At school, a lot of you have probably heard of different types of learners.
- There are visual learners, who prefer to look at information in pictures and graphs
- Aural learners, who learn best when they can process the information through hearing it
- Kinaesthetic learners, who absorb information best with hands-on activities
- And, reading and writing learners, which, the name speaks for itself.
However, before you identify what your learning STYLE is, I want to first give some tips on working habits.
Although there is a wide range of different habits, I would say that there are two main groups.
First, there is something I like to call the ‘flow’ group. These types of students are reasonably loose with their studying and prefer to go with the flow. Instead of creating a timetable or follow a set structure to their learning, they have short spurts of work, which blends and becomes merged with break and relaxation times. They often struggle to finish work in a concentrated amount of time because of distractions, but they have a healthy relaxed approach to learning.
On the other hand, the ‘order’ group, are students who always have a fixed timetable, and a disciplined approach when it comes to study time. They can concentrate remarkably well and normally complete homework within a set time. These are those people whose desks are on the more organised side of things. However, their inflexible attitude to work means that they are unable to relax when it comes to taking a break, and often feel guilty when doing so.
Now, I understand that no one is completely one type, but I would like you to pick the one that you identify with most because… *drumroll*
Here are some specific tips to each type!
- Try downloading a productivity app.
Personally, the most helpful time management app for me was an app called Forest, which you can check out here. This app boosts productivity and has a nice spin on trees.
- Other great apps include:
- Todoist – This organises goals on a to-do list
- Loop Habit Tracker (Android) – Helps maintain good habits
- Habit Track-er (iOS) – Motivates goal achievement
- Instead of trying to force yourself to stay focused for long periods of time, set aside a small block of time (for example, 20 minutes) and pick a small part of your homework that you must finish in that time. This way, you will have no time to be distracted!
Separate your break times from study times. If you are having a break between study sessions, try to watch/read/play something where you will feel satisfied instead of wanting more. That way, you’ll find you don’t procrastinate as much when you are trying to concentrate.
Habitica is a habit-managing app (click here for the official website) which inspires you to manage and achieve your goals through a game. This is a great option for ‘Order’ inclined students as it boosts productivity in a way that is enjoyable. This can help to remove the feeling of guilt in periods of relaxation time.
- Set out a fixed amount of goals in a day.
Instead of trying to complete every single thing you have to achieve, feel satisfied with completing what you have planned. It is impossible to complete everything in a day (believe me I’ve tried), and taking breaks are just as important as homework.
Not everything can be planned out, so try not to stress if something unexpected pops up. Although you might not have finished everything you wanted, learning and studying is a process, and can be stretched over more than one day. At least you know that by taking a break and moving a task to a later time, you will feel more refreshed to complete the task when it comes around.
(By Chelsea, Year 9, one of our Young Sparks Volunteers)