|Table of contents|
Up to about 20k: don't even think of studying. And don't play slow games. Play as many games as you can as quickly as you can. Log onto a go server and while you are waiting for a game watch the games of players about 4-6 stones stronger than you. Don't bother watching dan games too much as you will not learn a lot from them.
20k-10k: Slowly incorporate study into your day but concentrate on playing. Play more slower games and start to review them. From this point on until you reach 9p try to find at least two new mistakes in every game you play. Study at this stage should be limited to tesuji and lifea& death. Don't bother with joseki and don't study pro games - they will be beyond you.
10k-5k: Master all the basic L&D shapes and get a thorough undertanding of basic tesuji. Don't bother studying joseki in isolation but every time you get a bad result in a corner look up the joseki and see what you should have played. making sure you understand the reasons for the moves in the joseki (this is why you need to study the tesuji and L&D). Play more slower games (30 minutes a person) and limit your fast games. Review every game you play before you go on to the next one. Incorporate study of other material, such as fuseki and endgame and start playing over a few games of pros and strong amateurs, but don't try to memorize them. Start watching serious games by dan players on a go server and try to predict their moves before they play them.
5k-1k Study everything you can and spend at least as much time studying as playing. Try to understand the meaning of all the moves in all common joseki and fuseki. Study lots of L&D and tesuji problems. Review every game you play and try to determine why you lost when you did, or what the opponent could have done to win when you won. Watch games by high dan players. Make sure you teach a people in the 10k range - teaching helps you clarify ideas in your own mind because you have to explain them.
1d-3d: Learn every joseki and fuseki pattern you can find -- and then forget them all. The act of learning causes you to hardwire patterns in your brain, but the act of forgetting them causes you to not rely on them and so you have to really understand the moves you play. Study more L&D and tesuji. Thoroughly review every game you play and try to find every mistake: ask stronger players to help. Watch a lot of serious games by high dans. Teach a lot of high kyu players - this makes sure you understand all the ideas well enough to explain them. By this stage you should be able to replay all your serious games without seeing the game record: if you cannot then you are not spending enough time thinking about them during play.
Above 3d: You are on your own. You will not improve much without serious competion so make sure you are playing serious tournaments. Continue to review all games and try to find all mistakes.