7 Powerful Mini Study Habits to Supercharge Your Grades

Mini HabitsYou're reading this because you want the best grades. You want to get into the best universities and excel in all areas of your life.

Often, making big strides towards your goals actually just requires small changes in your day-to-day behaviours. Replace old habits that weren't helping you with new ones that move you closer to your goal every single day and over time you'll incrementally make massive leaps towards your dreams.

Today, I'm going to share with you 7 Powerful Mini Study Habits. But, first I have to explain what a mini-habit is.

What's a Mini Habit?

Stephen GuiseJust this week I've read the book ‘Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results' by Stephen Guise. I heard about his one push-up challenge in which he vowed to himself that he'd do just one push-up per day to move himself closer to his fitness goals. This was after repeatedly failing to do 30 minute workouts.

Stephen discovered that if he gave himself a stupidly small goal it was much easier to get started. And, once he got started, he more often than not exceeded his goal.

Stephen turned his mini habit of one daily push-up into an exercise regime where he now goes to the gym several times a week. The point was, he started so small it was impossible to fail.

People come to me on a regular basis asking for advice about getting motivated to revise, how to revise, how to study and all sorts of other topics related to their academic success. Underlying most of their questions and concerns is a real worry that the task is simply too big: they will never be able to learn their course content in time for the exam or sit down for three hours every evening to do their homework.

If your study tasks are too large then I suggest you reduce them down to mini-habits and see how you get on.

7 Powerful Mini Study Habits to Supercharge Your Grades

1) Do five minutes of revision every day

Last week I introduced the 5 Minute Revision Challenge. The intention behind this challenge was to create a mini revision habit that would

  • Help you learn the course content months ahead of exam season
  • Get you experimenting with revision techniques so you find out what worked for you
  • Create a revision habit that will serve you well as you approach your exams

2) Read through a page of class notes at the end of each day

This is a form of revision. Reading through your class notes at the end of every day will:

  • Start fixing your class learning in your mind
  • Show you if there's anything you don't fully understand
  • Show you where you might have gaps in your work

You can then take steps to get a full understanding or fill in the gaps. This means you won't be scrabbling around in exam season trying to understand things for the first time. Instead, you'll be able to focus on learning it and practicing your exam technique.

3) Write down your homework at the end of each lesson

This is the most important first step you can take towards getting your target grades, staying organised and meeting your deadlines. It's fundamental to getting good grades. If you're not already doing this, don't skip it!

4) Self-monitor your learning

When you're revising, taking notes, reading, watching an educational video or doing any other study task you should always be asking yourself ‘Is this learning experience working for me?'.

This is essential if you're going to learn successfully and efficiently. There is no point in carrying on revising in a certain way if it doesn't help you to remember. There is no point in carrying on reading a text if your brain is too tired and needs a ten minute break.

Aim to ask yourself ‘Is this learning experience working for me?' once per day and adjust yourself according to the answer. If you ask yourself the question more often – well done you!

5) File notes in the right place every day

Wondering around with a folder full of crumpled and disordered notes? This isn't going to help you meet deadlines or keep track of what you've already learned.

When you come to creating revision materials and notes you will thank yourself for keeping everything organised.

At the minimum, make sure you file lesson notes in a divider for each subject and in date order in the file that you carry around with you everyday. Once a week take the time to file them into your subject file at home.

6) Read one online article to supplement your classroom learning everyday

Extra reading really helps to cement ideas that you've learned in class and place them in a wider context. It's also really important for university applications.

Create a mini-habit of reading one online article related to one of your subjects every single day.

7) Review your day

At the end of each day ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What went well?
  2. What didn't go well?
  3. How could you improve?

This kind of self-reflection helps you move forward and constantly do better.

Choose a maximum of three mini-habits

You may be feeling a little bit smug because you already do several (or all) of the study mini habits I've suggested. That's great!

However, if you're not doing most of them you need to choose three.

Write down which three you think you are most likely to succeed with. Don't try and do too many at once – you're more likely to fail!

Complete your Mini Habits Every Day

One of the essential features of Mini Habits is that they happen every day. You don't get a day off at the weekend, or on your birthday, or on Christmas Day. The habit is so small that it can be done whatever else is going on that day.

By completing the habit everyday you are training yourself to make the habit stick. You are reducing the amount of willpower it will take to complete the habit.

Some days you can exceed your mini-habit. For example, you might read two articles about subjects you're studying at school. You might read ten. But, you're successful if you meet your minimum requirement (and that's all you should do on Christmas Day or your Birthday!).

Track your Study Mini Habits

Print off a calendar so you can track your mini habits. Everyday tick off when you've completed all the mini habits you've set yourself. Day-by-day you'll see the progress you're making towards your supercharged grades when you tick to show you've completed your mini habits. This should inspire you to keep going.

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Which Study Mini Habits are you going to start?

Leave a comment below telling me which Study Mini Habits you're going to start. By writing it down here you'll make yourself publicly accountable and inspire others to take action too.

It's never too late (or too early) to start taking small steps towards supercharging your grades. Click To Tweet
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