- How can you decrease the number of hours you study. While at the same time learning more and achieving higher grades. How can you decrease your studying from say 10 hours a day to studying just six hours a day? But you achieve higher grades in your exams with the six hours a day studying rather than the 10 hours a day studying. And this is something that I’ve been thinking about quite a lot recently. And it all boils down to one word. “efficiency”.
- How can you make your studying as efficient as possible to the point? Where one student is studying for six hours and another student studying for 10 hours. But they both get the same grades in their exams. So I say this quite often on this website, you don’t need to be studying 14 hours a day every day. In fact for 99.9 percent of you. You shouldn’t be doing that. It’s not sustainable it’s not healthy it’s not an effective long-term strategy. Again for 99.9 percent of you, there is probably 0.1 percent of you watching this where studying 14 hours a day or more seven days a week is the right way to go.
- So what I do recommend is studying for six hours a day, eight hours a day ten hours a day it might not seem like a lot .especially just studying for six hours a day. But if in those six hours you’re firing on all cylinders. Your laser-focused you’re in a complete state of flow. Then that six hours of studying a day can often be enough to achieve phenomenal grades .to rank in the top five percent of your class. To be accepted into some of the highest-ranked universities in the country. However and it’s a big however you need to train your brain into being able to study with 100% focus for that entire six hours. So that means no distractions, no social media no youtube no emails no Reddit. Just complete and utter focus on your studying. And I receive a lot of requests from you guys about how to do this. Because it’s a habit. So it can take anywhere from three weeks to two months or even longer to get there.
- However, I’m gonna go over a few tips to help keep you in a 100% state of focus .to the point where you can entirely lose track of time. Like Mihai chi semi hai the author of the book flow state wrote “ the best moments in our lives are not the passive receptive relaxing time the best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to his limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile”
1) Study at your biological peak time
- So a person’s biological peak time is a time that they feel the most awake and energized. So for me, it’s the first couple of hours in the morning. And the last couple of hours before I sleep. Everyone’s biological peak time is different. And I know some people that always feel terrible in the morning. But they’re by far the most productive at nighttime. And even into the early hours of the morning. And you need to know when your biological peak time is. Because it’s extremely difficult to get into a flow state if you are low on energy.
2) Work on one very specific task
- To enter into a state of flow you need to stay focused on one very specific task. It’s no good switching from one task to another to another. Because every time you do that it takes your brain at least a good five or ten minutes to regain focus. And enter into a state of flow again. And normally I’ll have one main task to do each day. The single most important task that needs to get done. It can take two hours, it can take five hours. But whatever it is I do that first. And I plan that out on the day before and I’ll write it on the task list on my phone. So as soon as I wake up in the morning I know exactly what needs to get done that day. And a lot of people think productivity is just doing a lot of things. But I don’t think that’s necessarily true.
- Productivity for me is about getting the most important tasks done. The things that will bring you closer to your overall goal. And managing to do that consistently. And long term.
3) Eliminate all external distractions.
- This is maybe an obvious one but it’s something that so many of us still fall victim to. Including myself sometimes. Because although it might seem easy and obvious to remove external distractions. Like our phone, our social media, or youtube when we’re studying. In reality, it’s a surprisingly difficult thing to do. Because we live in a world where we almost have to be constantly communicating with other people. But it’s important to realize that it is okay to completely disconnect yourself from the world around you. If you want to reach a state of flow it’s almost necessary that you do that. Every time you get distracted from a notification on your phone every time you open a new tab on your browser and get distracted on youtube. It will take you further away from a flow state. Only when you can concentrate with undivided attention for at least 10-15 minutes. You can enter into a flow state.
- An external distraction would be a phone. Any sorts of notification from social media Facebook, Instagram, etc. Anything that can interrupt your focus. So go to a quiet environment where you’re not going to have anyone distracting you. Close all browser tabs remove anything on your desk that might distract you. It should just be you, your laptop, and your study material. And what I normally do is put my phone behind my laptop. So I can’t see. It so out of sight out of mind.
4) Eliminate all internal distractions.
- Sometimes what is stopping you from entering a state of flow are the thoughts that are going on in your head. And this is important. You need to be in a good mental state to enter a state of flow. These are internal distractions rather than external distractions and are slightly more complicated to get rid of.
- It could be that you’re under a lot of stress or have too many things on your mind. And here are a few things that you can do.
- The first is journaling- can help improve your mindset improve your mood by helping you prioritize any problems, fears or concerns you might have. It will also track any symptoms day today. So that you can recognize triggers. And learn ways to better control them. And finally, it provides an opportunity to identify any negative thoughts and behaviors.
- The second way to eliminate internal distractions is through meditation. So just 10 minutes of meditating a day. And 10 minutes isn’t that long can reset your mind so you can decrease the amount of procrastination you do. And lead to a more productive life.
5) Study environment
- This is something that I’ve been thinking about quite a lot recently. Because over the last two to three months I’ve realized actually how important my study environment is to enter a state of flow. Now I know it’s important. It’s only recently that I’ve started to realize actually how important it is. So I usually work in one of two places. The first place is my office which I’m in right now. And I come here obviously to publish these articles and edit. I do more concentration-intensive tasks here so that’s where I need complete silence.
- And the second place I work is in coffee shops. And this is what I’ve learned recently there’s one coffee shop that has just the right amount of background noise. Has just the right amount of background music. Has the perfect lighting it’s just a perfect working environment. And since I started going there to work. It’s so incredibly easy to enter into a flow state. It’s a 24-hour coffee shop and sometimes I’m working there until two in the morning. Just because I’m so laser-focused on what I’m doing.
- So yeah recently I’m starting to realize that having the perfect study environment is super important to reach a state of low.
6) Background music
- I’m going to cover this quickly because I’ve talked about it quite a lot on this website already. But listening to the right music could also increase your attention span. There has been a lot of research that shows that quiet classical music especially from composers such as Mozart and Beethoven can be useful for this. Even just sound effects like ocean waves or the sound of rain can help. And there are thousands of videos on youtube that do exactly this.
7) The task must be engaging
- The tasks must be challenging enough but not too challenging. If you want to reach a flow state the task that you are planning must challenge your brain enough for you to be completely engaged. Remember the feeling when you first start the next level of the game. It stimulates your emotions that you are so excited to upgrade your skills to overcome that level. Even when you’re playing that game for hours and hours at a time you completely lose track of time. It’s probably because of three things.
- Number one is fun. Number two it’s not too difficult. And number three it’s not too easy. And if it was too difficult or too easy you’d probably lose interest relatively quickly.
8) Keep practicing.
- Being able to study for hours at a time with complete focus takes time. At first, it’s not easy to do but the more you practice at it the easier it becomes. Each time you fail and you get distracted. Try to learn from it what was it that distracted you. Is there a way to remove that distraction for next time? So that it doesn’t happen again. And equally every time you succeed you should also learn from it what did you do right. And the more you practice the better you’ll get. I go into this topic in more detail on how to study less so how to study for a few hours during the day.
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