It’s a matter of pleasing yourself. It has nothing to do with doing your best.
Doing your best is pushing yourself to your limits. It’s stressful. It’s difficult. It’s the kind of thing that, if you do every minute of every day, you’ll end up with a worse and worse best as time goes on. The stress will just build up and you’ll end up with mediocre being the best you can do on a daily basis.
You don’t need to “do your best” to be successful in school. If you do a sufficient job and are of average intelligence then you’ll end up with an above average grade.
Quite frankly, most of the people that say they’re doing their best are just making excuses for themselves.
“Well… I did my best,” they’ll tell you.
Then you might ask them, “so you studied a lot for the test?”
“Well… Yea… the night before I pulled an all-nighter.”
Then, of course, you find out that the all-nighter was the complete amount of time they spend studying. They now feel comfortable saying that they “did their best” while ignoring the weeks or months before that they could have spent actually doing something that would dramatically improved their grade.
Doing your best on the night before the test shouldn’t excuse you from your failures. Heck, if you “do your best” on your test but didn’t put 10 seconds into preparing for the test then you shouldn’t go on excusing your bad results. If you’re going to claim you’re “doing you best” you should at least put a few weeks of perspective on the situation.
Doing your best isn’t necessary if you’re doing it right. For more information on this you might want to read Why Bad Students (Sometimes) Make The Best Students.
If you study a few minutes a night then you’ll usually end up well ahead of the “do their best” last minute crowd. You don’t even have to be consistently doing your best. If you show up and are able to muster the minimum amount of focus then you’ll still be crushing them.
Don’t think that you need a massive effort to get massive grades. More important, don’t use “doing your best” to forgive yourself for being too short-sighted to prepare.
Do you want to know how to study in less than 15 minutes a night? That’s what this blog is all about. Be sure to check out the archives and follow along. Also, be sure to read the books in the sidebar to learn more.