Not all studying habits are created equal.

Whether you’re an undergrad, working for your master’s or receiving new training for your career, studying is essential for success in any industry. If you’re like me, however, you may not have or know about the best studying habits, and that can be a serious hurdle to achieving professional goals.

So, I decided to ask around and discover what studying habits the career experts have and how they can be applied. If you have your own tips you’d like to point out, let us know in the comments below!

5. Schedule your tasks and assignments

There is a tremendous amount of value in writing out everything you need to get done and assigning time to do it. Though a schedule can be a bit daunting, it’s wise to perceive it as a rubric for getting certain things completed before certain dates. For example, you may find it useful to say, “I need to get these two things done before Friday.” You then have a legitimate reason for scheduling time to work on the assignments throughout the week.

4. Color code your priorities

Let’s face it. We can’t do everything or give all of our assignments equal time. If you’re having trouble organizing your studying schedule, consider color coding based on priorities. This allows you to evaluate whether or not crucial tasks are being completed and given their due time. It is inevitable that some things will fall through the cracks, so use a practical priority system to make sure nothing essential does just that.

3. Always be prepared

Here is a scenario: You’re out running errands and you find yourself waiting in a long line for who knows how long. If you’re prepared, you may have studying items in your bag or even digitally available on your phone. Otherwise, you’re stuck wasting valuable time on a menial waiting period. Always be prepared and keep your studying materials accessible. You never know when opportunities to manage time efficiently will come your way.

2. Study during your breaks

Breaks are great times for getting essential reading done, especially lunch. While you’re eating, you may find yourself enjoying a simple distraction, such as watching television or browsing the internet. Instead, consider reading something you need to study. You are digesting information anyway, and this will save you valuable free time later in the day. Just make sure you are finding time to stretch your legs!

1. Use controlled distractions

Last but not least, controlled distractions are practical ways to satisfy your urge to be distracted without losing precious studying time. A good example (aside from music) is having a movie that you’ve seen countless times playing in the background. If you’ve seen it enough, the movie is white noise and less distracting, allowing you to scratch that distraction itch without getting studying done. Obviously, you can’t always have controlled distractions going on, but they serve a good purpose in moderation.