There are several schools of thought when it comes to studying, and when you listen to their arguments, they can all make sense so which to choose?
- Brute force: study until your head falls off
- Intensive: spend all weekend studying and take the week off
- Dip in: study when you can find the time
- Schedule: study at the same time for the same period every day
We all know the feeling of being exhausted due to long work hours, raising kids, and a long commute home, so the thought of cracking those books open can often seem about as exciting as counting toothpicks. We can also feel guilty that yet another day is about to pass without us putting the effort into getting the exam nailed.
The latest research suggests that those who take a regular break at work (as opposed to pushing ahead without one) are far more productive. This is backed up by another study that used the productivity app Desktime and found that the employees with the highest output actually had more breaks and worked less hours than their colleagues.
I was excited to hear the work/rest periods for the high achievers. It tied in exactly with an earlier blog post I wrote about the 50:10:50 study method. The achievers worked in blocks of 52 minutes with a 17 minute break. They then repeated this pattern.
This I believe is the secret to learning AND retaining what we are studying. After a nice break, your brain is recharged and ready to absorb information. Compare that to the guy trying to force the knowledge in with a 4 hour study marathon.
There is a catch though. That break must be away from the computer or smartphone. No checking e-mails or surfing or we will continue to use the part of the brain which is supposed to be recharging. Instead, walk around, call a friend (for 10-17 minutes), make a cup of tea, or read some fiction.
The key to massive productivity when studying for your IT exams is as follows:
-Use a timer
-Plan what you will study in advance
-Be disciplined with the process
-Do it daily