The day had started “well” for Georg! When he got on the bus to go to school, he remembered that he had forgotten his student pass, which was still in his tennis bag for his trip to yesterday’s afternoon practice. Time was too short to run home again and get the ID. Promptly there was a ticket control and Georg did not succeed in persuading the controller to turn a blind eye today. He had to give his name and address, to which a payment slip with the penalty fee would be sent. “This will cost me a week’s pocket money,” he sighed, already seeing his father who would at least give him a lecture on tidiness.
While he was still mulling over his morning mishap in the first lesson, the teacher called him in for a review, during which he got everything mixed up, and the teacher, shaking her head, observed, “I guess this isn’t your day!” and called on his bench neighbor.
The fact that Georg got a bruise when he fell in gym class, rolled his fountain pen off the desk, and sprayed the pen made the day “perfect.”
For the afternoon, Georg had planned to finally start studying for the crucial history exam next week after finishing his homework. Already the homework didn’t want to go off his hand and it took him three times as long as usual. But after studying two pages in his history book, he felt as if his mind was suddenly “blank” somehow. He found himself pondering more and more, because for the life of him he couldn’t remember what he had just read. True, he wanted to learn and get past the history material he didn’t necessarily love, but when he flipped back through the book and started over again, he felt like he had the first time. He felt like he was under an invisible bell that prevented anything from getting through to him. Nevertheless, he worked three hours almost doggedly through to the evening.
The next day, as he tackled the rest of the material for the history exam, he realized that almost nothing of yesterday’s learning had stuck, but he had easily made up for it in an hour.
This is probably the kind of situation most students have experienced at one time or another. These “learning blocks” or “learning inhibitions” can be seen as a kind of cry for help that our brain or even our “gut” sends out to say “That’s enough for today!” or “Now all you need is rest!”
If, like Georg, you now try spasmodically to take in material again and again “by force” despite this “bell”, you will not be successful. Such blockades make learning more difficult or, as in Georg’s case, even impossible. If a learning block occurs here and there, it is therefore better to close the book and postpone learning until the next day.
If you try to break through such blockades by “force”, then over time you will experience learning as an increasingly unpleasant activity, so that a kind of vicious circle develops. Then it can happen that one approaches soon each examination material with an unpleasant feeling and learning only as laborious and tormenting experiences.
It will not always be possible to postpone learning, but in some exceptional cases it can be better than a spasmodic pulling through, which only leads to frustration and ultimately brings nothing.
However, our learning tip should not tempt you to postpone learning until the next day every time you lack motivation.
And if – which is unfortunately often the case – learning cannot be postponed at all in such a mood, then you should at least do something completely different for an hour or even two. For example, take the dog for a walk, listen to a music CD or just stare a hole in the ceiling …
A little trick to deal with such learning blocks is the paper ball method. To do this, you write down the mishaps that have happened to you on pieces of paper and lay them all out in front of you. Then you crumple up these pieces of paper and throw them in a high arc into the wastebasket. One mishap after the other is “disposed of” in this way. If you also miss the wastebasket while throwing, then you should really tick off the day 😉