The Economics of Studying: A Few Tips

by joanabagano

(photo credits to alma lunar)

General Knowledge Economics tells us of the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns. It’s when the amount of additional production decreases as more and more laborers are added to work on a limited piece of land.

Let’s apply that simple rule to studying:

Your brain is limited. It can only hold so much information. Before reading any further, you have to admit that reality.

Now imagine yourself reading a book. For the first hour, you enjoy it. You acquire ideas with ease and you feel your brain is amazingly working. The next hour you begin to feel distracted but you still learn a few things. The third hour, you still read but then you are subconsciously being dominated by the law of diminishing marginal returns.

When you get to the exam, what you’ve read in the third hour is no longer clearly present in your brain.

To prevent that from happening, here’s a few tips.

1. Pause right after the first hour. Or at the moment you feel your attention span has ended. Breathe. Drink some water.
(If you have short attention span, that’s a different matter altogether.)

2. If you were reading in the first hour, try watching the next. Look for Youtube videos that support your studying. Restrain yourself from typing other search keywords like ‘Mikey Bustos’ or ‘Annoying Orange’ or ‘improv’.

3. Go back to reading once brain comfort has returned. You will feel it. Now this begins another first hour.