Since I started training students in the Diploma, I’ve discovered that there are lots of ways to maximise your study time and ensure that you not only learn what you need to learn, but do it in a timely fashion.
Here are my top 10 tips:
- Be organised – by keeping all your study material in one place, organised into folders and with readings stapled together, you’ll find you won’t keep losing that portfolio or piece of paper you were writing notes on.
- Be purposeful in your study – work how how long you’re going to study for and where you’re going to do it. If you can get into a routine where every week at this time you do an hour or so of work, then that will make you even more productive. Make your study your only focus, so get everyting you need together including your cup of tea and a snack and then set the timer so you know when you’re time is up, or work until you finish a particular task.
- Get ready to study – prepare your day to study by getting your phone calls out of the way, paying that bill on the internet and popping down to the shop for the milk and bread first. Make sure that you won’t be tempted to do something you should have done earlier when the work gets a little hot to handle.
- Do something active before you start – exercise not only releases endorphins that get you in a more positive mindset, but they’ll crank your brain into action. So go for a walk around the block or vigorously hang out the washing or vacuum the floor before you sit down to work.
- Take a break each hour – it’s easy to find yourself still sitting in front of the computer 5 hours after you started and not feeling like you’ve got very far. Make sure you take a break every hour, even if it’s just to go and check the mailbox, fold some washing, do the washing up or go and sit out in the sunshine with a cuppa.
- Keep the Sabbath – God made our week to have 6 days of work and 1 day of rest and connection with Him. Study is work, so don’t cram it in on your day for rest and reflection. If you’re that pushed for time, ask for an extension and put God first.
- Get a study buddy – there are times when you will feel overwelmed, but if you’ve got a friend who’s also doing the course, you’ll find you can bouy each other up during those difficult times. Have other friends to talk about things that don’t relate to your studying, but find one friend in the course who can keep you on track and that you can bounce your thinking around with.
- Connect with God before you start a study session – it was God’s plan for you to do this course and he has great plans for you when you finish this course. Spend a few minutes reading his word, praying or worshipping Him to remind yourself that he’s in control of this, and will give you everything you need to get through the course.
- Read your emails – trainers send out lots of ideas to help you understand the various tasks. If you don’t read your emails you won’t know what you’re missing out on.
- Read the discussion forums for each cluster – questions that other people have asked often clarify things in your own mind.