The Best Methods To Study Effectively, Tips To Study Smarter Not Harder
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

6 Methods To Study Effectively that change my learning game as an international student at the No.1 University of Australia.

Before I share with you the “Best Methods To Study Effectively, Study Smarter Not Harder”, I want you to notice that “Everything comes with a price”.

If you plan to study master’s degree, you actually need to spend more hours (for me it is 10 hours daily) to master your skills and knowledge before you can gain any small success.

However, these “6 methods to study effectively” actually can apply to anyone who is studying and wants to have useful tips to “Study Smarter Not Harder”. Because these methods are what I figured out during my long-term studying journey and are cohesive after years.


How can you study for 10 hours every day? This is insane!

This is a sentence that I usually heard from my friends back in my country when I shared with them how many hours I need to learn per day. At the time, I studied for my master’s degree at the University of Melbourne, the №1 University in Australia, and stands at 33rd globally.

But the truth is

Yes, I did it.

And I feel it is normal at my university when most of the students are very hard-working. I also know some of my friends can study up to 15 hours per day.

But for me, I don’t want to study in this way and also don’t want to recommend you to do it.

And in this story, I want to share with you how I manage my day to optimize my study and not burn out. For me, studying more is good but letting yourself burn out because of study is not a good idea.

There are 6 tips that I did when I studied for my master’s degree to make sure that I can get the best results for my learning process in 10 hours.

Firstly, let ask yourself:

“Do you think that studying 10 hours a day is possible or not?”

The answer is “YES! It’s possible”.

Let’s make a simple calculation here. Every day, we all have 24 hours. So, let spend:

  • 7 hours for sleep
  • 2 hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 1 hour for doing exercise
  • 1 hour for rest and shower
  • 2 hours for social activities (meeting friends, chats,…)

So you still have 11 hours for free to use for what you want in a day. And let’s say, you are a student and the most important thing for you is studying. This is all the time you can spend here. I will figure out how I use my 11 hours to work on my study journey.

No.1 Methods To Study Effectively: Schedule daily goals

“Which goals do you want to achieve today?”

This is the question that I ask myself every evening before going to sleep. I can choose if today I want to complete 2 chapters of a book, or review 2 subjects for the test, or spend one more hour learning a language,…

The clearer goals that you can figure out to achieve in a day will make your daily goals easier to achieve. And it is also a great motivation for us to wake up early in the morning to do it.

Instead of having no goal, let make your own. If not, you won’t have the motivation to get out of your bed to work or study.

Create your own Things-To-Do List

Personally, I always have a “Things To Do Today” list that I will figure out what I want to achieve in a day, and put the 3 most important goals to the top to make sure I can complete them all in the morning.

I don’t try to do more than 3 important tasks a day, because it can easily make me feel overwhelmed.

And if you fail to plan for your day, you will feel sadness or have a down mood that leads to the next failure. And never require yourself to achieve so many things in a day. Because it is more possible for us to achieve less but quality goals rather than many goals at the same time. 

No.2 Methods To Study Effectively: Take a break during studying time

The research of Swinburne University shows that our brain needs to take a rest around 15–20 minutes between doing the tasks or studying for a long time. And we can get peak productivity if we work from 30 to 50 minutes, less than that is not effective while more than can easily make you feel burned out.

Therefore, I always try to apply the time rule 50/10 for me when I study. It means that I will concentrate on the task for 50 minutes, then I will spend 10 minutes resting. Normally, I walk around the office to relax my eyes from the computer while listening to podcasts. 

The tip here is when you are resting, try not to look at the screen. As I see many of my friends say that they have a rest by watching movies, scrolling news feeds on their smartphones.

Actually, this is not real “REST”. Your brain, eyes still work with the phone screen. This is not good for your eyes and doesn’t give your brain the time to recover effectively.

No.3 Methods To Study Effectively: Take care of your physical body daily

If you want to have a strong mindset, you need to have a strong body as well. You can’t work effectively if your body always feels sick or tired.

And as you can see, in the scheduled time that I mentioned above. I always spend at least 1 to 2 hours a day on my workout. 

The exercise activities, especially cardio or H.I.I.T make me feel exhausted in the Gym. But it also makes me feel great and has more energy to focus on learning and working later.

One other tip: You can practice exercise during your 10 minutes rest time by just doing a couple of sets of push-ups or skipping rope. For me, I normally do around 30 push-ups or 200 jumping ropes when I’m resting.

how to study better
Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

No.4 Methods To Study Effectively: Switch between your subjects.

It can be very boring if you need to study math or sciences all day long. Instead of just focusing on studying in one subject, I normally spend my time on two or three subjects a day.

Therefore, whenever I feel tired or lazy to keep learning a subject, I can switch to another.

It makes me feel more excited to learn about the new things in the 2nd subject rather than keep reading or doing tests on the first one for a couple of hours.

No.5 Methods To Study Effectively: Using a mind map to study

  • Are you a person who loves to use a mind map when studying?

  • Do you feel bored if you need to read a hundred pages of a book daily?

If you answer YES to any of them, a mind map is a thing that you need to be concerned about to use more frequently in your daily study.

Following the research on  “The business”, the mind map method helps you to learn more and faster with a larger amount of information that can be consumed in your head.

And for me, when I use the mind map method, it helps me to remember longer with more information compared to just reading.

Because when you use a mindmap, it means that you are recreating what you learn to make it to another version of knowledge.

This process will help your brain to recognize what is good and what matters for you to note down in a mindmap, which is not necessary to write down after you read a hundred pages to study new knowledge.

No.6 Methods To Study Effectively: Change the method of study during a day

Studying all the time with your computer for 10 hours will destroy your eye vision in a short time. But studying all the time with paper books and a pen may not be suitable for the new modern learning system when the most information you need is to research online as well as write and submit essays online.

So, in my case, I try to adjust to using both methods in a day. It means that I can spend a few hours focusing on studying just by using paper books, pens, and a notebook without using my computer. In another few hours, I will use my computer to search for information and submit essays for my teacher online.

This makes the study process more fun, easier to concentrate, and still reduces the negative impacts of using electric devices so often in a day.

To sum up, 

These 6 tips are from my personal experiences that were used for years in my university life for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It helps me to save more time while learning more compared to my friends without the “burnout” feelings.

I believe that these tips also can apply very effectively for you not only just in school but also in your future work when you need to solve a lot of issues during a long period of time.

The right mindset and good adjustment during the pressure-time will bring more enjoyment and benefits for yourself. And if you want to know more about the personal finance lessons that I learned during my time in Australia in Covid-19, you can find 4 effective ways that helped me to save more than 2000++ per month here.


Thank you for checking this blog, I am also running a Youtube Channel to share a lot of insights and stories related to Business, Media & Marketing, Personal Finance & Self Development that you can

Check my Youtube here!


If you want to study Vietnamese or vice versa, these are several vocabulary that you can learn from this topic:

  1. Burn out: Hội chứng gây ra bởi căng thẳng mãn tính không kiểm soát được ở nơi làm việc – Kiệt sức
  2. Mind map: Sơ đồ tư duy
  3. H.I.I.T (High-intensity interval training): (Luyện tập cường độ cao ngắt quãng)
  4. recreating: tái tạo lại
  5. the pressure-time: thời gian áp lực
  6. This is insane!: Thật là điên rồ!
  7. social activities: các hoạt động xã hội