How to make a good habit of study

Often one says that to be a good student good habits must be acquired.

Normally one acquires study habits from the childhood, when you begin to take duties to house. At the outset it is the habit to read awhile every day and to draw, and later the tasks from writing, the first sums arrive and the subtractions. We are still young small and we began to at home implant habits of study and work at the cost of the sweat of our parents and caretakers.

With the passage of the years, we polished and we perfected these habits and we arrived at the university with a diverse collection of mental, ready tools to learn our future profession.

Nevertheless, after the first year of race already differences in the yield of the students are observed. Some pass the first course with great pleasure to learn and with very good notes and others they fight to be able to show the head over the water (the approved one).

It is clear that the university supposes a challenge of much more complex learning that secondary education. The sanitary studies impose the learning of the amplest and new vocabulary, more abundant matters for each examination, and an increase of the number of professors and a impersonalizaci³n of each subject that does difficult to use the tactics that gave good result in the institute.

My failures in the race were caused by the procrastination, a bad habit. There were so few examinations, and were so far in the time, that did not find the moment for seating to me to study. And when it seated to me, the examination matter was so voluminous that it did not give time me to assimilate it.

To study in time without a doubt is a good habit. But, what is a habit, after all? I want to have good habits and to avoid problems in my studies, but I am already condenado/a to suffer the bad customs that I learned as a child?

We are going to discover that we can change the habits and adopt more positive routines for our studies.


A habit consists of 4 parts:

1) The trigger: what it triggers an answer. P. ex. the reaction to the sound of a message of whattsapp, or an incoming mail, or to the voices of a small brother.
2) The answer/routine: what always beams when you face the €œtrigger€. To the sound of whattsapp, to read it.
3) The reward: the immediate reward to delay something is an ephemeral pleasure (to satisfy the curiosity to consult whattsapp).
4) The belief: the repetition of this sequence ends up convincing to the person that ©l/ella €œis thus€, of which is its nature.

Procrastinar is a habit. He is frequent and very present in all the population, and one only becomes a bad habit when one too much often appears and it prevents that the person carries out tasks who needs or who wishes to take to end. In the case of a student, to study.

The trigger of the procrastination can be the sound of whattsapp or the vision of Twitter or Facebook opened in the computer. Without giving nor it tells you, because for that reason it is a habit, you are looking at the mobile or the screen of the computer, and as reward you feel funny, entertained, or laugh yourself with the commentary of a friend. He is pleasant and for that reason it beams. The problem is to think that this cannot be changed.


Create it: you can modify habits and turn them into better, and can create new and good habits.

This will demand a greater power consumption at the outset, reason why he is not advisable to want to change or to create more of a habit simultaneously.  The force of will of which we arrange every day is pure energy, and is limited (1).

We are going to see how we can reduce the procrastination in our lives. In order to begin, it lets perfectionism to a side: we do not want to eliminate it the 100%, that is impossible. We are going to reduce it, and no matter how little we obtain, our life of students will improve. The objective can be, for example, to every day review the matter distributed in class. Not to memorise it, but to review it, that is to say, to review what subjects have been spoken, to order the leaves of notes and to select to the parts of the book or €œtocho€ that they have treated. If you obtain it, you will be home to learn the material in time and will prepare with more tranquillity the examinations. Motivating, no?


1. It eliminates the trigger that starts up the procrastination. That means to leave the dull mobile and to close all the social networks before putting to you to study. If there are no temptations, it will be more difficult than arrives the answer from €œconfusion€.

You can create a new trigger that marks the home of the good habit (review): to do it right after eating; or to rest awhile, to go to the gymnasium and to review right after returning. Or to march you to the library.

2. Correct routine designs an answer/. - Here the Pomodoro technique can help us. During 25 minutes you are going to work intensely in nothing else reviewing the material of one of the classes and. Normally you will not need more than 3-4 Pomodoros to review the notes of a day. Here it is where more resistance you are going to find and more energy you must invest. Assure to you that being fed well before home, because you will have more energy (1)

3. It decides your reward. - it is very important that you award mismo/a by to have been able to be that short while working. The profit feeling also is a reward, but I know generoso/a. In the rest of 5 minutes you can look at whattsapp or Twitter without remorses, or take one ounce from chocolate or a refreshment. Your cerebral systems of reward, regulated by the dopamine, will thank for it to you. Each 3-4 Pomodoros you must take a longer rest, of about 20 minutes, or perhaps then the end arrives from the day. Celebrate it with your favorite series with friends or having dinner, which is happened to you.

The repetition of rewards whenever you fulfill the challenge to seat to you to study will help you to strengthen the new habit. After some weeks it is probable that you do not need to compensate itself; simply you will do it without effort, because it has been recorded already thorough in your neurons.

4. It watches your beliefs. - If the new routine has not been perfect, it does not spend nothing the first days. You are human and not a machine. In the following days you will verify that the new routine is easier to realise. Perhaps you encounter a day and you do not fulfill your new intention. I know indulgent with you and reflects on the cause of this failure, that will generally be important (a cold, a familiar problem, a fight). Solve it and on the following day you will be able re-loading.



1. Baumeister RF and Tierney J. Willpower. New York: Penguin, 2001.

Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

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