Vaibhav asks: To get some relief from my boring study timetable I do some yoga every morning, and that really helps me to improve my skills. Can you suggest any idea to make my study a little more easy? And here in India we are celebrating Diwali. So HAPPY DIWALI to you!
Hi Vaibhav –
Well, of course dogs never study. We have training sessions or obedience classes, but once they’re over, we’re usually free to run and bark and sniff around. We’ve never quite mastered the concept of Homework (and I truly hope we never do!!!).
But from what I’ve seen and heard of others, I can throw a few suggestions for easier studying your way:
1) Concentration is usually the key. If you can keep focused on what you’re supposed to be focused on, studying goes immensely faster than if you’re distracted. Now your yoga practice should help you be able to focus well. So your main job is to get rid of distractions: Turn off the cell phone, turn off the TV, radio, music player, etc. Shut the door so you don’t hear your little sister smashing the house up. And (and this is usually the hardest one!), if you have to have the computer on, don’t let yourself go to any site on it but what you’re studying, till you’re done with your work. Most likely, mastering the skill of focusing will be the best thing you can do.
2) Break your work down into “bite-sized” bits. If you’re supposed to read “War and Peace” and write a thirty-page paper on it, that’s impossible to do at once! But if you plan to read a chapter a night, and take notes after each one, it’s manageable. Similarly, if you have a big assignment that’s due the next day, you can make it more bearable if you split it into parts, and just make yourself do one at a time.
3) Ask yourself what you will gain from this assignment. Maybe you think there’s nothing (except getting it finished). But try harder. Will doing it teach you something you can use in your life? Will it give you a skill, or improve the skills you have? Once you realize what’s in it for you, it should become way easier (and even fun)!
4) Give yourself rewards. If you read a chapter in the next half-hour, you get a piece of chocolate. If you finish the paper before 9:00 tonight, you get to play video games for an hour. If you get an A on it, you get to order a pizza!
5) And give yourself enough breaks. Plan to take a walk after an hour, no matter what you’ve accomplished. After another hour, make those three phone calls you were supposed to do yesterday. People can often burn themselves out if they don’t give themselves breathing time!
6) And speaking of taking a walk – one great way of giving yourself a reward is getting a dog to take those walks with! Now a puppy can be very distracting, because it will want your attention all the time. But as long as you have a way to keep it from bothering you for a while, there’s no better companion.
Hope those help! And speaking of learning, I have to admit, I didn’t know about Diwali before your letter! Thank you so much for telling me about it!
For the rest of you as ignorant as I, I really recommend you learn something about this wonderful and beautiful holiday! Here’s a good start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali
(I have to say, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of a religious holiday that’s celebrated by many different religions. What a terrific thing to discover!)