A study routine is a guide that will help you to transform information in your book into knowledge you can use. Depending on the learner, book, time of day, and available time, there can be many different study routines. It is up to the smart adult learner to pick the best routine for that moment.
In this article, you’ll learn why you need a study routine, and what a good routine is. After reading it, you have a basic study routine you can use immediately. You will also know how to adjust that routine to meet your study needs.
First, we start by looking at an important question...
Why do I need a study routine?
You might now even know it… but you already have a study routine. It is probably not an ideal one. But think about it. When you sit down to study, do you study about the same way every time? It so, you already have a study routine.
A study routine is nothing more than a set of actions you take in order to get through your book. A good study routine helps you to get through your book more efficiently.
The number one reason adult learners need a study routine is efficiency is this. You have a (full-time) job and a social life. This means you have to chip away time from that in order to have study time.
Time is one of the most valuable things you have to spare. To get the most out of your study time, you need to have a good study routine. The best thing a routine can give you is a way to transform your book quickly into personal knowledge.
Your study routine must allow you to get into study mode almost instantly. This way you don’t lose time, and you can have multiple short study sessions. You can take advantage of 15 minutes before work, 20 minutes after dinner, or even 10 minutes during a break you have.
Instant results, by using your routine, saves you valuable time.
Good study planning helps you to outline what you have to do on a daily basis. Your routine helps you to achieve that daily planning easier.
The result will be that you are ready for your exams without all the stress that used to give.
Remember, a basic study routine is better than having no real routine at all. Think about what you should be doing, before you start doing!
This may trigger a question in your head. Are there perfect study routines that work all the time? And more importantly...
How to find the perfect study routine?
As you probably understand by now, there is no perfect study routine. There is only you who is studying. It is up to you to do the right things when studying. Will it be perfect? Aim for having a great study session, and you will walk away feeling great!
The reason you will not be able to create a perfect study routine is because of all the things that happen during your study routine.
So answering the question of what is the best study routine is simple. The best study routine is the routine that helps you to go through your book with the least effort. It helps you transform information from your book into knowledge in your head.
The best way to do this depends on the outline of the book, the language the author(s) use, your mood, time of the day, and much more.
Because of the many factors involved in a good routine, you should start by creating a basic study routine first. By using that routine, you will be able to adjust your approach to getting through the book.
What is a basic study routine?
A basic study routine is a step-by-step process to guide you from opening a book to being able to use and memorize the book information on your own. In general, the routine helps you to get through the book by having your focus on the content, not the process.
Your routine is probably depending on many factors. This may include:
- The book itself (font, outline of text, images used)
- The writing style of the author and how she/he outlined the information
- Your mood (when you feel distracted, emotional, sleepy, you may choose to change your routine or not study at all!)
- The environment (people, distractions around you, noises)
- And of course, the time you study and the time you have (do you study during a break or on a Sunday morning with all the time you like)
All of this affects your focus and the efficiency of the routine.
As you probably remember, I told you that the study routine is a step-by-step process to go through the book. I didn’t say anything about any numbers.
The core of a study routine is not about covering a certain number of pages in so many minutes. It is simply a way to process information. This doesn’t mean you should not include any metrics in your routine.
A basic study routine could be this:
- Determine the goal of your study session (learning more about a topic, or perhaps studying 10 pages)
- Outline what you study
- Read your book (do you need to speed read?)
- Take notes
- Understand your notes (are you able to explain them to a child? If so, you probably understand what you wrote down).
- Use the information
This routine takes you from learning about the topic to becoming a user of the information.
Since you have a clear path for going through the book, you can scale it easily. You can use the routine to cover for example one page in five minutes.
In these five minutes, you read, analyze, take notes, and understand the information on that page.
Do you see how easy it is to scale this routine?
Looking to study 10 pages? Simply use the routine 10 times in a row!
Your routine allows you to take information from a book and create personal knowledge and even wisdom from it. It is all up to you to start doing this.
Perhaps you like to know how I do this.
Here is my daily study routine.
I set a goal to study (at least) 10 pages per day. By studying, I mean I go through the book, outline the information in notes, and memorize the important concepts, ideas, details so I can use it.
I take one hour to do this. Some people study 10 pages in less time. Others take more time. On average I use about 1 hour for 10 pages. This time includes reading, note-taking, and understanding and memorizing.
Here’s my routine:
- I outline the chapter at the start of a new chapter. This rough outline will be used during the rest of the time I study this chapter. Usually, this takes about 5 to 10 minutes for 50 pages.
- I read each page (or section, depending on the length of it).
- Important information is added to my outline AFTER I read the page
- When I need more information, google that, re-read the page, or use other sources of information. I add that to the outline as well. This way I create notes that can be used independently of the book.
- I do this for all 10 pages.
- At the end of the session, I use the information, re-think it, or write about it to make it stick more. I can also take this time to simply memorize so I have it available even without my notes.
This is my daily study routine.
So here’s what I would like you to do next...
Actions to take to create your study routine
Remember that a study routine is something that helps you when studying. It removes doubt on what to do. It helps you to methodically dissect a book 🙂
- Take the basic study routine above and use it.
- Fine-tune the routine to help you the most (mix things up if that is better for you)
- When you have any questions about how to use it in your own study sessions, let me know.
Using a study routine takes the guesswork from your study sessions. You can focus on your book again. This removes stress from at least one part of your studying.
Also, you will make much better use of the sparse study time you have. You will focus easier and faster when you study.
I think all of this will help you to become a much more efficient study. Start using a study routine, become a smart adult learner!