Here is July’s ezine – just in time for those of you just getting into the semester!
STUDY BETTER – LIFE SKILLS FOR US ALL!
by Gay Landeta
Did you know that there are 5 fundamental elements that affect each individual
when they study…. and those elements expand out into about 21 different
variables. Not each of those 21 is important for each person – but somewhere
between 6 – 14 significantly affect study results.
So that means that by determining those that are significant to you and making
appropriate changes your ability to study will improve and so will your
The five elements that affect ease in learning are: environmental, emotional,
sociological (how we interact with others), physical and psychological.
Earlier in the month I published a blog that explored the environmental
elements and some of the physical and psychological aspects. By now you should
have an idea about several areas that are significant for you, such as how
much light you need, how noisy you like it, how warm or cool suits you,
whether you prefer a desk or something more informal. Even a hard or soft
chair can make a significant difference.
You should also have an idea about your learning style, whether your challenge
is putting the details into the big picture or vice versa. And, once you try
different tactics, what your primary learning tool is; your eyes, ears, hands
or your whole body.
Next area to look to is the emotional element – do you like to study for long
periods of time or do you have a short attention span? If long choose one
subject to focus on at a time, perhaps a whole study session.
If short then change study focus often. Generally we can focus for about 20
minutes at a time, often kids only manage 5 or 10 minutes. Use a timer or
download an application on the computer.
Some people learn better when they do several things at once. I always
remember my dad filling in his tax return while watching sport, reading a book
and painting a picture – he needed to do all those things to stay focused and
finish his tax. Me, I felt slightly crazy watching all that happening.
Other important aspects include how you like to get your information – do you
prefer an authority like a teacher telling you or to find the answers by
working with a partner? Perhaps you prefer tossing ideas around in a group?
Modify your study by finding a study partner or joining – or creating – a
study group or express interest in what exactly your
child learnt today, get them to show you.
The final few factors include whether you like to eat or drink while studying
and whether your preference and energy for learning is for morning, afternoon
Once you know the best time for you just schedule it in. And, while not
important for many, eating for some helps focus. For example I found celery or
other crunchy stuff made a difference to how well I integrated what I was
What results can you achieve through spending time on these questions? One of
my clients recently discovered that two very bright desk lamps, a big empty
desk top, a hard chair, an open door to the rest of the house and short study
bursts has helped her study enormously.
Another discovered that all he had to do was listen to lectures to remember,
fortunate as reading the texts took more time than he had.
Hopefully this has given you a few clues on getting more out of your study.
Brain Gym is another great support…. call me if you need any help making your
study more effective or more fun!
Wishing you great studying.
Use this check list to clarify some of your personal preferences in study:
light : bright / dim
design : formal (desk) / informal (floor, bed, other table)
chair : hard / soft
temperature : warm / cool
noise : quiet / music / ambient noise eg household chatter
time : long periods / short bursts
subjects : one focus / variety
study companions : teacher or tutor / partners / groups / on own
intake : eat / drink / nothing (except water of course)
time of day : morning / afternoon / evening
preferred learning style : visual / auditory / tactile / kinesthetic
learner preference : global / analytical
This Month’s Resolve : Make learning fun! Stressed learners can’t remember.