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Monday, April 28, 2014

15 LAZY Ways To Improve Your Grades

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The vast majority of study advice around for the last 100 years are based around “hard work.” They say that if you set your mind to it and invest all kinds a' time, someday, you, might, see some results. I've always found this advice to be a bit of a cop out.

First of all, most students that struggle with their grades put in a ton of time. On top of that, not all students that kick-ass at school invest much energy into studying. To say hard work is how you improve your grades is to overlook 90% of the discrepancies that take place.

Second, hard work can be defined as anything. I could build my home out of toothpicks. That's hard work. That doesn't mean it's not smarter to build it out of 2x4's. Hard work is not a virtue in itself. Without the right knowledge, hard work is just a major waste of time.

This is a list of ways you can take the hard work out of your study routine and see better results for it:

1. Sleep More

What's more lazy then sleeping more? The human brain needs a significant amount of sleep too work at it's peak. When your brain is not working at it's peak, there is virtually no way to objectively know. That means you have to be particularly careful you get enough sleep every night.

2. Mellow Out Through Class

Nooo... don't do illegal substances. Just relax through your classes. If you're writing notes like a mad man then you're not remembering the information as well as you could. Try to get relaxed during your classes to ensure you make the best of the class time.

3. Read The Syllabus

You know that paper that all your teachers hand you explaining how they do things in their course? Read it. After reading it you can focus the work you do on the things your teacher finds important. Sometimes you'll notice that there is virtually no reason to worry about homework, or tests, or some other specific aspect of the course because they're worth so little.

4. Study Less

Most students spend hours studying with absolutely no focus. It's much more effective to study a shorter period of time with complete focus. The fresher your mind is, the more information that it can remember.

5. Habitually Study

No... you don't need discipline to study. Just get in the habit of studying for a few minutes at the same time every day. When it's a habit, you'll find yourself studying and wonder how you got there. By that time, you've already got into the study material a bit.

6. Skip Studying The Last Night

There is no need to study the night before a test if you prepared right. If you know the information you need to know then don't you dare pick up that textbook. Instead of studying that class, be confident that you know all the material you need to know.

7. Forget About The Top 3 Points

It's easier to go from a 98 to a 99 than a 99 to a 100. The difference isn't linear because with the first one you only need to know 1 of 2 things and the second you need to know 1 of 1 thing. Is that last point worth an extra hour or two of studying? Probably not. Know that those last points are, by far, the most costly.

8. Find Pleasure

Do you like baseball but hate math? Instead of focusing on math, focus on how the math can be used with statistics. You can do similar things with any subject you have to learn but don't enjoy. Focus on the pleasurable parts of the information and you'll learn more faster.

9. Kill Procrastination

Procrastination is not lazy. It's just stupid. Every time you think “I'll study in 20 minutes,” you're adding to the time you have to think about the studying by a few seconds and interrupting the things you'd prefer to do. That's stressful and time consuming. Do the unpleasant stuff now.

10. Fun

You can be lazy and still invest a ton of energy into something. It's generally just something you want to do. Try to have some fun with the more painful work you have to do. The more fun you have, the less it's going to feel like work.

11. Study Less Information

Don't treat your whole textbook like it's a gospel of required information. Most teachers only focus on small pieces. If there is a chance you won't need to learn something then don't be afraid not to learn it. The less you need to learn, the better you're going to be able to learn everything else.

12. Make Friends With The Teacher

Don't worry. You're not a teachers pet unless you act like one. Being friendly with your teachers isn't pet like unless you rub up against them and kiss their bums. Try and treat them like an actual friend. If they respond well then keep it up. Being friends with a teacher is a quick way to guarantee a few points extra. (Sorry teachers. I've seen it too many times. Maybe you're the exception.)

13. Simplify Your Life

Forget about trying to use the most complex and effective strategies for school, studying, and memorization. The smartest thing you can do is usually just less. Instead of doing more and more. Eliminate what doesn't work and do less and less.

14. Don't Feel Guilty For Not Getting Perfect Grades

Once you start relaxing and getting really good grades, you may feel some guilt kicking in. Maybe you think you could score that final 5 points if you studied like the average person. It's true. Maybe you could. Ask yourself if you want to invest that extra time. It's okay if you don't. Grades (especially the last few when you're not competing for scholarships,) don't mean all that much.

15. Relax

One of the biggest problems that most students have is stress. Stress shuts down the most important areas in the brain for learning. Learning to relax during the tough times is one of the most effective ways to change your final grade.

You don't have to be a workaholic to get good grades. In fact, I highly recommend you learn early that working too much is downright depressing. It's better to work logically and find the most efficient way for you to get the grades that you're looking for.

Using these 15 lazy study strategies, you can see more results with less time.

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