Study Your Diet: The Test is Your Success

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Ooh. Wise title words from the chick who couldn’t move her blanket because she was laying on it, so she covered up with her wisdom instead. OK, well, actually I (I mean she) stole hubby’s blanket, too.

So you have in your hands the book for your plan, or maybe it’s for a plan you think you might want to slather all over your body like Robert Pattinson’s magical unicorn forest hair in a way that makes even bacon more magical.

Problem is, you’re falling asleep. You see something shiny. You’re laying on your book and your husband doesn’t have one to steal. 

Take a cue from students learning to better their own studying skills and assess your best learning patterns. First, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you study better in silence or with sound or in between?
2. In lightness or in the dark or in between?
3. When the room is cooler or warmer or in between?
4. In a formal environment (at a table with a straight chair) or a relaxed environment (sprawled on the floor) or in between?
5. In the morning or the evening or in between?

1. Noise level

Some people need Metallica blaring in the background to focus on the anatomy of a butterfly. Other folks can’t handle even the dog running through the house without melting down mentally and require absolute silence. Which pattern suits you better? If you’re trying to read with kids yelling in the background and you need major shush time, any attempts to read and retain might be overrun by “MOM! She told me I’m a nuddlebottomed thingerjammer!”

2. Light level

Do you think more clearly in a bright room or in a dim room? The blare of fluorescent lights (in their plasma state–guess who’s studying matter) may be condusive to study for some, annoying for others. Many others, like me prefer indirect light.

3. Temperature

Believe it or not, how warm or cold you prefer surroundings matters. Do you like a warm area? Is too warm too uncomfortable? Sitting outside to be in the sunshine only works for the warm-bodies character in the proper weather conditions.  few degrees in the wrong direction and your train of thought just derailed on a snow-cone.

4. Environment

If you need to sit at a desk to focus and you’re in bed or sprawled out across the floor, you might be comfortable, but you’re not necessarily in a learning frame of mind. While I love reading in bed or squished into the couch, I read and retain the most information while sitting at a table in a straight chair during my son’s swim lessons.

5. Time of Day

When are you at your most mental Yahtzee? Is it in the morning? The afternoon? Find the time of day when you have the greatest amount of mental clarity and pick 30 minutes of this time to read.

Reading at night if you’re a daytime learner? Not necessarily so bright. It’s late. Buck Rogers is on the television, and you’re looking at a 500 page book that spells out lipolysis. Does the author stand a chance when it’s between his knowledge and Beedebeedebeede Twicky? 

Tip: As with studying, taking frequent breaks is key. Even a minute spend every thirty focusing on something else helps to relieve eye muscles from too much labor.

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