We all have some habits which we wish that we could change. Or ones that others wish that we would change in ourselves even though we might not feel so. No matter how hard we try, we are not able to get rid of these habits. Many of times we give up thinking ourselves pawns of our own habits.
In this article we will talk about What is habit and how to develop good study habits.
What is Habit
The American Journal of Psychology defines it as: “A habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience.”
According to the book, “Power of Habit” written by Charles Duhigg, Habit has three key elements that define it. They are
- Cue: A Cue is a trigger that directs the brain to find a routine for use in that situation. A cue mat be social, physical emotional, external or internal that effects the human body and mind.
- Routine: A routine is a set pattern which the brain employs each time for a cue. A routine may be different for different cue’s.
- Reward: A reward as the name suggests is the satisfaction or feel good stimulus that the brain receives based on which it decides whether to store this procedure or loop for future reference.
- Craving: Craving is the biggest factor which may start a new habit or destroy an old one.
How to Develop Good Study Habits
What are good study habits? According to the Psych Central, these are some of the most effective studying habits:
- Positive Mind frame
- Ideal Study Location
- Only Keep the necessities
- Avoid distractions
- Outline or Rewrite Notes
- Use Memory Games
- Practice as much as possible.
Now many of you might see the list above and think that you wish you had one or more habits mentioned. For e.g. you may have trouble in getting rid of your electronic devices while studying or you might not have the right attitude or frame of mind necessary for long sittings. If so, here is how you can achieve them with the help of a Step by Step Guide.
- Define the Issue: For the first step, you need to identify which of the steps you wish you could achieve. The identification is the major part of the process because you cannot achieve something until you know that you have a need for it.
- Identify the Cue: You need to what which stimulus triggers the reaction which leads you astray from your study. Maybe it’s a new Facebook message or a call of a friend. It may simply be a lack of sleep or exhaustion. Whatever it is, you must identify it quickly.
- Identify the Routine: There is always a routine which the brain has created around the cues which it receives. You need to identify the routines. It may be that once you get a Facebook message or a tweet you need to reply back. Once this happens you wait for the reply to your message or Tweet. Or If your exhausted, you start getting drowsy and loose interest in the topic you are studying.
- Identify the Reward: The reward which the brain perceives as a good stimulus or a happy pill is something which makes you want to go down this rabbit hole as often as you can. This reward is what the brain ultimately wants and that’s why you constantly find yourself reaching for your phone, while trying to study that important chemistry formula.
Initiate Change: According to “The Power of Habit”, if you keep the cue, change the routine and keep the reward, you can change your routine. How you ask? Take for example the case of a friend’s call or a game you wish to play. You need to tell yourself that after I complete my lesson, I can go meet my friends or I can go play that game. This way eventually when the reward is still the same, your study pattern will automatically improve in the anticipation of the rewards which you will receive.