Getting good grades with poor study stamina is like trying to run a marathon when you can barely run more than 1 mile at a time. Just as it takes practice and deliberation to gain the stamina required to run marathons, it takes practice and deliberation to build the stamina required to study for hours on end.
Here's how you can build your study stamina.
Adopt the 50/10 Rule
The "50/10 Rule" doesn't stand for some crazy government proposition to legalize marijuana trade to the great state of Atlantis. It simply means that for every 50 minutes that you study, you can give yourself a 10 minute break.
For many who aren't use to studying, this idea of a 5:1 study-to-break ratio might seem insane. It is difficult at first, sure. But it works. Here's why:
- It's easy to keep track of. The rule works for 60-minute intervals, meaning you can start studying at the beginning of the hour, go on break at :50, and repeat the cycle at the start of the next hour.
- A 10 minute break at the end of the hour is ideal, because you avoid getting sucked into the middle of a TV program.
- Giving yourself a 10 minute break allows you to do things that are beneficial for yourself (list coming soon). Taking longer breaks makes it tempting to start watching TV or a movie, aimlessly surfing the web for useless content, chatting with friends, etc.
- You get your studying done, like a bau5 (boss)! If you do a few intervals of studying for 50 minutes straight per day, you will be amazed at how much material you can cover.
The idea of the 50/10 is to make you happy by allowing you to get work done. It might do the opposite (make you miserable) if you're not used to focusing so hard for 50 minutes straight.
Transition into the 50/10 rule by starting with a 40/20 rule - study for 40 minutes and take a break for 20 minutes. Or do a 20/10 rule, where you study for 20 minutes and take a break for 10 minutes.
Then slowly begin to ease your way to more studying time. Proceed to a 45/15 rule and keep practicing with that for a while. Then once you built up enough stamina, start studying with the 50/10 rule.
Drowning Out Distraction
The biggest enemy you have is distraction. 50 minutes of straight studying means that you study for 50 minutes without interruption - that means you can't quickly check your facebook wall, browse Tumblr for a few seconds, or check out the popular YouTube vids for the day.
Kill distraction... unless it's a person! If you find yourself getting distracted, turn off your computer and study. Better yet, study in the library and keep your phone in your backpack.
If your distraction results from your mind veering off course, then tell yourself that you will fantasize/daydream to your hearts content once the 10 minute break starts. We often daydream because we feel like we need to explore a thought/idea before it becomes discarded.
But if you tell yourself that you will definitely explore said thought or idea during a set time, then your mind will clear up for the 50 minutes study period in the 50/10 rule.