Making Time to Study – And Making the Most of Your Study Time

making time to study, the learning group

Making Time to Study – And Making the Most of Your Study Time

William Penn said: “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst”. For no-one is this truer than for a college student. If you are one of those students struggling to make time to study and to use your study time effectively, don’t give up yet. Just read on a bit…

Time-management is one of the most useful skills you can ever learn, yet this skill itself takes time and discipline to develop. The purpose of this post is thus to help you take those first steps towards managing your time better and towards learning how to build self-discipline.

Start by making a list of your goals

Ask yourself:

  • Why am I studying?
  • Where do I want to be in 5 years’ time?
  • What do I want to achieve with my life?

Now, think about how you spend your time at the moment, and whether this matches up with your goals.

If not, then you need to do something about it if you really plan on doing something with your life. This is the first (and most important) step you can take towards learning to manage your time better.

Remember:  History has shown us that just about anybody can become just about anything, if they put their minds to it. So don’t let something small like time mismanagement limit you.

Make some short-term deadlines for yourself

Having a goal for where you want to be in 5 years’ time is important for putting things in perspective. But it is going to be short-term goals that help you get there.

Deadlines are extremely powerful tools of motivation. Decide by when you want to finish your course, and by when you need to finish each of your modules if you are going to finish your course in time.

Remember: Don’t forget to reward yourself properly for reaching deadlines on time! This will make it much easier to stay disciplined and motivated.

Make a schedule

Use your deadlines to create a daily study schedule for yourself. This is especially important if you aren’t someone who usually makes schedules – it will give you some structure and make self-discipline come a little easier.

Remember: Don’t overextend yourself. Too strenuous a schedule will only make you burn out and give up early on.

Be prepared – be focused

Find a tidy place to study. Be relaxed and well rested. Have everything laid out for yourself before you start studying. Remove distractions: log out of Facebook, turn off your cellphone, and resist the urge to go onto Youtube, 9Gag, Reddit or Tumblr.

This will all help you concentrate on your work, stick to your study schedule, and help you make the most of the time spent studying.

Remember: It’s no use sticking to a schedule if you aren’t using the time effectively.

Pick a pace that suits you

Work with your schedule and deadlines to pick a pace that suits you best. For example: if you need to study 40 min a day, but can only sit still for 20 min at a time, then do 20min in the morning and 20 min in the evening. Work out a pace that you can maintain, while sticking to your deadlines.

Remember: Picking a good pace will keep you relaxed and rested, and will help you keep to your schedule.

And take frequent breaks.

Taking breaks is not only a great reward for yourself, but it is also crucial to managing your time effectively. Taking breaks will help you maintain a consistent work pace.

Remember: Do something that makes the break worthwhile and refreshing. If you are studying on your computer, stand up and go outside a while or get out of the house a bit.

When you hate it – find ways to make it enjoyable

If one of your tasks is unpleasant, or you are stuck on a boring part of the work, find ways to get through it. What about alternating it with work you actually enjoy doing? Or give yourself incentives: “I’ll study this chapter, and then I’ll treat myself to coffee and cake somewhere”.

Remember: Only reward yourself when you actually get through the work.

Postpone unnecessary activities until the work is done

Organise your work so that you do what needs to be done first. And don’t procrastinate by doing unnecessary activities like cleaning the garage or washing the windows when it isn’t needed.

Remember: Studying takes time and money, so aim to finish your course as quickly as possible.

Be wary of procrastination

Procrastination – in any of its forms – is a student’s worst enemy. It’s a psychological barrier that can even make you feel physically unable to sit down behind your books.

Find ways of dealing with it. Go take a walk. Take a shower. Clean up your study area or just sit down and get to work!

Remember: If you can learn to beat procrastination, it will be something you’ll benefit from for the rest of your life and career. So try your best to figure out what works for you.

Talk to your tutor

If you are studying with The Learning Group, you can call your tutor and ask for help or advice. There is nothing that motivates quite like having someone in your corner or on your side. Your tutor will help keep you motivated, help you figure out your study goals, and give you time management advice.

Remember: Your tutor’s job is to take care of ALL your study related concerns.

If you are a Learning Group student, you might have realised that distance learning means you need to manage your time better and become more self-disciplined.

But you know what? Distance learning also gives you the chance to teach yourself time-management skills that you won’t learn in any classroom. So in the end, struggling with your studies today and learning some valuable time-management skills through it all will mean you get double your money’s worth for your course in the end. This is because time-management is a skill that you will benefit from for the rest of your life.

master your time, quote, the learning group

The Most Inspiring Speech You Will Hear Today: “Make Good Art”

Neil Gaiman - The Learning Group

The Most Inspiring Speech You Will Hear Today: “Make Good Art”

This one is especially for all the creative students, whether you are already studying with The Learning Group or not. Whether you want to become a writer, a photographer, or an interior decorator, this speech will do more than inspire you – it will get you fired up to go out there and do what you love and to love what you are doing.

So without further ado: The speech

In 2012, Neil Gaiman (you can read more about who he is below) gave a Commencement Speech to the graduating class of the University of Arts in Philadelphia, USA.

So give it a listen, and go out and make good art:

Neil Gaiman Speech - The Learning Group

You can scroll down for the highlights of the speech.

Who is Neil Gaiman?

Though many people don’t know who he is, Neil Gaiman is probably one of the most influential figures in contemporary popular culture. Along with Alan Moore, he revolutionised the medium of comic-books with his series called The Sandam (first published in 1989). All those Batman and Ironman movies you love to watch – they have all been influenced by this man in one way or another.

Other than that, Gaiman is an award-winning novelist and writer. He has written a book with Terry Pratchett, he wrote the fantasy movie Stardust (staring Claire Danes), and he wrote the hugely successful children’s book Coraline (that was also adapted into a movie).

Just go Google ‘Neil Gaiman’ for a list of great books and comics to read!

Highlights of the speech

For those of you who don’t want to watch the whole video, here are some of the quotable highlights:

“When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing… People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can.” 

“If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.”

“I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.”

“And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art.”

“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.”

“Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art.”

Do the stuff that only you can do. The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

“That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.”

“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”

In conclusion

Remember that you can make a living from your passion – Neil Gaiman is living proof thereof. So when enrolling for your course, or while studying, always remember that only you get to determine what’s possible and what is not.

 

Welcome to The Learning Group Blog!

Watch This Space, The Learning Group

Welcome to The Learning Group Blog!

We are launching a brand new blog with the aim of making studying a more fun, exciting, and inspiring experience for you.

Moreover, we want to give you the motivation and resources to go out into the world and use what you are learning to succeed in life.

A little bit more about what you can expect from The Learning Group Blog

This blog is meant for our current students, for those interested in studying with us, and for anybody else who wants to develop themselves and get ahead in this world.

We are going to focus on:

  • Giving you tips and tools to help you use your skills for entrepreneurial purposes.
  • Inspiring, fun, and interesting articles.
  • Career advice.
  • Study tips, methods, techniques and short cuts.
  • Interviews with creative professionals, entrepreneurs, and Learning Group Course Experts.
  • Learning Group promotions and special offers.

We are even going to give you the chance to write a guest post if you have an interesting story to tell or want to start building a writing portfolio.

So in the words of Nicholas Sparks, this is what you can expect from our posts:

They inspire you, The Learning Group

But this is not all!

The Learning Group Blog is just the first of many new exiting things happening at The Learning Group. We have big plans for the rest of the year, including offering exciting new courses and unique new benefits.

So as they say: Watch this space!