Friday, August 6, 2010

Why Facebook Time and Study Time Don’t Mix

If you have recently found that your grades are slacking and you are not sure why, perhaps it is time to take a look and see how much time you are spending using the internet and not doing what you are supposed to be doing - which is studying.

Nobody wants to study (if studying was enjoyable it would be called “fun” and not “work”), but the simple fact of the matter is that if you want to get ahead in life then you need to devote time to your school work. As using social networking is a strictly extracurricular activity, it is not that hard to understand why Facebook time and study time do not mix.

What might start as a quick peek at Facebook, turns into an hour long session of checking out what everyone is up to or writing on your friends’ walls. Checking out your Facebook while taking a five minute study break is not a very good idea either, because what you think is going to be an innocent break, taken out of your study session, can quickly turn into a twenty minute or even half hour long gap, breaking your concentration and distracting you from work, as well as taking up valuable time. The next thing you know, you did not get any studying done and it is time to go to bed, in order to be fresh for the next day.

If you absolutely feel the need to check your Facebook while you are studying, it is a good idea to set a timer of some sort. Give yourself less than five minutes to check things out and then when the buzzer goes off it is time to get back to work. Do not attempt to keep track of time by gazing at the clock because in most cases you won't even remember to glance at the time until it is too late.

Everyone needs a break from long periods of study time. HOWEVER, there are efficient and smart ways to rest your head, without wasting precious time. If you must take a break, you can make a quick snack- which will help you recharge and unwind for a little while. You can also walk or take a jog around the neighborhood in order to clear your head and refresh before you continue with your studies. These methods help you relax but also allow you to keep track of your time. It might also be a good idea to deactivate your facebook while you are studying to prevent any spur of the moment distractions that might cause you to lose focus. In the moment, it may seem like you are “out of touch” with the world and all your friends but ask yourself-are they REALLY going to disappear?

Setting up a time schedule might seem tedious but it is also a great way to manage your time and set up a mental system of what you need to be doing. Even if you need to study, you can always schedule in breaks and periods of time where you can relax and take your mind off things (but not for too long!)

If studying for that upcoming final/exam seems daunting, it is a great idea to study in small increments over a longer period of time. It is known that repetition can help one retain important information- which is a great thing to know when an important exam is coming up. Cramming may seem like the best way to absorb all the needed information, but in reality students tend to forget all the information after the test is over- which is counterproductive when many courses in high school and beyond are compounding (meaning that the lessons learned in unit one are essential to understanding unit two..etc) This is why studying in increments is the most logical solution for students who do not want to waste their energy and stress on the cram session the night before the exam.

Have you ever heard yourself say “I wished I had studied more for that test last night?” If so, make sure that you separate study time from play time and realize that you can always chat with your friends or watch television after you finished studying for your exam. At the end of the day, you’ll feel better and your grades will look better too.

Whatever methods you might use to study, make sure that you are doing something that best suits you and the way you think. Everyone can be an efficient test taker and student if unnecessary distractions are limited or removed entirely.

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