Smart and hard work indeed helps you achieve great aims. To be academically excellent, self-study is very important. However, with so many distractions around and low motivation, many students find self-study quite challenging. Obstacles like noise, social gatherings at home, lack of focus and study material, and continuous notifications from social media apps make self-study more difficult than it seems. No external forces motivate you during self-study; therefore, if you are not fully focused and lack a goal, you are likely to fail. This discussion aims to provide you with a list of five smart ways to overcome obstacles during self-study. Please read on!
5 Smart Ways to Overcome Obstacles During Self-Study
1. Analyse yourself to decide whether you are a night owl or an early bird:
Some students’ brains are more alert early in the morning, while some students find it easier to concentrate on studies late at night. If you do not know whether you are comfortable studying in the early mornings or at late night, try studying at night for a few days and then in the early morning for a few days. Doing so will help you get an idea about whether you are more compatible with studying at night or in the early mornings. You can use the most productive parts of the day to study the chapters you find most challenging and for which you need more comprehension skills. Easy chapters can be studied at any time of the day.
2. Note down your distractions:
It is obvious that the thing that hampers your studies the most is distractions. Assessing your distractions and noting them down is the most important step to do when you decide to self-study. Looking into the matter at the grass root level will help you identify the activities that hamper your studies the most. For some people, browsing social media apps is a major distraction, while for others, it can be watching TV. Monitoring your time while doing such activities and being responsible with your schedule will help you finish the whole syllabus within time. Please do not keep your mobile phone in your study room, avoid having long conversations with your friends on the phone when it is time to study, and regulate the time you spend watching TV. Everyone has only 24 hours to their day. Whether you will be successful or not depends on how best you use your 24 hours.
3. Avoid procrastination:
Because students find studying the most boring task on the planet, they keep procrastinating and postponing their studies until it’s too late. Make a timetable with a fixed academic target for each day. No matter what, ensure that you finish your day’s target. Please do not get too comfortable when it’s time to study. Do not lie on a bed or sit in a comfortable posture. This is because studies seem most boring when you tend to sleep rather than focus on studies. Take a notebook and a pencil and write down your thoughts on it whenever you feel like procrastinating. This will help clear your mind and concentrate on your studies.
Also see: 10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help You Study Hard
4. Do not get anxious:
Getting anxious is natural during self-study, especially when there are only a few weeks left for the exam. You feel like you are carrying an enormous burden on your shoulders and that you will not be able to accomplish your dreams. You feel like whatever you have studied by far has gone waste as you do not seem to remember anything. You need to realize that all these thoughts are natural and there is nothing wrong with you. Even toppers do not feel confident before an important exam. If your anxiety prevents you from concentrating on your studies, you can try meditation for 10 minutes daily. It will help alleviate your stress to a great extent by clearing your thoughts. Another new way to deal with stress and anxiety is by using aroma oils. Some studies have shown that using aroma oil helps reduce stress and anxiety and stretches your study hours.
5. Maintain a set of reliable Notes:
Having a reliable and effective set of notes is very crucial to have a good preparation for the exam. When you study from your hand-written notes, you tend to remember the information for a longer time by forming a photographic memory of it. Also, you can revise more effectively from your notes rather than from a printed book or an electronic device. Self-study won’t be boring if you look into new and innovative ways of making notes. Photographic study techniques, flashcards, or simply highlighting your notes with pens and highlighters of different colors will help you make learning easy and effective.
Dos and Don’ts of Self-study:
Study every day:
No matter which exam you are preparing for, being consistent with your study plans is very important. Suppose you need to lose 10kgs weight. Will working out at the gym for 6 hours straight once a week help you achieve your goal, or will working out for an hour every day do? Obviously, you will need to work out every day to achieve the best results. Similarly, you must study every day to achieve the best academic results.
Trust your resources:
Many students tend to get distracted by too many study resources available in the market. Students even get distracted when their friends refer different study materials to them. No matter what, you should always trust your study resources. Do not skip from one reference book to another or one coaching center to another in the middle of your preparation. It will just result in chaos and frustration and hamper your exam performance.
Revise whatever you have learnt:
When you study a topic for the first time, your brain forms a short-term memory of it. Studying the same topic and revising it, again and again converts the short-term memory on it into long-term memory. This helps you retain information for longer periods of time.
Take proper care of your health:
Staying physically healthy is very important for sound mental health. If you want to utilize your capabilities to the maximum, you must ensure that you are physically fit and healthy. Eat proper well-balanced meals and sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night to refresh your mind.
Stay confident in your preparation if you want to achieve the best results. If you keep on doubting your preparation, your motivation will go down, and it will adversely affect your results.
Do not get anxious:
Getting anxious and worrying about everything will divert your mind from your studies and make your days unproductive. To manage anxiety, you can try going out for a walk, meditation, or simply talking to a good friend or a family member for some time.
Do not get too close to negative people:
Negative people can affect your preparation adversely more than you can imagine. If someone makes you doubt yourself all the time, you will start having negative thoughts, and your brain will be diverted from your studies.
Do not doubt yourself:
Do not doubt yourself if you want to have successful self-study sessions. Lack of confidence will divert your focus from your studies and make your goals seem unrealistic.
Do not lose patience:
It is very hard to lose patience when there are a lot of syllabi to cover. You might feel like you will never be able to finish it, but you have to remember that to get to the top of the mountain, you need to climb one step at a time. The small differences and choices you make today will lead you to a bigger success one day.
Do not spend too much time on social media:
Kids these days spend most of their time browsing social media apps and chatting with friends over the phone. This leaves little or no time for studies. To be successful in exams and have solid preparation, you need to monitor your time on social media apps.
1. Why is maintaining a proper schedule important?
Maintaining a proper to-do list is very crucial to managing all parts of your syllabus. The syllabi for exams these days are very hard, so you should have a proper and well-sorted mindset to tackle those. Note down all the topics you need to study for the exam, along with other tasks you need to accomplish. Prioritise your tasks according to their importance, starting your day with a paramount task. You can finish minor and unimportant tasks by the end of the day. Your schedule should be realistic, and you should only assign those tasks for a day that you feel you can accomplish. If you make an unrealistic schedule, you will end up never hitting your day’s target, and that will lead to only dissatisfaction in the end.
2. Why is spending time on yourself important?
Your daily schedule should have some time in which you can take care of yourself and your body. It might be a light walk to refresh your mind or simply exercising to tackle the built-in stress. All these small activities will make you feel better and less stressed so that you can concentrate on your studies with increased focus.
3. How to stay focused during studying?
If you want to achieve good grades in the exam you are preparing for; you need to stay focused on your studies. Staying focused is very challenging in the beginning, but with time you will get good at it. Arrange a noise-free, calm, and well-ventilated place to study. Always start studying with a fresh mind and avoid being lazy. Also, try to find out what time of the day you are comfortable studying. Some students can focus better on their studies in the early mornings, while others study better during the night. Planning your study hours around the time when your brain is the most alert will help you be at your most productive self.
4. How to prevent getting anxious during self-study?
If you tend to get nervous or anxious during your study sessions, try meditation. It will help your brain relax and increase your concentration span. Staying calm and relaxed during your study time is very important to remember the information. If you keep on constantly worrying about the result and other issues, your brain will get exhausted, and you won’t be able to hold on to the academic topics for long enough.
5. How to avoid procrastination?
Procrastination is the biggest enemy of success. Many students keep on procrastinating during their preparation time and waste it. Having lost the precious time which should have been spent studying, they have most parts of the syllabus left to cover until the last moment. When it is not possible to cover the syllabus in the last few days before the exam, they end up going to the exam unprepared and performing poorly. To avoid procrastination, you should keep your goal under focus and think of those whenever you feel lazy. Also, you should have a well-prepared study schedule and prepare yourself mentally that no matter what, you must finish your target for the day. Following all these steps dedicatedly will help you avoid procrastination and help you perform outstandingly on the exams.
You can only have solid preparation for exams when you learn the art of self-studying and put it into practice. No matter how many lecture classes you attend, if you do not study your notes at home, you won’t be able to get good marks in the exam. We hope that this discussion helped you with ideas to improve your self-study techniques. All the best!