This week’s question is one I picked, not because I have a wonderful answer, but because it’s the kind of question I like to get caught up contemplating about myself. Here is the relevant portion:
I have to pull out my bs detector on that post. There is no way a person can study in as little as 5 minutes. At 15 minutes I had my doubts but it’s ridiculous to think that someone can get any good studying done in that amount of time. Heck, I can’t even pull out my books in 5 minutes.
BS detector must be beeping cause it’s low on battery or something. You might need to get it charged because I tentatively stand by my post (but not necessarily the spin this question put on it.) There are two important things to note first.
First of all, preparation time is not included in the 15 minute study strategy. If it takes you 5 minutes to take out your textbook then you can’t go on pretending that it’s study time. The preparation for studying is all on your time (so for your time’s sake, keep it quick.) Since that was explicitly stated in the post you’re referring to, I’ll assume that was probably just a joke.
Second, I certainly don’t think 99% of students should rely on 5 minute study sessions. I can see some valuable uses for them on a temporary basis (when you’re trying to create a study habit,) but the average study load for most students tends to be more than can be practically achieved in 5 minutes (on average, of course, some folks are rather impressive.)
I get that a 5 minute study session is unbelievable. In fact, I considered referring to the study strategy in this blog as the 10 minute study strategy but figured it would set off too many bs detectors. People would get distracted by the impressively small number. The smartest of students would see the hard to believe number and assume it’s crap. That was one of my main fears in publicizing this strategy.
It is very possible for the skilled practitioners of a good study strategy to get high test scores while studying only 5 minutes a night. I’ve done it myself in short bursts. The fundamental problem with cutting the study sessions so short is the risk of never getting “in the zone” while studying. It sometimes takes a few minutes of focused studying to get your brain fully immersed. The more time you have, the more likely you’ll hit that fully immersed position.
Here is the interesting part for me though: most of those 15 minutes I recommend are really just prep time for ~5 minutes of highly focused studying. The reason you give it that period of time is to find those specially focused moments. I have met students that can seem to get into that highly focused state fast. (I don’t happen to be one of them.)
I wouldn’t say that anyone can reduce their study time down to 5 minutes consistently without notable negative consequences but from what I’ve seen, the crazier thing would be to say it’s completely impossible.
In the meantime, I’m sticking with the 10-15 minutes. It’s long enough to get focused without pushing even close to inefficient lengths of study time.
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 follow and check out the archives for more details. The ebooks in the sidebar can get you started into the nitty gritty details even faster.
Have you ever sabotaged your success doing this silly little thing?
You only procrastinate the stuff that sucks. You don’t say, “Ahhh… I’ll read that text from my crush later.” Nope. Now… Any pause is intentional and coordinated to respond better.
Here is the problem with academics:
You probably think most academic stuff sucks – at least a little. (Especially compared to other things you could be doing.)
And the thing is:
FORCING YOURSELF TO STUDY JUST MAKES IT WORSE!
You’re slowly hardening your association of school and being miserable.
You need to create positive associations with academics. You want your brain to be getting hyped up and positive when you’re thinking about studying and giving into this internal oligarchical instinct to force yourself to studying – ain’t helpin’.
Chill the internal dictator for a moment…
A big secret: You need to STOP forcing yourself to study so much.
But, if you’re not forcing yourself then how are you going to see those killer straight-a’s that you’re always dreaming about?
Get your copy of my book about How To Get Happier Straight A’s.
It only costs $4.99 (and if these strategies don’t work like magic like it has for thousands of other students then you can get a full refund.)