Ritika came to me for counselling as she was having trouble concentrating on her studies. She said she was able to concentrate better on subjects she found “easy and interesting” but had a tough time handling those she found “difficult and boring”. But Ritika’s predicament is not unique. All students find some subjects easy and some tough and boring. So, let us look at the various strategies we can use to enhance our study skills and improve our performance.
Almost everybody wants to be rich and famous but few know how to get there. If you want to be rich, you need a good job. Now, to get a good job you need to go to a good college. To get into a good college you need high marks. So, a good way to start is to visualise the college you want to go to and the cut-off marks you need to gain admission there. Now, you can plan backwards and find the number of hours you need to study every day to achieve the required percentage. Thus not only do you need to have an aim but also plan to achieve that goal. The more specific your goal, easier will it be to reach it.
Small achievable goals:
Sometimes when we look at the task at hand, we think it is too big and give up even before we start. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, but if we break the task into smaller units, it will be a lot easier to accomplish. For example, if you know that each subject has 10 chapters and you have to study five subjects, the thought of studying 50 chapters can overwhelm you. But if you decide that you will study two chapters of each subject in a month, in a month you can study 10 chapters and in five months you will be able to study 50. Thus, in a week you only need to do half a chapter of each subject to accomplish your goal. Breaking down your long-term goals into measurable and attainable mini goals can make the difference between success and failure.
Your motivational song:
When we are faced with a project to be completed, we convince ourselves that we cannot do it or we do not know how to do it or we do not deserve to succeed. The power of positive thinking should never be underestimated. If you think you can, you will definitely be able to succeed. In a recent counselling session a student confessed to me that every time he sat down to study he began by singing the song “I am the best”, picturised on Shah Rukh Khan in the film Phir Bhi Dil Heai Hindustani. I was amused but I have to confess that the idea appealed to me — a signature song can fill you with motivation and positive energy, which in turn can make the process of concentrating easier.
If your purpose or resolve is not strong enough, put a physical mark somewhere to remind yourself of your resolve. A vision board in which you add pictures and quotes to egg you on is a great way to remind yourself everyday why you need to work hard. A student I know has a small poster in her room which says “What you are is a gift of God, what you become is your gift to God”. She looks at it everyday and uses it as a mark of strength in her life. You need to think about yourself and make a personal visual reminder for yourself. It could be anything like the name of the college where you want to study or a picture of the car you want to own one day. Every time you feel you are loosing confidence, a quick look at any of the visuals could strengthen your resolve.
So, take out your favourite colour paper and start doodling about your goals, and your aims. Just study smart, and probably in ten years you could become rich and famous.
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