learning is a lot of fun, it can sometimes be challenging. Some topics are more difficult than others and may take several rounds of studying to truly understand.
Don’t worry, this is all perfectly normal. The harder something is to learn, the sweeter the satisfaction you will get once you finally master it.
Here are a few tips to help enhance your learning journey, no matter what topic you are tackling.
1. Write things down
This is indeed a digital world. Fewer people write with pen and paper now, as typing on laptops and tablets is seen as a more efficient way of storing information.
This is a pity, as studies show people remember something better when they have to write it down. This is because writing is a complex process that involves the brain and hand muscles: more effort is taken to form letters and words on paper, compared with simply striking a keyboard.
So, the next time you have to study, write out what you need to remember. It will be a bit more tiring but it could help you retain the knowledge a lot better.
You can also augment your writing with mind maps, diagrams, drawings, and other things to help boost the flow of learning absorption.
2. Take care of your health
Obviously you will not be able to learn at an optimum level if you are not feeling well. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to put yourself in a good state for learning.
Always stay hydrated, and make sure you get enough sleep before a major class. Eat a good breakfast, and try foods such as ginkgo biloba or leafy green vegetables that are said to boost brain power.
Also make sure to get enough exercise. If you’re sitting for long periods of time, try to get up and move a bit to improve your body’s blood circulation.
These steps may seem small but they do wonders to help you feel good and, in turn, learn better.
3. Believe in yourself
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It is important not to feel too down or upset when dealing with difficult study topics. What’s crucial is that you never stop believing you will succeed, and never give up.
Every expert or leader once started as a novice, knowing nothing at all. It was their hard work and perseverance that helped them to succeed, and you can do the same.
Don’t forget to ask for help from coaches or others if you really need it.
4. Change habits
Once in a while, it’s nice to shift up your studying style, especially if you’re not getting the results you like. Research shows there are three main ways people study: visual (through pictures or images), auditory (through sounds), or kinesthetic (through touch or doing).
If you find yourself struggling with one of these ways, try another. Record yourself reading your text (audio), or put it into practice (kinesthetic). Alternatively, if you mostly study by yourself, try group study for a change.
Go to a library or café instead of your room. Some people are more active in the morning, while others do better at night.
In short, try something different – who knows, it may lead to positive results! If it doesn’t, at least you’ve tried, and you can go back to your regular habits.
5. Set goals
There’s nothing more wonderful than the joy of achievement.
When studying a complex topic, break it up into smaller, more understandable sections, then slowly tackle one small section at a time. This is a simpler and more achievable method than taking on the whole subject at one go.
Also, give yourself a small reward every time you achieve a goal. This is a great form of motivation, and helps you to stay focused even when times get tough.
You could even grant yourself different rewards for completing different goals. Enjoy small treats like a short break or an episode of your favourite television show for mastering one chapter, and a bigger one like a nice dinner or movie when you finish a class.