If there is just ONE thing I can recommend to someone just starting University or College: Follow the online course ‘Learning how to learn’ by Barbara Oakley. The most mind-blowing thing of all is that it is totally FREE. Free, and pretty damn useful. In this course, you will namely learn the skills of how to learn efficiently, effectively and how to master any study material.
Not bad right?
That’s what I thought, so I followed the course myself.
Some of the things I learned is to use metaphors for remembering concepts, how to space your revision of study material and most useful of all: The Pomodoro Technique. This technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Concentrate for 25 minutes, break, concentrate, break, concentrate…etc. Shit gets done.
This technique has worked surprisingly well for me (and countless others). It simply extends your attention span so you can be more productive for any task. These planned time intervals make you less susceptible to procrastination. Something we all want a little less of…
Convenient benefit: the course is not very time-consuming. In my experience, it took only about an hour a week to get through the content. For 4 weeks, every week you get a list of new videos, after which you get a small test to see whether you grasped the content. My advice (for anyone that wants to learn anything more effectively): make room for 1 extra hour a week and follow the online course. It will save you a ton of time in the long run!
If you want in, I’ve put in the link to the course below:
Not convinced? Watch Barbara’s on YouTube talk about the science of learning.