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Paul Abraham: Studying in a Kaizen way

By Paul Abraham of

Whether you are taking exams at school, studying at university or working on a personal project at home, studying can be one of the most stressful parts of your life.

Stretching deadlines, the quest for self-improvement and the pressure to obtain good grades is increasing year by year.

It has been reported that there has been a trebling of UK students dropping out of university courses, citing mental health issues as the reason in the past decade due to the stress of expectations and demands upon them, albeit some of them self-imposed.

We all study differently, have different learning styles and study methods. Some people can study for many hours at a time, others will take hundreds and hundreds of notes while the lucky ones can almost memorise the important or obscure details, to recall them when needed.

By using the Kaizen approach, you can discover your best way to study and achieve better and often quicker results.

Firstly you need to understand how you study best, if you can sit and study for six hours a day then by all means study that way, however it maybe that you’re more receptive to studying first thing in a morning or last thing at night. Identifying your optimum mode of study will give you the best chance of success.

Once you have decided how you want to study then, using the Kaizen way, break each module or assignment down into smaller targets.

For instance if you have a 10,000 word essay to write, break it down to ten 1,000-word portions, or smaller chunks if that works better for you, class it as ten small steps to your finished goal. Set a day and time period for each 1,000 word session and after reaching your target reward yourself with a little break and a treat such as a steady walk in the fresh air or a piece of your favourite fruit or cake.

By breaking the assignment down in this way you will feel fresher and more motivated as you start your studying and will make it a smoother and less pressured road to completing your assignment.

You will become more motivated to achieve if you can see the progress you are making, ticking off the portions you have completed until the task is completed.

“The process of education in the oldest profession in the world is like any other educational process, in that it requires time and effort and patience; it can only be acquired by taking one step at a time, though the steps become accelerated after the first few.”
Madeleine Albright

Next article: “Getting a new job with the help of Kaizen”

Read more of Paul Abraham’s weekly wellbeing columns here.


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