Mind Hacks to Make Studying Easier

PMI Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

What if you got a little buzz of guilty pleasure every time you thought about studying for your exam? What a difference that could make compared to the soul-numbing dread of having to do something you do not enjoy.

Our minds have systems to protect us and maximize our well-being. They do not always work, but overall, these mechanisms reinforce memories of good events and minimize negative ones. We can use these systems to make studying more enjoyable and effective.

By going out of our way to make studying pleasurable, we begin to dread it less, then feel neutral about it and eventually enjoy it. Things you enjoy are not chores; they are more like hobbies. But how the heck do you enjoy learning about earned value or resolving team conflict? To many people, these topics represent all the junk we deal with at work and what we try to escape in our personal time.

The key is to separate our emotions about the subject matter from the learning experience. Focus on making the studying enjoyable. Everyone likes different things, so chose what works for you. You could buy that indulgent chocolate that’s too expensive to justify and have a square when you start and every 15 minutes of study. You could get a fancy note book for your preparation and a posh new pen. If you like working in social settings, then find a great coffee shop and buy that mocha latte you know is …

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I'd rather be a failure at something I love, than a success at something I hate.

- George Burns

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