Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when individuals overcome compulsive study habits that have negative consequences. When we do things compulsively, we may not be doing them for the best reasons. It is time to look at our habits and determine if we should overcome some of them.
As part of a personal effort to improve my own study skills, I am reading a book titled The World Book of Study Power, volume 1, and I am attempting to share a little of what I learn with my readers. Teaching others what I have learned helps to solidify the information in my own brain and is, therefore, a valuable learning tool. Most of the information and ideas that follow comes from this book.
The topic of compulsive study habits is particularly meaningful to me because I check, double-check, and triple-check my assignment list each week in order to be SURE that I turned in all of my assignments. I am terrified that I will forget to submit an assignment or lose a few points on an assignment. So this chapter is a good one for me to study!
If we are compulsive in our study habits, we may be wasting time that could be better spent on other tasks. What are you compulsive about? Do you recopy your notes unnecessarily, or do you try to memorize every word of the chapter? If so, you might be wise to change some habits. If you are a parent and your child is obsessive about doing extra work, you might be able to give them some stress relieve.
Remember this: Success in studying depends partly on doing the job right, but even more on doing the right job. If you’re spending hours every night doing work that doesn’t need to be done, then your effort will be completely wasted.
You can do lots of things to strike a balance between too much work and too little. It’s important to make sure you do the right job and do it right….
The book continues by suggesting some ways to be more effective and efficient without working so hard. In hopes that I and my readers will learn from them, I am including the five suggested actions we can take to overcome compulsive study habits.
1. Think about your study goals. What are you studying for? [Are you reading to find ideas for a class discussion or essay? Are you studying for a test? If so, what sort of test is it?] If you’re clear about why you’re studying, you can focus your energy on reaching that goal.
2. Decide your priorities. Put each task – reading, writing, preparing a report – into a specific order and schedule.
3. Think about the kinds of questions you usually see on tests in the class for which you are studying. If you were making the test for this material, what would you include?
4. If you have been given questions to use in completing an assignment, be sure you understand their meaning and scope before you begin studying.
5. Try to imagine where you will have to recall what you’ve learned. [Small group, whole class, debate, quiz?] Adapt your studying to the way you’ll be using what you learn.
Each of us has many tasks to perform each day. When we have compulsive study habits, we waste time doing things that we do not really need to do. We can decrease the amount of stress in our lives and have time left over to do something with family or friends if we cut out unnecessary tasks. We can strengthen our families, communities, and nation by overcoming compulsive study habits.