Extras: Why Your Learning Units Are Useless – And What You Can Do About It

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by Aveline MacQuoid on April 24, 2022

in Archives,Extras

Why Your Learning Units Are Useless –
And What You Can Do About It

In this article, we’ll get to the bottom of the causes of your unsuccessful study sessions and look at possible ways out of your mess. These five reasons are mainly responsible for why your learning units are not working:

1. You Don’t Know What You Want

Many students sit down at their desks, open their college notebooks, and get started. They read, write summaries and do exercises. They act, but in the end, they get nothing. Why? Because they act haphazardly. You are busy but not productive. You are missing something: a concrete goal.

Without a fixed goal, your learning session will be like a walk in an unfamiliar city: You move and see a lot of new things – but without a plan, you get lost. In the end, you no longer know where you are, let alone what you saw along the way because you are so disoriented.

That’s why it’s imperative that, before each learning session, you make it clear what you want to achieve in the coming minutes or hours. If you start studying without a goal, a lot of your energy will go to waste and you will waste your time.

This is how you solve the problem: Set a specific goal before each learning unit! Define exactly what you want to learn and also note the desired learning progress!

2. You’re Muddy in the Head

When was the last time you dealt with your learning materials in full possession of your mental abilities? Or to put it another way: What are the priorities of your learning units in your life? Do you only throw them in when there’s some time to pass and you want to clear your conscience after a long day at the uni? Or do you study at the times when you are productive and motivated?

If the first alternative describes your study habits, you should think about your behavioral patterns, because: If you study tired and are not focused, the effects of your study units will never correspond to your wishes. If you see learning as a sideline and constantly prioritize other things, you can’t expect the effects of your efforts to blow you away.

So get in the habit of learning only when you are mentally fresh. Study first thing in the morning before doing anything else or going to class. Or: Create productive framework conditions in the evening in which you can access your full potential and thus make optimal use of your learning units. Work in small increments and take regular breaks to stay focused and last longer.

This is how you solve the problem: Prioritize your learning units and consciously carry them out at your productive times! Adjust your daily planning and reserve fixed study times every day!

3. You Study with Blinders On

Learning doesn’t mean writing things down and then mindlessly repeating them 42 times; that’s clumsy information beating. Learning means something else, namely: understanding. Sustainable learning involves working out connections and being able to transfer them to different areas of application. Sometimes, you need to refer to resources, such as those found here, if you find yourself struggling with the writing aspect of your learning journey. It can help you express your understanding coherently.

Only then will the newly acquired information network in your brain over the long term stay in your memory. Only when you learn with reason will your understanding grow. Unfortunately, many students do not adhere to this natural system and continue to try their luck with the pure memorization of isolated facts.

This strategy has two major disadvantages: firstly, it takes longer overall for the content to be learned to be error-free in your head; second, they don’t stay there for long because there’s no contextual context to cling to. The consequence of this learning with blinkers is that you need longer to memorize the material and then forget it again after a short time. Not a good deal.

This is how you solve the problem: Take off your blinders and place your learning material in a higher context every time! Make connections to other topics and never look at the information in isolation! Yeah, this takes quite a lot of energy, which you can get more of by employing essay writing services to help you deal with assignments.

4. You Bore Your Brain

Your brain is a little diva. The fine lady is demanding and gets bored quickly. They are not interested in dates, definitions, and formulas. On the other hand, she is so keen on colorful pictures, music, and cat videos that she leaves everything else behind.

Jokes aside, if you want to get the most out of your study sessions, it’s not enough to feed your brain a list or a brittle summary. Such information is boring. Therefore, for a productive round at the des, you have to appeal to different senses and prepare the material in such a way that it becomes strange.

Use different learning techniques and vary your methods. Insert pictures, draw sketches, use colors or watch explanatory videos on your study-related topics. Speak the content out loud, create new mnemonic bridges or learn together with fellow students – in short: Do everything you can to ensure that your learning units don’t get boring.

This is how you solve the problem: Prepare your learning materials and make them interesting! Any measure that helps you to remember the material better is allowed!

5. You Work with a Blunt Axe

A walker is walking through the forest and sees a lumberjack chopping a huge pile of wood. But the lumberjack is making very slow progress. He is struggling because his ax is blunt and it takes an insane amount of time for each piece of wood. The walker asks the man why he doesn’t sharpen the ax first. The lumberjack points to the pile in front of him and replies, “I don’t have time for that – it’s too busy.”

This familiar metaphor makes it clear that when you have a scarce resource to contend with, it pays to optimize its use. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about time, money, or valuable habits. If you want to get ahead in your studies (and in life), you need to invest in yourself and improve your skills. If you’re not ready, you won’t get anywhere and you’ll never reach your potential.

So what does a good woodcutter do when he has ten hours to chop wood? He sharpens his ax for nine hours. And in a figurative sense: If you want to learn productively, you should work on your technique. If you want to get better grades, you should first polish your study methods before you go to the library. If you don’t have enough time and feel stressed, you should use some of your time to deal with it more efficiently.

Here’s how you solve the problem: Improve your study technique and think about HOW you learn! Don’t just deal with the content, but optimize the methods you use to achieve your learning progress!


If you have the feeling that your learning units are unproductive or deliver too few results, it is up to you to change this situation. The choice is yours: do you want to struggle like the unfortunate stone-hauler Sisyphus and end up starting all over again, or are you willing to work on your strategy and improve your learning sessions?

It depends on you. You decide whether you take the same, cumbersome path every time, or whether you finally fine-tune your learning strategy to unleash your full potential.

Productive study habits are great—but they don’t come for free. You have to work hard to develop these behavior patterns and check them anew every time. However, the effort will be worth it. Because nothing is more satisfying and reassuring than the feeling that your work was not in vain.

If you succeed in completing learning units that bring you lasting benefits, you have understood the core of studying. And then nothing can stop you. Your rock will then never roll down into the valley again – and it’s only a matter of time before you reach the summit.

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