How To Create an Effective Self-Study Routine

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I believe learning should be a life-long goal for every one of us. Life is in a constant process of change. We, as human beings, change every day. To keep up to date and reach our highest potential continuous learning is a must. But how do we actually may learning a part of our life and stick to it? 

Well in today’s post, we will be exploring 5 ways to create an effective study routine that you can stick to.

5 Tips To Creative An Effective Study Routine

Know your why and what you want to achieve.

You must be tired of hearing or reading about people saying this. But there is a reason that so many persons mention this. Knowing your why is crucial to helping you stick to any habit or routine. It will also keep you motivated to push through challenges. 

When you understand what you what to accomplish, you can decide what your next steps are. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too much information. If you want to learn basic Spanish for travelling, then you don’t have to learn the entire language. Simply, focus on that aspect.

Find the best method for learning

A lot of the time, when we decide to learn something new we just dive right in. This can lead to overwhelm and confusion. You first have to consider the best avenue to learn your particular topic of interest. So if your goal is to learn Spanish for travelling, then do a little research on the best way to do that. Read about other people’s study guide and what worked for them. The knowledge you gathered from others will let you know what topics you should cover and even resources to use. It is also a good idea to understand your learning style. With these two pieces of information, you begin to piece together a study guide of your own.

However, be careful not to become caught up in looking for the best method or resources. It’s okay to pick one that looks right and start. If along the way you realise that it is not teaching you what YOU want to learn, then stop and find new resources.

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Schedule the time

You had to know that this point was coming. If you want to get anything done, put it on your calendar. Saying that I’m going to learn basic Spanish is one thing but blocking off time in your calendar to do it is another. You have to honestly look at your life and see where you can fit in this new habit. 

According to the 5-Hour rule coined by Michael Simmons and first implemented by Benjamin Franklin, ” for deliberate and constant learning you should spend one hour a day or five hours a week learning, reflecting and experimenting.”

Other studies show that microlearning, learning for 5-15minutes a day is also effective. Others say that practising for 30 minutes a day is ideal for busy people. Universities say that for every hour spent learning, you should spend 2-3 hours studying. This gives you a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio.

As you can see, there is a lot of varying information, so you have to decide what best works for you and your lifestyle. If it was me, my study guide would involve bits of each:

  • For every 15 minutes spent learning something new, spend 45mins reflecting and experimenting or applying the information. That will give you an hour every day for 5 days = 5 hours. You still end up with approximately the same 1:3 learn-study ratio.

The key is to be consistent with your learning and studying.

Determine where you will study

In addition to knowing when you will be studying, it is important to set up your environment for learning. Your environment plays a crucial role in determining the success of your new habit. Designate a place for your studies. Of course, this will depend on the times you have available to study.

For instance, if you plan to learn while commuting ensures that you have your tools at hand. If it is audio, make sure your headset is packed and charged if it needs charging beforehand. Decide on what app you will be taking notes on. If you are going to the library, make sure you have your route planned out and all your learning material is at hand. If you are setting up at home, eliminate distractions and notify others of your learning time.

Knowing the when and where is necessary for starting and building new habits.

Establish accountability systems

After going through the work of understanding you’re why, finding resources and making time in your schedule, you quit when it gets tough or you feel unmotivated. What a waste of effort that would be. Motivation is a fickle feeling that seems to come and go at random times. This is why accountability is your best friend. 

Find a study body, post about your learning goals on social media, find a coach or teacher or join a study group. Just find some kind of accountability system that will work for you.

Bonus point: Note-taking

Learning how to take proper notes should properly be the first thing to learn. Or at the very least creating or fine-tuning your note-taking system should be a priority. 

Things to consider:

  • What to take notes on, paper or digital
  • How will I store my notes, filing cabinet, note app like Evernote
  • How will I take notes? Read this article for more information.

Notes are great because it’s a record of your progress and you can use them when studying.

Learn more about effective note taking in this video.

That’s it for this post.

Thank you for reading.


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