TIME MANAGEMENT AND STUDY SKILLS

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1 TIME MANAGEMENT AND STUDY SKILLS

2 Seven Suggestions for Effectively Managing Your Time 1. Be Organized Use time saving tools: The Argyll agenda, to do lists, e- mail, answering machines, file folders, etc. Have an organized workplace (don t waste time constantly looking for your work). Use your Argyll agenda for everything, including study time. Use to do lists for both long-term and for each day/week. 2. Plan Ahead (Schedule it and it will happen!) Determine how long your tasks will take. (Do this before agreeing to take on a task!) Consider whether any activities can be combined. Determine if big tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks that may be easier to schedule (such as studying for exams and visiting the library as part of an assignment to write a term paper). 3. Prioritize Your Tasks Use an A-B-C rating system for items on your to do lists with A items being highest priority. Set goals for both the short-term and long-term as to what you want to accomplish. Look at all of your to do s to gauge the time requirement and whether additional resources will be needed to accomplish them (if yes, schedule time to obtain those resources). Don t postpone the small tasks (a sense of accomplishment is good and overlooked small tasks can become larger tasks). 4. Avoid Overload Include time for rest, relaxation, sleep eating, exercise, and socializing in your schedule. Take short breaks during study and work periods. Don t put everything off until the last minute (for example, don t cram for exams). Learn to say no when appropriate and to negotiate better deadlines when appropriate. 5. Practice Effective Study Techniques Have an appropriate study environment.

3 Consolidation Your brain must have time for new information to soak in. When you make a list or review your notes right after class, you are using the principle of consolidation. Distributed Practice A series of shorter study sessions distributed over several days is preferable to fewer but longer study sessions. The brain never forgets anything. The key to learning is to be able to successfully recall the information. Brain research suggests that information, or thoughts, create paths in the memory. By reviewing, these paths are deepened, which allows for easier and quicker recall. Where Can I Find More Information? STUDY SKILLS LEARNING STYLES MEMORY 1.

4 Split large tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks. Read for comprehension, rather than just to get to the end of the chapter. Be prepared to ask questions as they come up during study, rather than waiting until just before an exam. Do the most difficult work first. Don t wait until the last minute to complete your projects. Read the syllabus as soon as you get it and note all due dates (and milestone times) on your calendar. Be a model student! (Be attentive and participative in class; be punctual, prepared, and eager to learn.) 6. Be Able to be Flexible The unexpected happens (sickness, car troubles, etc.); you need to be able to fit it into your schedule. Know how to rearrange your schedule when necessary (so it doesn t manage you you manage it). Know who to ask for help when needed. 7. Have a Vision (why are you doing all of this?) Don t forget the big picture (Why are you doing the task is it important to your long-term personal goals?). Have and follow a personal mission statement (personal and career). Are your activities ultimately helping you achieve your goals? Know what is important to you (what do you value most?). Have a positive attitude! What Type of Learner Are You? Time management, study skills, note taking skills and memory are all related. The tools you use may be very different from the ones your friends and family use. The important thing is to find out what works for you. The following is a test to help you gain an understanding of what works for you. Take the test on-line. You can come to Student Services or the Career Center if you do not have access at home to the internet.

5 Types of Learning Styles VISUAL If you use the visual style, you prefer using images, pictures, colors, and maps to organize information and communicate with others. You can easily visualize objects, plans and outcomes in your mind s eye. You also have a good spatial sense, which gives you a good sense of direction. You can easily find your way around using maps and you rarely get lost. When you walk out of an elevator, you instinctively know which way to turn. If you are a visual learner, use images, pictures, color and other visual media to help you learn. Incorporate much imagery into your visualizations. Use color, layout, and spatial organization in your associations, and use many visual words in your assertions. Examples include see, picture, perspective, visual, and map. Use mind maps. Use color and pictures in place of text, wherever possible. If you don t use the computer, make sure you have at least four different color pens. Replace words with pictures, and use color to highlight major and minor links. AUDITORY Auditory learners learn best by hearing information. They can usually remember information more accurately when it has been explained to them orally. You like to talk, listen to lectures and music, discuss topics and have instructions explained to you. Position yourself in the classroom or lecture hall so that you can hear lectures and review them frequently. Read aloud or re-auditorize written material (restate in your own words). Use audio tapes to reinforce textbook material and explain concepts. Form study groups to discuss written material or prepare for upcoming quizzes, mid-terms, or finals. Choose interviews, oral report and tests if given the choice as a class assignment. KINESTHETIC If the physical style is more like you, it s likely that you use your body and sense of touch to learn about the world around you. It s likely you like sports and exercise, and other physical activities such as gardening or woodworking. You like to think out issues, ideas and problems while

6 Initial training First review at 2 days Second review at 7 days Third review at 28 days 50 minutes 15 minutes 10 minutes 5 minutes This approximately minutes of practice over several days is required to successfully memorize and retain information. For this reason, a study session should be broken down into small segments of time. Memory Principles Below is a list of memory or learning principles with a brief definition of each. Interest In order to remember something thoroughly, you must be interested in it. You must have a reason to learn it. Intent to Remember has much to do with whether you remember something or not. A key factor to remembering is having a positive attitude that you will remember. Basic Background Your understanding of new materials depends to a great degree on how much you already know about the subject. The more you increase your basic knowledge, the easier it is to build new knowledge on this background. Selectivity You must determine what is most important and select those parts to study and learn. Meaningful Organization You can learn and remember better if you can group ideas into some sort of meaningful categories or groups. Recitation Saying ideas aloud in your own words is probably the most powerful tool you have to transfer information from shortterm to long-term memory. Mental Visualization Another powerful memory principle is making a mental picture of what needs to be remembered. By visualizing, you use an entirely different part of the brain than you did by reading or listening. Association Memory is increased when facts to be learned are associated with something familiar to you.

7 Cramming Works Only Under 2 Conditions: 1. You must have INTENSE powers of concentration 2. You cannot have too much on your mind. If both of these conditions are not met at the same time, cramming does not make any difference to grades. It may make you feel a little bit better because you did put in some effort, but your grades won t reflect it. Study With Memory in Mind IT IS A BRAIN GAME Within two days of learning the lesson material, students will remember less than 70% of what they have learned. At the end of thirty days, students will remember approximately 40% of the lesson material. To maintain at least a 70% level, a review should be conducted within two days. Successive reviews will cause long-lasting retention of lesson material. THE CURVE OF FORGETTING This curve shows how important regular review is. It also shows that you don t have to spend hours on your subjects if you review regularly. The amount of time required for reviews reduces each time you review. Example:

8 you exercise. You would rather go for a run or walk if something is bothering you, rather than sitting at home. Use touch, action, movement and hands-on work in your learning activities. Use physical objects as much as possible. Physically touch objects as you learn about what they do. Flashcards can help you memorize information because you can touch and move them around. Keep in mind as well that writing and drawing diagrams are physical activities, so don t neglect these techniques. Perhaps use big sheets of paper and large color markers for your diagrams. You then get more action from the drawing. Use role-playing, either singularly or with someone else, to practice skills and behaviors. Find ways to act out or simulate what you are learning. Knowing what kind of learner you are can make a big difference in your study habits, how you take notes and how well you do in school. Try some of the ideas from above and from the web site. For more ideas see your school counselor. How Do I Get Started on Improving My Study Habits? 1. Time Management Get Organized! Binders a good place to start. They are what they look like. Clean, neat, your math is actually in the area that is labeled math and not at the bottom of your locker. If you can t find the information - you can t use it to study, not to mention you could lose important material. Location not just important for real-estate. Are you too comfortable? Are you watching The O.C.? Are you blasting your new 50 Cent download? Then, you are not studying. Find a place that is right for you with limited distractions. Timing is everything. Can you study the Canadian Government for 8 hours straight? Well, maybe Mr. Peterson can, but for the rest of us we should study in 15 to 30 minute intervals. Then get up, go stretch, pet the dog, eat, drink, be merry for 5 minutes. Don t turn on the TV 5 minutes will turn into 50. When you start to slow down, switch subjects.

9 Can t study after a big turkey dinner? Do you fall to sleep when reading your textbooks? Maybe you are studying at the wrong time of day. Remember to get enough sleep! You need 10 hours a night = in bed by 9 if you get up at 7. A little Black Book Not only should it be used to keep your important phone number is in but you should also keep a calendar. Ask any successful person and they will tell you they schedule everything. If Simpson and Stanley can keep track of all those sport scores and games while working full time then you can keep track of your homework and plan for study time. Who knows, by staying organized you may attract a few more phone numbers for your book. 2. Be Prepared Know exactly what the teacher is looking for in an assignment or on a test. This means you need to communicate with your teacher and ask questions. If you have missed a class, be sure to get anything you missed from your teacher or a classmate. Daily review and homework is a must. Stay on top of what is being covered in class and your assignments. 3. Set Goals Know what you want. If your goal is to pass, then you may. But that won t get you a 75% on a test or assignment. Don t settle for less than you can do. Do this for each class and each assignment. Write them in your agenda. 4. Be Self Aware Take time to try different learning style surveys. Find out what kind of learner you are and use the suggestions offered. You know when you are most productive so use your time wisely. If you are a morning person, you should not be trying to study at night. Don t be afraid to try different things until you find what works for you. Because your teacher has linear notes on the board, does not mean you have to write them the same way. Step outside the box of what you have always done. A simple thing like adding color to your notes can make a big impact.

10 Basic Principles About Review 1. ORIGINAL LEARNING must take place. You have to be exposed to the materials before it can be reviewed. 2. EARLY REVIEW is most efficient, most productive. Before you attempt to learn new material in class or through reading: Glance over previous chapters or notes. Run through your mind what you know already. Since memorization of new material is most effective when it is associated with material already known, this process brings all available mental hooks to the surface. Rework your notes adding material that comes to mind. (Don t recopy; this is wasteful.) Order and organize what was learned. (Star, use arrows, additional comments) Integrate new material with what you already know. Forgetting is most rapid right after learning. Review helps combat this. Re-learning is easier if it is done quickly. Don t wait until it s all gone. 3. SPACE INITIAL EARLY REVIEWS to support original learning. Several brief periods spread of 5 to 10 days is usually enough to ensure good recall for intermediate review. 4. FINAL REVIEW IS A REVIEW, not cramming of unlearned material. No new learning takes place except to draw together the final main currents of thought. Be brief. Outline and organize from memory. Don t bother coping. Recite (in writing or out loud to a friend or self). Review entire term s work in 2-4 hours. (Set a limit and stick to it.) 5. USE SPACED REVIEW rather than long periods of time. Sixty minutes used in three groups of 20 minutes each is more effective than 60 minutes used all at the same time. Break up learning period for any one subject. Avoid fatigue. Review and strengthen previous learning. Increased motivation, better concentration.

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