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5 Great Ways to Improve Your Grades (That Don’t Need Extra Studying) – TUB-Thump 009

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Study tips go way beyond the studying itself.

Sometimes all it takes is sitting somewhere else. Or having a refreshing cup of tea.

And that’s what I look at in Episode 009 of TUB-Thump. 5 ways you can put your best foot forward (not just by having a walk!) and build the best mindset for your study.

Ready to get those good habits going? Happy listening.


Here are the show notes for the 12-min episode:

  • 01:30 – Simple tips, so long as you commit to them and build these useful habits.
  • 01:25 – Tip No.1: Have a quick walk. It’s the only exercise you need to get those cogs turning in your head.
  • 02:10 – Tip No.2: Stop with the all-nighters. The most important of the tips, in my opinion… Yep, it’s my usual rant. 😉
  • 03:20 – Tip No.3: Shift your location regularly. Find as many different areas as possible to alternate with. Even if you only visit the library to work, sit in different places within the library. Build your own ways of mixing up where you study.
  • 04:30 – Tip No.4: Get the right sleep for you. Listen to your body rather than the voice in your brain that’s tempting you to stay up as long as possible!
  • 06:45 – Tip No.5: Drink tea. Go crazy and make it loose leaf. Green teas, oolong teas, etc. The extra time spent making loose leaf (just a few seconds) is well worth it for taste if nothing else. It’s funny just how much you can change the flavour based on the amount of leaf you use, the time you brew it for, the temperature you brew it at, and so on.
  • 09:10 – Bonus Tip! List things, plan things, schedule things. Obvious, yes. But also challenging.
    Are You a Planner or a Structured Procrastinator?

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

Habits, Emotions & Locations

Not all habits are equal. The harder the task, the longer it’s going to take to form into a habit.

A simple act, such as drinking a glass of water, doesn’t take long to turn into a habit. It doesn’t take long for emotion to drain away from the action. But exercise and anything that requires a bit more effort and preparation will likely bring more emotional issues with them too. No wonder, then, it takes longer to form some habits than others.

Every teardrop is a waterfall (photo by dollen - CC BY-ND 2.0)

Make yoga a habit? Not as easy as drinking a glass of water each morning! (dollen – CC BY-ND 2.0)

Jeremy Dean sums it up nicely in his book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits“:

“…the act of performing a habit is curiously emotionless.” – p.9

This also explains why too much of a good thing can become boring. The more it becomes a habit, the less you attach any sentiment to it.

I was fascinated by another thing Dean had to say:

“…new surroundings don’t have all the familiar cues to our old habits.” – p.12

This could help reignite a drive for old habits in different places, as well as bringing new habits into play.

I have long believed that you shouldn’t limit yourself to a single place of study. Use all sorts of places. Your room, the library (changing seats and rooms too), the canteen, a campus bar, parks and uni seating areas, coffee shops, a quiet public space, a loud public space…

Moving around means you’re not in any ‘usual’ grounds. Your focus is on study and your mind is open to new things. Simply by altering your situation on a regular basis, you can gain mentally.

There’s more! As a bonus, your recall may develop as you build memories with each different setting in place. When you try to remember something, your first recollection may be sitting in the middle of a field when you covered the precise thing you need right now. Because you weren’t fixed to a single place of study, the concepts have another opportunity to come to the forefront of your mind.

While performing a habit dulls the emotions, a choice of different locations could help give a new lease of life to learning methods you thought had gone stale.