5-Minute Study Motivation - Japanese Procrastination Cure

Bryan Bolt, Adventurer & Productivity Mentor

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9 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Welcome & Orientation

    • 2. 1. Why We Procrastinate And The 3 Brains

    • 3. 2. Willpower The Secret to Motivation

    • 4. 3. The Power of 5Minute Study Sessions

    • 5. 4. Mini Study Sessions And What To Do When You Feel Heavy Resistance

    • 6. 5. Your 5 Minute Study Session

    • 7. 6. What To Do When You Feel Resistance To Do More

    • 8. 7. The Key to Long Term Motivation

    • 9. 8. Final Words On Your Academic Journey

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Project Description

Your 5-Minute Study Session

Hi. In this session you are going to install your very own 5-minute study session. And remember if even a 5 Minute Study Session feels too hard to accomplish for you right now, scale it down to an even smaller study session, a mini study session.

I recommend that you get a pad and pen now to go through these and write down your plans and strategy. Enough talk. Let’s move to action. This chapter will show you how to create study habits that last a lifetime.


Step 1 - Choose Your Study Plan

Write down the study routine you'd like to have at some point. It should be a full-size routine for now, for example: study maths 5 times a week consistently. Learn spanish, 3 times per week. Work on my research paper, 4 days per week.

Okay, pause the video and do the exercise. When you are done, come back and we'll start to design your very own 5 Minute Study Session. Till soon.

At this point, you should have a study plan, and full-sized study routines to pursue. It may be related to maths, economics, learning chinese, coding, learning photography.. whatever subject you are wish to pursue.

And now we're going to minify it!


Step 2 - Make Your Study Session ''Stupid Small''

The reason we are going to make our study session stupid small is because they tend to cost us the least amount of willpower.

Every possible action—such as studying for 30 or 60 minutes—has a willpower requirement attached to it. If you're motivated, full of energy, and in shape, a 30 minute study session might not "cost" you much willpower. But when you're a little bit tired already and not feeling up to it, not only will you have less willpower, but the activity will “cost” more of it!

And this is the reason starting is the hardest part is because it carries the brunt of the weight of the commitment. Once we start, we feel as if we need to finish our original intention to count it as a success. This is why we tend not to start a project that intimidates us. We’d rather not start if we won’t finish. This is why 5-minute and mini study sessions are so easy and effective.

The total requirement is so small, there's no risk of quitting too early. By starting small and entering the reality of doing the work, your mind will see that one small step is not as difficult as it first seemed, and that taking the next step isn’t difficult either.

Touch your nose right now. I'm serious. Did you feel any resistance to touching your nose? I bet you didn't.

You were able to touch your nose because the resistance you felt was not stronger than your willpower.

This example is one of the most basic exercises in willpower. If you can force yourself to touch your nose, then you'll have success with this course.


I’m not joking. This course exists because I read a single sentence.

My ability to complete mutiple hour long study sessions and my improved grades result from that same single sentence.

I study now almost every single day. That one sentence was the first step that led to all of these great changes in my life.

A mistake we make when setting academic goals is not taking into account that our motivation and energy levels are going to fluctuate dramatically.

We assume that our current motivation and energy levels can be preserved or reactivated when the time comes to act, pick up our book and start studying.

Everyone has “off” days. That means your willpower to study will be lower too. This strategy makes us resort to things like motivational videos, articles, self pep-talks, and other short-term boosts.

But what ensues is a losing struggle against a brain that doesn't want to change. Your brain is designed to protect you from doing things that are uncertain, scary or new.

But this time, we're going to trick our brain and win the motivation game.

My rule is to minify my desired study session until it sounds ridiculous.


Let the habit you're trying to develop take no longer than a few minutes a day in the beginning.

Like solving math problems for 5 minutes or learning spanish for 5 minutes.

You have one step to take each day. It will take no time. But you should also make it so simple that it will be impossible for you to say no.

And when something sounds “stupid small,” your brain will see it as nonthreatening and so simple that it will be impossible for you to say no.


Okay, pause the video again and do the exercise.


So instead of saying you have to study for 2 hours, we'll just say that you HAVE to study for 5 minutes. Or if you feel heavy resistance, use mini study sessions and only required yourself to read the first sentence.

As you have energy in this scenario, this isn't a big deal. And once you start, you're going to find the motivation kick in most of the time.


As Dan Pink notes in his bestselling book on motivation, ''Drive'':

''Nothing motivates you better than seeing progress. In short, don’t wait for inspiration, just start doing whatever it is you do.''

''Action is first, motivation second.''


In the last section, we discussed how your ability to control your behavior depends on how difficult your brain perceives the task, and when you start “super small,” the perceived difficulty and willpower cost drop drastically.

You see, once you take the first step, your brain is forced to calculate the true difficulty of studying for an hour would be like, instead of a biased, lazy brain projecting it to be torturous!


If you've ever found yourself thinking it wasn't so bad after studying for 30 minutes, you're already familiar with this phenomenon.

Don’t view an hour’s amount of studying as something where you need to find the motivation to make it through that entire hour. In most cases, you only need the motivation for those first five minutes.

The hard part is showing up. The other 55 minutes usually go by pretty easy.

In many ways, it's harder not to read a single sentence than to read one.

The challenge is so easy that your pride enters the equation: I may be stubborn and exhausted right now, but come on, I can do that. I encourage you to frequently remind yourself of the absurdity of not being able to meet your 5 minute requirements.

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