Work efficiently

We remember studying as a group in first year, and we would often meet up at someone's room at the halls. On one visit we passed someone's door with the most amazing hand drawn sign. It was A4 in size, and was exceptionally colourful. There were lots of swirls and line, little animals and bit of shading. Besides their name, it said "LEAVE ME ALONE, I'M STUDYING" in big bold letters. Some students come up with so many ways to procrastinate. Study does not always have to be dull, but unfortunately it often can be. Do not drag it out longer than it has to be. Try to focus on getting the work done now, rather than later. Instead of sitting in front of the TV studying, do it in a warm, quiet area. When you have done a bit of study, you can watch TV but study with 100% effort for a shorter time. It is all about the quality of study.

Make it interesting
Try to tease out the interesting bits, accentuate the hilarious, and amplify the mundane into something interesting. It's hard to forget the interesting or funny bits, like in Chemistry the lecturer was saying how kevlar body armour was modelled on a spider's web - or something... it's hard to remember all of the details with Chemistry...

Hard work and no distractions
Texting that sexy lass from physics is not study, put your phone on silent for half an hour. Find some way to minimise or eliminate all interruptions to your work for a set amount of time. Focus on the work that is in front of you and only this. Short burst of focussed work are better than no bursts of focussed work, and probably better than longer stretches where you have split your attention. Ultimately, as Thomas Edison said "There is no substitute for hard work". If you ask any successful person, they will be able to tell you the same: it is quite simple, the amount of work that you put in = the amount that you get out. I have yet to meet a smart person who has not put in the hours in order to learn something* - it just does not happen (this topic is dealt with in the book "Outliers"). More effort in an area will lead to your improvement in this area, which makes the whole cycle repeat.

*There are some perceived exceptions to this rule, in that many student may have a strong background in one area or another, they will not have to work as hard whilst in the same class as you - but they have still done the work - they just did it before university.

  • Know when you are working and when you are not.
  • Work hard for short bursts if you can.
  • Hard work pays off.
  • Being interested in a subject helps hugely. Find the interesting parts.