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(3) Use a 90 minutes on/20 minutes off schedule, which fits perfectly with our natural energy cycles (a.k.a the Ultradian Rhythm) (4) Go with the flow, just make sure to stop and reset when you start to zone out or lose focus. Okay, now that we’re set up and primed, we’re ready for our 2-step process.A lot of the time we get caught up in the process of what we “should” be doing when it comes to studying.
Remember, not only do distractions take time directly away from your homework, they also impart a “task switching penalty” (e.g.
research from Carnegie Mellon found frequent interruptions make you 20% dumber) which significantly depletes willpower.
Implement this and you’ll cut hours off your homework time each night, while unknowingly “studying” for your exams at the same time. Then, get your environment set up to maximize efficiency (reduce the amount of time it takes to get started) and minimize distractions (and preserve focus and willpower). And if that time doesn’t get allocated ahead of time, it’s quite easy to brush off a few hours of homeowork problems to the next day, and the next, and the next. But having a starting point to work from is a huge step up from just flying by the seat of your pants. (2) A dis-organized study environment will increase the “distraction load” your brain has to work around (e.g.
Here’s our process: First make sure you have consistent time blocked off for homework, and a specific goal for what needs to be accomplished. Third, prime yourself for work by taking a few simple steps to give your body and brain a “reset” (and recharge your focus muscle) before jumping into battle. Or if you do end up sitting down to work, that time gets contaminated by distractions like friends, eating, and fatigue if you’re not consistent about where and when it needs to happen. Simply put: take some time (right now would be good) to block off an hour or two each day for homework in your schedule. “Ooh forgot about that – lemme just check my email real quick”), which drains willpower (a.k.a. As we covered in Section 1, willpower is critical when it comes to staying focused, and powering through difficult work (a.k.a. And this turns out to be a key aspect of how to focus on studying as well, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Ask yourself this: Eat something 5-10 minutes before starting your homework session.
Pound ~20oz of water with it, and now you’ve eliminated the “hunger” excuse.No excuses to get up to go search for your notebook, only to find yourself in an impromptu Greco-Roman-style wrestling match with your roommate.However, just being organized doesn’t quite get us there – it’s also worth our while to actively seek out and eliminate potential distractions.(Just think: if it takes you 2 minutes instead of 15 minutes to get set up, multiplied across 7 days a week, 14 weeks a semester… ) Quick caveat: it pays to sometimes switch up your routine and change study environments.The research shows that new knowledge becomes more “flexible” when you acquire and use that information in a variety of different circumstances (e.g.Finally, our 2-step method: First, jump into solving problems as quickly as possible (start “hard learning” right off the bat). Then you find yourself sitting there thinking: Frustrated that you can never get anything done… Make sure you know that you can protect that time from other obligations (family, friends, food, Call of Duty, etc.), and make sure it lines up with when you work best (are you an early bird or a night owl? So now that you have your calendar in order, let’s get your study space in order as well.Then, slow down when you hit a sticking point and work at it (to build deep understanding). Well like Ashley, I think at some point we’ve all wanted to figure out how to spend less time on homework and more time on things that actually matter to us. In the world of manufacturing, there’s a Japenese concept of organization called 5s, aimed at standardizing routine tasks, minimizing time spent searching for or re-organizing equipment, and promoting productive work through a clean environment.Well, the same can be applied to your homework space.Take an index of where you usually do your homework: By streamlining each of these aspects of your homework spot and routine, you’re removing small friction points that, when added up, make a big different in terms of how quickly you can get up and running. It leaves you feeling tired, frustrated, and wondering whether you’ve actually learned anything at all, despite all that time you spent in class.It was created by the illuminati to keep the student population in a state of fear. Instead, our process includes some setup tips for focusing on homework, followed by a specific 2-step technique that will actually get you results. ”) which wastes valuable willpower resources, and will help you to focus more intently on the task at hand once you do sit down for your homework session.