Stop telling yourself the lie that you don’t have time to learn to study
Are you, or your teen, telling yourselves the lie that you don't have time to learn to study?
This is something I hear frequently.
“I haven't got time to learn to study, I'm too busy studying!”
“I'm too frazzled to help my child learn to study!”
I hear you. We're all busy and, in many cases, frazzled. We could fill every day 100 times over with all the things we have to do and would like to do.
But, life is about making choices. Primarily, choices about how you spend your time. And, sometimes you have to make time for something in the short term to save time in the long term.
Does your teen need to learn to study?
OK, OK, there are some teens who don't need to learn to study – because they already know how. But, I assure you, they're in the absolute minority.
So, how do you know if your teen needs to learn to study?
Here are some tell-tale signs:
- They don't seem to have a plan for how they'll spend their study time
- They're always putting things off for another day
- They try to revise but you can't see them actively engaging with their work – they just sit there staring at it
- Their confidence is easily knocked
- They're not getting the optimum grades you know they're capable of
Do any of those things ring true for you?
Making time to save time
Learning to study does take some time investment up front. But, as you go through each step of learning to study you'll find that, more and more, you're actually saving time.
- If you get a decent filing system in place (and use it) you'll spend less time looking for lost work.
- When you understand how learning works and which revision techniques prepare you best for exams you spend less time doing higher quality revision that achieves better marks
- Knowing how to study gives you confidence so you spend less time stressing and worrying and more time either being productive with your revision or resting, having fun or doing the things you love.
- You don't have to do annoying retakes if you fail GCSE English and maths.
If you can find an hour per week for ten weeks you can learn to study.
How you spend time shows you, and the world, what your priorities are
When I'm teaching students about time management I always use this quotation by the physicist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi:
“Time is our most valuable nonrenewable resource, and if we want to treat it with respect, we need to set priorities.”
You can literally see what a person is prioritising in their life when you look at how they're spending their time.
If academic achievement is a priority to you, you can demonstrate this to yourself, and the world, by investing the time to learn how to study.
If getting fit is a priority to you, you need to spend time on it. If you don't put the time aside for getting fit, it isn't going to happen. If spending more time with a special person is a priority for you, it's not going to happen unless you choose not to do something you were previously spending time doing.
If you can't find the time to do something, you're saying it's not important to you.If you can't find the time to do something, you're saying it's not important to you. Click To Tweet
“Shouldn't I spend the time studying rather than learning to study?”
Unless you're already getting the grades you really want, you've got a plan, you're highly resilient and you're using revision and study techniques that routinely improve your marks there are ways in which you can learn to study better.
Let me tell you a story about a client. He was in year 11 and had been told by another study skills expert to make reams and reams of notes. He was utterly miserable because this was taking so much time and it didn't seem to be helping his grades.
On the face of it, he didn't have time to learn to study because he was spending all his time making these revision notes.
But, he and his mum knew this wasn't sustainable. So, they learned to study by following the modules in The Extraordinaries Club ‘meticulously' (their word).
He became happier, more confident and had more down time. His mum stopped worrying and stressing about him. He got 4 x 9s, 2 x 8s and 4 7s in his GCSEs.
Spending the time to learn to study paid off.
“Shouldn't school be teaching them to study?”
Well, yes. But they probably aren't. Or, they might a little bit but it hasn't fully sunk in.
A mum of a year 11 boy, who goes to a grammar school, recently wrote to tell me how The Extraordinaries Club had helped her son. He had been drip-fed study skills as he went through secondary school, but he was still missing something. She said:
“The Extraordinaries Club has given him a new focus and confidence in his approach to his studies that bore fruit in his November mocks. It really hit home last night at parents evening just how much difference it has made, he is studying 12 subjects and every single teacher said the same thing: he has always been a good student but something has changed this academic year, it is as though he has found another gear. A good number also commented on how he has become a much more independent learner.Thank you for your guidance that has switched on the lightbulb in him we didn’t realise existed.”
Can you make time for your teen to learn to study?
Can you make the time for your teen to learn to study? Do you want that lightbulb to switch on for them, for them to become a more independent learner and for them to truly reach their potential?
If no, fair enough. But, please understand that you're making a concious choice not to prioritise your child's education, the ease and effectiveness with which they can revise for their exams and their grades.