Today, we have to process a flood of data. Whether we’re talking about reading the news, checking emails, or online shopping – all of these actions, and much more, have become daily routine operations.
However, when we are talking about something that we are supposed to process or learn at work or college, most of us start feeling uncomfortable. New information, as with any newness, is a bit scary, and it inevitably brings some changes to anyone who deals with it.
Do you remember your student days, when you read a chapter to the end and then reread it again because couldn’t focus and understand the words, and then after all of that effort, you forgot most of it the next day?
You may feel the same way when you have to master some new software at work, or start using a cloud service instead of traditional ways of sharing data, or learn new approaches to performing your routine tasks.
It isn’t too pleasant to feel like you’re not able to learn something, is it?
We tend to complain about our bad memory and our helplessness in this situation, but actually, we just lack the essential skills – study skills.
Study skills are a set of skills that help you learn any material efficiently, and retain and retrieve it throughout our lives. If we had been taught these skills at school, we would have had much more success then, and it would have undoubtedly facilitated our further education and entering a career.
Today, there are many approaches to effective learning that educators try to implement, but if you haven’t been lucky to get such valuable knowledge, you shouldn’t give up.
All you need to achieve success is self-discipline and the desire to improve yourself. You have a unique opportunity to overcome your poor study skills with effective thinking, reading, and listening, and to transform frustration and wasted time into the motivated and efficient learning process.
Reading is an integral part of any study, as we read textbooks, works of literature, directions for tasks, or our notes. The ability to read letters, words, phrases or sentences has nothing to do with effective reading skills.
There are many techniques that aim at providing comprehension of a text that one reads, catching its meaning, extracting critical details and understanding main ideas.
All these techniques are based on active reading, rather than passive, which means not just following the words with your eyes but reading with a particular purpose.
Critical reading is a great example of active reading, as it implies not just satisfaction with what a text says, but also reflection on what this text actually means. If you practice reading critically you perfect your ability not to take everything you read at face value, but to judge, analyze and find arguments against what you are reading.
One of the most well known strategies for effective reading is the SQ3R method. This abbreviation stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. This sequence of operations helps you make sense of the material you read and remember it more easily.
The SQ3R method aims at sharpening study skills, and it can be adapted to any book or other material, regardless of genre or your reading purpose.
However, if you need to know what a text is about, without getting the full understanding of the topics raised in it, speed reading is a great technique to apply. Scanning the first sentences of paragraphs helps a reader find clues to meaning and the information he/she is looking for.
There is also a huge amount of other effective reading strategies that can simplify the process of acquiring knowledge through reading.
Another critical skill for learning is searching information. We may think that there is nothing difficult in this, as today we have access to enormous volumes of information through the Internet, libraries and various sources of media.
However, we should be careful with the websites we choose. We need to be sure of the credibility of works we are going to cite, and be able to structure the information we find in order to use it as efficiently as possible.
“Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement,” once said an American writer Anthony J. D'Angelo. This advice is priceless, as there is really no end to self-cultivating, and once you feel the power of the skills you acquire, you won’t want to stop growing.
The above-mentioned information only slightly opens the door to lifelong success, as there are many more study skills such as research skills, note-taking skills, organizational skills, planning skills, revision skills, and so on. Don’t hesitate to exercise your right to get the essential knowledge that everyone needs to get.
Nowadays, employers complain about lack of study skills among workers. They are looking for people who are able to adapt, learn and relearn, process lots of various data, and manage their working process.
These skills are the foundation of every successful career and they can be acquired by everyone who wants to become a productive and happy worker.
“You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making,” wrote Stephen Richards in his book Think Your Way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free.
Y Skills Institute is ready to help you follow the right direction towards creating yourself and being satisfied with the result — with your life!