To study consistently requires deliberate practice. There is just no way around that. There are some things you can do to cement the learning in more effectively.
The six weeks leading up the start of a new semester allowed me to spend December and January before second year started reading Tony Buzan’s excellent learning series on Mind Mapping, Speed Reading and Master your Memory.
There was an excellent take home point from Buzan regarding cementing your learning so that it sticks.
Here’s what I applied quite consistently over the next two years based on his work.
Step one: I’d open the notes or chapter of a book I was going to cover
Step two: I’d spend the first five minutes reviewing what I was going to cover in that study session.
Step three: I’d go into deep work mode for approx. 35-40 minutes reviewing at a slower pace the material I was seeking to learn
Step four: I’d spend the last five minutes re-reviewing what I’d just covered in the previous 35-40 minutes.
Step five: I’d take a break for about five minutes
The next day I’d go back to those notes reviewed and spend a lesser amount of time (about 5-15 minutes) re-reviewing again what I’d covered the day before. Buzan says this is part of a way of locking it into your long - term memory.
The return on investment was not just greater learning but an added bonus...
Just before graduation a letter came in the post.
It was from the Golden Key Society. Admittedly I did not join it as I was not with the funds for the membership + I was not doing it for a symbolic 'key'...but rather 'keys learnings.'
In a nutshell…
Review for 5 + Revise for 35 + Re-review for 5 + Revive for 5 + Repeat!
Systematizing learning in this way (or others) can take the pressure off.
p.s. what recipe for learning would you like to try today + what time are you going to start?