I sympathize with this week’s question. Sometimes those that care about you end up becoming a huge impedance on your ability to study effectively.
I’ve been trying to implement a short study routine but my parents don’t seem to get it. They insist that I study at least an hour a night. From some of the things you write, I get the impression that will do more harm than good. What can I do to get them off my back?
The study strategies recommended on this blog tend to not gel too well with the traditional approach to studying. It’s completely understandable that some people won’t understand their value. (I wouldn’t believe some of these strategies if I didn’t experience the effects myself.) One of the most controversial is the value of super short study sessions.
Studying for an hour a night would likely hurt the efficiency of your studying. Lower efficiency doesn’t mean you won’t learn more studying longer though. In this situation, it may be worth considering just giving in and studying longer. Sometimes solving a problem like this is more trouble than it’s worth. That being said, there are some simple ways to do what they say while still increasing your efficiency dramatically.
If possible, turn that one hour of studying they want into 2 or 3 study sessions each night. One of the reasons short study sessions are so valuable is that you’re getting as much high efficiency studying as possible. The longer you’re studying without a break, the less you’ll be learning with your time.
When you break your hour of studying into multiple sessions you get breaks in between short sessions of studying. With the break you can expect to return to high efficiency studying for your next short session.
It’s very possible this routine could help you learn more than the traditional routine I recommend. The reason I don’t recommend it is that it can be mentally taxing to follow through with. Forcing yourself to get up and study 3 times a night takes way more discipline than just once a night. Most people just won’t follow through with it. (If your parents are really on your back about it then they might even help you stick with this plan.)
Cutting To One
I’m not going to recommend lying to solve this problem but I’m sure you already know it’s an option.
You could sit for an hour as if you’re studying but only actually study 15 minutes. You could study away from home and do the same thing. There are tons of ways to lie your way around these restrictions. Most of the time, it’s just not worth it.
There will always be limiting factors in your ability to study at a high efficiency. In high school, that limiting factor may be your parents. In college it may be your roommate. If you get a job and want to do a little studying then you’ll still have tons of interruptions from your studying. It’s a part of life.
There is no way to get your study routine into a perfectly efficient position. (In fact, accepting that there is a perfectly efficient position is a mistake. There is always a better way.) Just do the best you can to get it as close as you can get it comfortably. If your parents insist on an hour of studying then it’s usually easiest just to give in and do it. If you do it right then it would barely hurt anything academically. In fact, adjust your strategy right and it might just help.
This is an absolutely essential read for anyone on this blog.
I’m about 4 hours away from something big.
The story began a decade ago when I first started to share my study strategies with other students.
I had figured out the Holy Grail of academic optimization strategies – and every intermediate step to get to it. Using this strategy, I pulled a nearly 4.0 GPA while running a double course load in college – and once I started sharing it.
Droves of them.
And then teachers noticed.
Most of the teachers that were looking out for their student’s best interest got what I was saying and supported the cause. Others… well… not everyone has the student’s best interest at heart.
Early on (even before Smart Student Secrets,) I started writing for average students.
I knew… I was NEVER one of the “smart kids”. I was mediocre at best. And I knew, if these strategies worked for me then they could work for just about anybody. And that’s who I wanted to connect with.
But… There was a problem…
I built an audience giving these strategies away. Sure…
And I’d get messages from them. And we’d talk. And I’d hear their stories.
I’d hear from A+ students that cut their study time by 90%.
I’d hear from B students that took their grades up to A’s.
I’d hear from teachers that were sharing my strategies with their students.
I’d hear from older students how these strategies changed their life.
I love it. I love introducing these strategies that changed my life to other people.
But there was always this… but…
What about the C students?
What about the D students?
What about the students that are currently failing?
Sure… Some would reach out.. but…
They never followed through… They’d take a small step. They’d sign up. They’d learn some killer strategies. Seeing right there how powerful they were going to be…
And then… life kicks in. They lose sight of their goals.
And it’s gone.
Student’s came to this site to improve their life. They see the possibilities. But then… they move on.
In about 4 hours, I’m going to be introducing something – an email subscriber exclusive – that can help change that.
It’s going to make more Smart Students than at any other time in this site’s history.
If you’re ready to take your academic game to the next level – if you want to see it for yourself.
Write your email in the box. Check the confirmation you want emails. Confirm your email. And see for yourself.