Studying and research are similar. You have to be determined to make the time to learn
This week has been a heavy week of studying. I have decided to take my occupational first aid level 2. This involves 2 books and being able to cross reference.
If you have the chance to read a course completely before the class you are lucky. If not, you must pace yourself. Each thing you learn will take different amounts of time.
Read through the material, take notes as you need in a notebook. In the notes put the date then write down key points and words that are repeated many times. One of the things I was struggling to remember is AVPU. The letters will not be important to you, for my class it is used in every case you are looking at. I looked it up again and wrote it down. I had to recheck it for this blog. When I’m reading it out of the textbook I say it out loud to remember it.
Our brains work better the more senses we use. Seeing the information, reading it out loud and writing it down. If we share it out loud, then it helps build the idea. Sometimes I close my eyes and visualize. Sometimes like in the case of first aid, going through what you would do step to step and doing it with my hands too. I read once that many athletes will close their eyes and visualize themselves doing the race. They use this to help them practice.
If your studies have more than one book, and one references the other, then write down what you need to read in the other book and the page you found it on in the first book.
If what you’re reading is harder to understand or you’re a slow reader. Give yourself enough time to read and re-read. My class suggested 1 to 3 hours of reading including homework a night. I will allow for 4 hours. Key to studying after listening to a teacher/ speaker: Hear key words or repeating ideas. If they mention book text, read that carefully. I also like quizzes and chapter tests and flash cards.
Having someone else to study with who is focused, committed and not distracting can help to get the most out of the studying.
I find having water is very important when you study. Easy thing to forget, helps your brain. I also use herbal teas that help enhance memory. Eat light, not sugar snacks. Sugar and heavy meals can make us crash. Not saying starve yourself. A healthy breakfast and a light walk before getting down to studies can make you feel better. I read small amounts of coffee, green tea, bigger amounts of foods high in omegas, nuts, seeds and berries can help the brain to think clearer.
If you can study at a time when you’re more alert. I read for an hour at a time then get up and walk around. I really like to walk outside, breathing fresh air is powerful in helping refocus.
Wish me luck on learning to save lives! Have a great week to come. I might need to skip next Thursday’s blog, I will be back soon.