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Monday, May 4, 2015

You Won't Believe How Much Speed Can Improve Your Studying

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The slow and steady approach is the most common approach to studying. People are taught from childhood to sit down with their textbooks and really try to digest the information. To this day, many teachers recommend you study hours a night for all of your classes. This insanity has been disproved time and time again empirically but they still insist it's the best way to study.

First of all, studying for long sessions of time is an instant killer of results. The efficiency of your studying decreases consistently over that period of time. By the end of your hour plus study session, your brain isn't going to be retaining a bit of information.

Second of all, no one wants to study for hours straight. That instantly means that 95% of people won't actually follow through with their studying. Sure, studying hours a night may work okay but it's not going to end up actually being hours a night. It's going to end up hours of studying whenever you can work up the discipline to actually start.

Third of all: Really, even if you sit down to study for hours. Your brain is not going to be thinking about studying 90% of that time. You'll spend a minute studying before getting distracted with stupid pointless thoughts like, “Ughhh I've gotta' be here another hour...” Actually, that's best case scenario. Worst case scenario you're going to end up daydreaming the study session away thinking about the person with the dreamy eyes in math class. You'll barely even read a page for hours.

Fourth of all: Phew... Maybe I should just move onto the better alternative.

How To Do Something “Impossible”

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There is a basic concept that's not true but I give it a whole lot of respect. It's the idea that you can't control your emotions. For the most part, it's true. You can, however, easily steer your emotions in the direction you want them to go. Your brain is a complex organ with more going on than you could possibly control. That's where focus and attention comes in. You may not control your focus completely but you can steer it in the right direction.

Just about every student struggles with focus at some point in their studying. Not being able to focus on studying is just as bad as not being able to discipline yourself to start studying. Hell, what's the point of pretending to study with a textbook in front of you (learning nothing) when you could be having fun (still learning nothing).

Focus is fundamentally based on emotions.

Your brain focuses on what is most important to it. Usually emotions define what is most important to the brain. Like I said before, for the most part, you can't control your emotions. You can only steer them.

When it comes to focus on studying, how can you steer your brain in that direction?

Speed Demon

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Have you ever watched the Winter Olympic sport called Skeleton?

It's pretty much a death wish where athletes ride head first down a iced path at over 80 mph. Imagine you're an athlete about to do the skeleton. (Or if you have a fast paced sport you love, imagine that.) In this situation, you don't have to come up with tricks to force yourself into focusing. You're going to focus. If you don't focus then there will be some serious consequences. Your brain isn't stupid. You're not going to be thinking about wanting a bagel or something while about to descend down the hill. You're going to put all of your attention on what you need to do.

Studying should be done kind of like that.

No, you don't need to go sledding with your textbook. My point is, you've got to change the way you think about studying. It is not a long and boring session. It is a quick and powerful moment. How do you do that?

Study fast. Read the words on the page faster than you're comfortable. Test yourself faster than you're comfortable. Answer questions so fast that you do it on instinct more than thinking. Set the goal of learning more information than you think you're capable of learning in a single short session.

Instantly, you can finagle your brain into a state of near complete focus on what you need to do. That is, as long as you don't blatantly cheat this system.

After you finish studying fast, you can't let yourself have a do over. Let's say you set a fifteen minute study session. If, after that fifteen minutes of high speed studying , you feel like you didn't get it all, DO NOT TRY TO STUDY MORE that night. It's over.

That's what makes this study strategy so powerful. At first, this is going to be painful because you're intentionally going to be failing to learn information but it's going to train your brain to focus better and better over time because, like in skeleton, you have only one chance to succeed or fail. Your brain will learn how to succeed after a while.

The Other Advantages

Speed's number one advantage in studying is focus. It's an effect that can improve your grades dramatically. That being said, speed has a whole slew of other advantages for studying.

First of all, you suddenly have much fewer excuses not to study. Since you're studying faster, you can study for less time. I often recommend less than 15 minutes a night. That means it's easier to start studying in the first place. You can tell yourself, “It's only 15 minutes.” It also means you're less likely to skip is based on other obligations. That means a more consistent and effective study session.

Since you'll no longer dread studying quite as much, it's also a more enjoyable experience.

The best part of all is that you'll have more time to do the things you enjoy. You'll spend less time worrying about getting good grades in your classes. That extra time can be used to improve your grades more or maybe just to slack off and enjoy your life a little.

Do you want to know how to study in less than 15 minutes a night? That's what this blog is all about. Check out the archives for a ton of tricks to help you out. Also, be sure to check out the books if you own a kindle.

Do you want to learn the secrets about studying that the mainstream educators wont tell you? Follow this blog.

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