Taking Breaks While Studying

We are living in a competitive world where everyone is striving hard to be the ‘numero uno’. Whether it is the business tycoon trying to stay abreast over his rivals in the business world, or the engineering student pushing himself ahea without stopping so that he can make it big in his life, or the aspiring student who is trying to excel in his studies by putting in countless hours cramming and revising sessions.

In this maddening race to be the best, one forgets to often take a break. Research studies indicate that students who are habituated to study for an hour and taking a 10 minute break are productive than students who don’t. At the end of the session, such students are able to retain most of what they have learnt as compared to students who push themselves without taking any breaks. Taking breaks while studying creates a huge impact on the process of learning and contributes to better learning in many ways.

Non-stop studying after a gradual period of time stops the brain from registering anything. Monotony creeps in and the brain decodes a monotonous activity. The student will be unable to concentrate anymore. Taking a break will break the monotony and improve concentration levels, thereby assisting in the learning process and enhancing the learning ability. When the mind is clear, relaxed and refreshed, learning happens at a faster speed.

Studying for long hours creates information overload, and causes mental fatigue and tiredness. Taking frequent breaks will retain most of what has been learnt and help in staying focussed. Ideally, students should divide their study sessions into frames of 30 to 60 minutes depending on his learning capability. Shorter study session improves concentration and focus levels as little content is learnt and remembered better. A relaxed mind and sharper concentration and focus level yields better results. Since breaks are taken frequently and study hours are now divided into shorter sessions, the ability to learn and retain is much better.

Students should plan a study schedule in such a way that he is able to take a ten minute break for every hour of studying. This may not be suitable for everybody as the criterion for taking break differs from person to person. So break should be taken when one is feeling tired or restless, or when one can no longer concentrate. Limit breaks to shorter intervals. Do not turn them into an hour long break. There is huge difference between taking breaks and not wanting to study at all. Do not procrastinate study sessions in the name of ‘study breaks’. A change of place, a cup of coffee, a walk around the park, or listening to favourite song, reading newspaper, taking a power nap etc. are some things one can do in their break time. Watching television or reading articles relating to the subject that is been studied should be totally avoided.

These are some of the reasons why a break is just as important. Utilize break time diligently and all the best for your exams.  

Aakarsha Mehta (have 101 posts in total)

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