Studying Time

How can people find time to study chess?

If you try to find half-an-hour each day, then you won’t find half-an-hour each day.  Something will come up to prevent you studying.

You need to set up a a habit of studying. Most of what we do each day is done through habit.  Habits make things easier. You just go with the flow. If it is 7 o’clock, I will have breakfast. If it is 6 pm, I will have my tea. If it is 10:30 pm, I will get ready for bed. Habits save us having to think about what to do.

So setting up a habit for studying chess will make your life easier not harder. If you set up a plan – ‘After tea, I will study for 30 minutes’, then you save all the bother of working out how you are going to fit in 30 minutes of study time.  It will simply be less stress to study than to figure out when you will find time to study.

After a while, the new habit will stick, and it will be part of your routine. New habits can take a while to become routine. Some research I saw said it took an average of 8 weeks to learn a new habit.

So assign a time to your chess study periods. if you don’t assign a time to something you want to do, it is just wishful thinking.

If you are lazy, and human beings are not designed to be workhorses, then make your laziness work for you. Schedule time to chess study periods so that it becomes just too much effort to change your routine.

To give you an idea of how lazy people are, there is a story of a firm that used to have free sweets in containers in their offices. They gave away a lot of sweets. When they put a lid on the container, the number of free sweets given away dropped dramatically. All people had to do was lift the lid, but enough people were so lazy that they couldn’t be bothered to do that.

So set up a schedule of study time. Put in the effort for a few weeks until it becomes a habit. Then you can make your habits work for you, instead of against you. You will be in a routine, and you will find that time for study of chess that you cannot find at present.

Steven Carr

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About Steven Carr

I am 57 years old, and I am trying to improve my standard of play. From 1998 to 2012, I had a break from chess, playing very few games in that period. I now play more competitive chess and I currently have a English grading of 184. I hope to get a grading of over 200 one day. I normally play in the Merseyside League and play Board 1 for Wallasey.