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Need advice for learning and time management

  1. Nov 10, 2009 #1
    I am looking for some advice on how to improve my reading and understanding of technical books. Right now I am in a networking class, and I am very motivated, love the class, but have a hard time reading and understanding the book. I know most of my problems come from being distracted, and I am limited on where and when I can study. I have done a lot of searching on the web and found a lot of good tools for learning how to learn, but none of which have had a major impact on my abilities. I am posting here now because I would like to get some feedback from people who are big on reading and learning, and have things that actually work for them and that they use. Please leave advice on how you study, how you make yourself concentrate, or improved your concentration, how you manage your time with this in mind: ( working fulltime, going to school full time, and taking care of a family member), overall imporve your creditable intake of knowledge. Oh yeah that is another problem for me being able to seperate the good source from the bad sources. I am trying to keep up with the things thats going on in the world, but there are so many news sites, that I can not figure which one is the best. I really enjoy reading about technology pref ( linux, and hardware) anything that youmay have to add would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to seeing what you all have to say.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2009 #2
    One of the things that helps is to designate a dedicated study corner. Alot of people study by their main desk with all their papers, magazines, and bills laying around. If you study by your main computer or a laptop that is loaded with movies, mp3 and games - that's a huge distraction in itself.

    In your study corner you should only study. If you want to take a brake, go over to your main desk and put on a movie, check email, play wii or whatever. Once done, come back to your study corner away from all the recreation.

    You can also go the library, where it's quiet, and the books shelves keep you from wandering in your mind.

    Also it takes 60-90 seconds to commit something to long term memory. If you have to learn definitions, then set an egg timer to 2 minutes and go over a single definition over and over again. Once the time is up, reset it and study another definition. This usually helps to memorize things efficiently and saves time.
  4. Nov 16, 2009 #3
    You are right about the computer being a distraction. I find that I waste too much time site surfing. I don't really have an area in my apartment that I would see fit to be a study corner but hey Ill try anything. The only down fall with going to the library is the time that it is closed I am just getting out of work and then I have school. I have a very busy schedule. The life of a Computer tech is super busy and fast. I really do appreciate your response and I will give everything you suggested a shot, and see if I can get better control over my learning.
  5. Nov 16, 2009 #4
    See the top right red cross button ... ?

    Not much can be done I guess. I am working full time 7 days a week at the moment and taking two courses. It is very hard to keep up with those two courses. I come home tired sometimes that I can't even do anything for like few hours. I found that when I come home I can't get done anything so I stay at work bit longer because I have a silent work area and I can study there better.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  6. Dec 11, 2009 #5
    He I appreciate your reply. Didn't really understand the top right redcross button thing.lol That is true about the situation that we are in, but I guess this was meant for me and that I should be able to go with the punches. I look forward to days of being able to relax, or even take a vacation. Now it is just all work and school for me, and that is cool too. Thanks for all of your advice and That is all for now.
  7. Dec 11, 2009 #6
    http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/6739/86863514.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Dec 12, 2009 #7


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    lol.. but mine looks like this:
    http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/5614/41342962.png [Broken]
    no red x.
    and I'm using windows 7! I like to keep things simple.

    It's also not red when I'm on Linux.

    But back on topic.
    If your problem is distraction, then I +1 limiting your computer time. I have the same problem.
    If your problem is that you find even after studying that you don't really understand the material, then perhaps it is the way you are studying.
    I know a lot of people who "study" by just working as many practice problems as they can, and when they can't get it then they start going through the text for the first time to find out how.
    I personally find this to be a terrible way to study. If you want to learn something then don't try to jump to the end, or try and put off the technical stuff by reading easier books.. I know it's hard sometimes but just grab your textbook (whatever subject) and start reading it. Once you get going you'll find it's not so bad.

    and my advice to you is don't jump ahead, start at the beginning, and even if you think you "know" something, read it anyways.
    Also, something interesting is that I've heard (and I've noticed it myself) you actually help yourself learn even better when you have to teach the material. This is because when you read something you overlook a lot of stuff because you think it's inherently easy, but when you have to teach it you can't overlook that stuff, you have to actually say it. So the connections end up being strengthened in your mind. So you could try reading something, and then without using the book, try to "re-teach" it to yourself in your head, ask yourself questions and answer them etc...

    So that's how I study stuff, I actually read the material even if it is scary and difficult at first. One of my professors told me something that I find to be soooo true. He said that when you are first learning something 90% of what you do is "accepting" it, then once you pass that stage you can really start to learn it.

    But, that's just me. I hope maybe some of that is useful to you.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Dec 18, 2009 #8
    That totally went right past me.lol I got it now. Yes I am hiting that red cross button a lot more now. Also I am a Linux geek but Its cool.

    Again I appreciate all of the advice given here. I think this has helped more than anything.

    I am definitely gonna work harder to " just grab your textbook (whatever subject) and start reading it". I don't think it can get any more simple then that.

    Thanks for the insight about "60-90 seconds to commit something to long term memory". I never knew that. I looked that up after reading it to see what kind of excersizes can be used to commit stuff to memory in that time frame. Its looking pretty cool. Thanks.
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