Study Hacks Backed By Science
- Practice Visual Note-Taking
Let’s be honest- wordy presentations, reviewers and notes are boring and unstimulating. Words, especially when in long paragraphs, are more complex to remember and more intimidating to retain. But there are ways to transform them from dull to stimulating which improves recall and recognition. You can make life easier by simply taking visual notes or revising long notes into visual ones.
Almost everything seems way more interesting when it’s visually stimulated! According to Ink Factory’s study on Visual Note-Taking, combining visuals with information started to become widely used these are more engaging. The popularization of PowerPoint presentations already speaks for the fact that visuals are more captivating and appealing to audiences. According to researchers,“color visuals increase a person’s willingness to read by 80 percent(Green, 1989)while 65 percent of people simply learn better visually (Yapton, 1998).” Moreover, “the use of visual stimuli with the act of writing seems to elicit the best recall” (Udomon, et al., 2013)” as seen with the graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
You only need a black pen to start. Make your notes prone to better recall by creating maps, charts and even drawings that can provide visual cues and clues. You can even buy stationeries, colored pens and highlighters which you can all keep in place, along with notepads and books, with our desk organizer set.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Attending meetings, writing papers and presentations every week with limited time is already a norm to most of us boss ladies. It can be quite a handful at times, and concepts cloud your mind into confusion and even headaches. But taking regular breaks have helped my mind recuperate and realign ideas even just for short chunks during the day.
For instance, Francesco Cirillo is the well-known creator of the Pomodoro method or a time-management technique designed to improve efficiency by usinga tomato-shaped timer, which he used as a university student. He breaks down work into 25-minute interval with short breaks in between coined “pomodoro.” I usually stand up and walk a bit, and eat snacks before I go back to my study nook. It simply restarts my mind and prevents my brain to get overwhelmed.
3.Exercise, Exercise and Exercise
There is a reason why 7-minute exercises have been a thing nowadays! Busy people do not have any excuse to skip a quick sweat session. Keeping your heart pumping can help your body as well as your mind to stay fit and sharp! Hence, I have always make it a point to keep my body moving to improve my mood, focus and over-all well-being.
According to Harvard Health, “Many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) have greater volume in people who exercise versus people who don’t. “Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,” says Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.”
In general, exercise is a must to keep oneself healthy physically, emotionally and mentally. You rarely lose when you exercise because of its numerous positive effects. Insert short workout routines daily. A 60-second plank, and some squats can already improve your mood anytime of the day and anywhere!
4. Chunk it Up
Bullet points and lists have been a key study hack since I was in high school. It is already widely used by thousands, or even millions of students around the globe. Even employees still do it to organize ideas and concepts that are fairly new to them!
When you shorten long topics and summarize complex ones, it becomes way easier to understand, memorize and recall. By partitioning topics, words and ideas, you’ll be able to remember it for a longer period of time. Chunking techniques include acronyms, summaries, bullet points, and listing. You can keep your notes exciting with our stationery sets!
5.Try Reviewing in the Morning
Were you even a student if you have not pulled an all-nighter? It is quite ironic that staying up all night to study and finish school work is the ultimate norm to most students because lack of sleep only makes you (1) inattentive, (2) moody and (3) confused. According to Inc. “The lowest learning valley occurs between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. while Learning is most effective when the brain is in acquisition mode, generally between 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.”
Studies show that the brain is most active during daytime because it is refreshed and regenerated.According to the American Psychological Association, “Previous research demonstrated that people perform better on a visual texture-distinguishing task after a night of sleep than they do immediately after learning it.” I used to wake up around 5:00 am to either study for a quiz or finish a paper for school. It worked for me because I felt (1) refreshed, (2) undistracted and (3) motivated.
6. Take Power Naps
Who says naps are a waste of time? Taking even a 10-15 minute nap can make all the difference. I strongly try to let myself feel sleepy and avoid drinking coffee to stay awake. I’ve been taking power naps since I was in college and it has always transitioned me from a state of drowsiness to a state of activeness.
According to the American Psychological Association, “Even in well-rested people, naps can improve performance in areas such as reaction time, logical reasoning and symbol recognition, as Cote described in a 2009 review (Journal of Sleep Research, 2009)…"Even a brief bit of sleep helps reinforce learned material."
These study hacks have helped me in numerous aspects of my life, whether it be school or work. These generally motivate a good lifestyle, a better mindset and a disciplined routine. Make life easier and keep these points in mind!
- Grace Greene