Productivity for Students: Study Smarter, Not Harder | Mike Elon | Skillshare

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Productivity for Students: Study Smarter, Not Harder

teacher avatar Mike Elon, Study Coach and YouTuber

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (1h 38m)
    • 1. Welcome

      3:02
    • 2. My Journey

      5:08
    • 3. Priming Your Mindset

      11:03
    • 4. Smart Goals

      9:43
    • 5. Pareto Principle

      7:58
    • 6. Advanced Information Processing

      11:12
    • 7. Spaced Repetition

      5:58
    • 8. Vary Your Studying

      4:14
    • 9. Prioritisation

      7:28
    • 10. Consistency

      7:29
    • 11. Akrasia

      10:18
    • 12. Flow State

      5:22
    • 13. Accountability

      6:41
    • 14. Final Thoughts

      2:23
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About This Class

Level up your studying and transform your grades by learning how to study smart with ProjectElon founder Mike Elon.

With over 750,000 subscribers on his study advice YouTube channel, join Mike as he shares how he transformed his 1.3 GPA at high school to a 4.0 GPA at university.

He'll be going in-depth with real examples and stories of his own university experiences, as well as using examples and stories from some of the thousands of students he has coached too.

There are countless classes explaining all the hundreds of productivity tips, hacks and tools, but for this class, Mike pulls out the most effective productivity strategies that can be implemented into your life right now to directly boost your grades.

Whether you’re a high school student or a mature post-graduate, this class will give you the tools you need to decrease the number of hours you study while simultaneously improving your grades - the very definition of studying smart. You’ll learn how to:

  • Study smarter rather than harder
  • Implement advanced memorisation techniques
  • Significantly improve your productivity
  • Make your studying more fun and engaging
  • Overcome procrastination

To achieve exceptional grades, studying 10+ hours a day is just not necessary. After taking this class, you’ll have a powerful set of strategies to make your studying more efficient and streamlined. Because of your increased productivity, you'll be able to achieve more while studying less.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mike Elon

Study Coach and YouTuber

Teacher

Mike Elon is a study coach and YouTuber with over 750,000 subscribers on his study advice YouTube channel, ProjectElon.

He suffered with chronic procrastination throughout his entire high school journey and consequently graduated with a 1.3 GPA. As a result, he was rejected from 4 out of the 5 universities he applied for.

However that is when his inspiration was born. He turned this failure around and spent 5 years obsessed with how high-performance students become high-performance students. What are they doing differently?

5 years later, he was finally accepted into his first choice university and went on to graduate with a 4.0 GPA.

Throughout his journey, he realised that living an extraordinary life is all about the mindset.

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Welcome: How do high-performance students become high-performance students? What are they doing differently to the rest of the class? This question has been the motivation for much of my work over the last eight years. You see at high school, I was lazy and unmotivated, and I was one of the biggest procrastinators on the planet. As a result, I graduated high school with a 1.3 GPA, fast-forward to university and I graduated at the top of my class with a 4.0 GPA. Since then, I've taught millions of students how to do the same on my studio advice YouTube channel ProjectElon, and I've coached thousands of students to help them level up their own studying and help them take their own grades to the next level. But in this course, I'm going to be focusing on how to study smarter, not necessarily harder. You see, you don't need to be studying 10, 11, 12 hours a day, that's just not an effective long-term strategy, and it's not a healthy one either. A high performance student studying smart can easily learn more in a five-hour study session than the next student who studies for 10 hours, and that's what we're aiming for in this course. There are a lot of factors in play, a lot of study techniques, a lot of productivity hacks, memorization techniques, mindset strategies that I used to train myself to have a mindset of a 4.0 GPA student. But this course is going to go through the main study techniques, the things that had the biggest impact on my grades, and they will have the biggest impact on your grades too. I mean, I can talk about sleep, I can talk about eating healthily and meditating and exercising and strategies, such as those, and they do make a difference, they do help with priming a high-performance mindset. Well, there are strategies that are even more effective than that, that take less effort to implement, but will have a significant effect on your grades. Because I want to pack as much value as possible, those are the things that I'm going to be talking about in this course. I would have literally hundreds of study tips and productivity hacks out there, I'm picking out the 11 most effective strategies that you can implement into your studying right now. I'll be going in depth with real examples and stories of my own university experiences transforming my 1.3 GPA into a 4.0 GPA, as well as using examples and stories from some of the students that I've coached as well. The first thing I teach you in this course is how to prime your mindset. This is maybe the single most important thing you need to really get right before you even think about being able to study so efficiently, that you can literary cut your studying in half. I'm going to train you how to prime your mindset to be able to think and study like a high-performance student. This is the first lesson because I really can't emphasize how important this first step is. You need to prime your mindset and start thinking like a high-performance student. I'll show you exactly how to do that in this course. This class is all about how to study smarter, not necessarily harder. By the end of this class, an eight-hour study session should turn into a four-hour study session where you learn the same amount of information in half the time because you're studying fast, smarter, and more efficiently. I'm really happy that you decided to take this class with me and I look forward to helping you firstly save so much time by studying more efficiently, but also simultaneously boosting your grades. 2. My Journey: High school wasn't easy for me. I was lazy, I was unmotivated and I failed exam after exam after exam. But honestly, and I really mean this, I wouldn't have it any other way, because this failure, it build up a level of motivation and passion within me. You can say it's my why, it's what drives me because I can simplify it. On a truly deep level, the problems that students that are struggling with their grades are going through. Because for most of my educational career, I was in that position too. You see at high school, I struggled massively with procrastination. It was like whenever I needed to study, every part of my body was trying to make me do anything else but study. I'd binge-watch YouTube, I'd play video games, check checked the fridge 10 times a day just to see if there's anything to eat. I wasn't hungry, it's just that I would do anything else but study. That was at high school. A few years later at University, I was a completely different person in terms of my studying, I was the complete opposite. I was consistently achieving grades in the top five percent at my university because I fell in love with learning. The word studying has a negative connotation, so I shifted my mindset from it's time to study to it's time to learn. That alone was a huge mindset shift. I'll talk about that in the priming your mindset lesson because for a lot of students, studying is a negative thing, studying is something that you have to do. You have no choice, right? But by the end of this course, my aim is to have you looking at your studies in a positive light because studying really is a beautiful thing. When we're studying we're learning, we're becoming more knowledgeable, we're growing, we're becoming stronger, we're becoming more capable, we're opening doors to opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have. I don't recall who said it, but there's a quote, "Education is the great equalizer." I couldn't agree more with it because studying is an amazing thing. By the end of this course, I aim to have you falling in love with your studying again. That's exactly what happened with me, between high school and university, I took three years out of education. I took three years out for two reasons. First and foremost, I graduated high school with 1.3 GPA, so out of five universities that I applied for, only one accepted me and that university was one of the lowest ranked universities in the country. I could either go to that university or not go to university at all. The second reason was because honestly, I was depressed. I was disappointed with myself. How could I ever spent 13 years studying at school and then not even be accepted into a decent university? I used this depression, this deep disappointment to fuel motivation to turn my life around and research how high-performance students do it. I was so fired up, I was so motivated, I was absolutely driven to prove to myself that I could make something of my life. I spend the next three years researching how the high-performance students achieve A grades, how do they perform in the top of their class? What do they do differently that average performing students don't do? I read books on how to achieve A grades, I read scientific papers on memory retention, I sifted through student forums to find out how other high performance students manage to achieve the grades that they're achieving. I listened to podcasts, I watched documentaries. For three years I was obsessed and it took three years of researching and learning how to study effectively. The study techniques, the daily productivity habits, the memory techniques, the mindset strategies. I found that all of these tools were in the toolbox of a high performance student that help them achieve a 4.0 GPA, that helped them achieve A grades. Eventually, three years after leaving high school, I was finally accepted into university and that's when everything just clicked into place for me. I finally got it. It was like a eureka moment. High-performance students don't just study hard, but they study smart. Studying hard just often isn't enough, but these students study smart, they study efficiently. They might only study for five hours a day or six hours a day but those six hours have 100 percent laser focus, they're 100 percent in the zone during this time. They process and retain more information in those six hours than other students would learn in nine or 10 hours of studying and that's what study smart, study hard means. I have trained thousands of students all around the world on how to study smart and how to graduate in the top one percent of the class and so I get it. I know what problems the average student is facing, I know the most common reasons why they're struggling with procrastination and struggling to achieve high grades. The number of students that come to me and tell me, "I've been studying and studying every day but I'm still not getting decent grades." Ninety five percent of the time is because they're studying hard but they're not necessarily studying smart. I put what I learned to the test. My first exam at university, a 4.0 GPA, the second exam, a 4.0 GPA, the third exam, 4.0 GPA and the next exam and the next exam. I can't really explain to you how much of a euphoric feeling this was where I'd been struggling with studying my whole educational career for 13 years of studying at school, I struggled with procrastination, I struggled with distractions and then suddenly I was getting these crazy high grades that I didn't even think were possible. Now, it's your turn. 3. Priming Your Mindset: Priming your mindset. This is huge and like I mentioned earlier, I really can't emphasize how important this lesson is and that's why it's the first lesson because you need to get this right before working on anything else. I've coached thousands of students and I can say with confidence that the single biggest problem that I see is self-belief. They don't believe that they can achieve incredible grades, they fall, they don't even try and I relate so strongly with this because I used to be like that. I used to put self-limiting beliefs on myself. At high school, I average of 1.3 GPA because that's all I thought there was capable of. I looked at high-performance students in my class and I just thought, well yeah, they're smarter than me, so of course they're getting better grades than me. I really can't explain how damaging this mindset is, how much it's actually holding you back. Because let me tell you this right now. The students that are getting the highest grades, they are prioritizing their studying. They are using the right study techniques. They have set strategic goals. They understand the Pareto Principle and they're studying reflects that. It's not about how smart they are or how naturally talented they are. Because I graduated with one of the highest grades in my class but does not because I'm particularly clever, my IQ I mean, I've never been tested but is probably about average. There's nothing particularly special about me other than that, I learned how to study smart, and I primed my mindset to think like a high-performance student. For me, it really started back in 2013. I traveled to South East Asia for six months. I went to Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and a few other countries. Now at this point, I was still extremely unmotivated. You can say I was extremely lazy. I didn't really know what I wanted to do in my life. I was still feeling down from being rejected from so many universities. I had saved up some money from a part-time job I had, stocking shelves at a supermarket. I went backpacking for six months. To this very day, that one decision to quit my job stocking shelves at a supermarket and book a flight to Bangkok was the single best decision I've ever made in my life because I learned so much. I learned so much about success, about failure, about how to turn failure into fuel, into extreme motivation. You see on my trip to South East Asia, I met some extremely successful people from all walks of life, musicians, scientists, pilots, lawyers, business people. Some of them driving Lamborghinis, one of them was driving a $1.5 million Koenigsegg. They were successful not only in monetary terms, but they were genuinely happy, they were healthy. They surrounded themselves with people that genuinely love and care for them. They were making a positive difference to so many people on a huge scale. I mean, in my eyes, at least from the outside looking in, they were living the perfect life. I would look at their lives and I would look at mine, and I would compare their lives with mine and their successes with my failures, and talking to them, it struck me. It was like this massive eureka moment and really where my transformation started, these people, these phenomenally successful people, they are exactly like me. They are human just like me. But the way they live their lives were very different. They used their 24 hours wisely. They lived with intention. They worked smart, they had self-belief, they were incredibly ambitious. They did all of these things that I just didn't do. I would spend as much time as I could around them. I'd ask questions. I was incredibly curious. How did they manage to do it? How did they manage to achieve this incredible success? That's really where my obsession started with how high-performance people became high-performance people. Because I was genuinely in awe. These people, they're exactly like me. They're just like me. They're not superhuman. They're not naturally talented on, naturally gifted necessarily, but they just live their lives in a different way. In a way that was intentional and focused and it resulted in a massive success for them. At that moment I was like, so if these people can do it, if these guys can achieve massive success and have massive positive impact at scale, then there's nothing stopping me from achieving massive success and also having a massive positive impact on people around the world too. There's really a few things that you can do to really prime and upgrade your mindset. The first thing, and I think for me anyway, this is the most effective way. There's a quote and it's my favorite quote. You probably hear me say quite a lot if you watched my YouTube channel, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Honestly, if I didn't meet all these successful people in South East Asia, would I have had that eureka moment? Would I have been able to grow my YouTube channels to be reaching millions of people every month? Would I be having the impact that I'm having right now? I'm not sure that I would, because that's really how powerful it is to surround yourself with other successful people. For your case, it might be that you need to start working on networking and start spending time with students that are getting higher grades than you. I mean, if you're at school and your four best friends are achieving pretty low grades and they don't really care about their studying, it's very likely that you'll be the fifth person. Now, I'm not telling you to go out there and ditch all your friends that are getting worst grades than you, that's not what I'm talking about, but spending time with a couple more students that are getting higher grades than you, that can make a massive difference to your grades. It's not just that, you can help them with their studying and they can help you, but naturally their work ethic and their study methods that they use and that the way that they study, all these habits will rub off on you too and help pull you up. Another way to upgrade your mindset is to upgrade your network digitally. Let me ask you this. If you watch TV, what are the five TV shows that you spend the most time watching? Or if you don't watch TV and you spend your time on YouTube, who are the five you you spend the most time watching? What type of content are you consuming? Is it content that is educational, that is inspiring, that is making you more knowledgeable and helping you with your personal development? Or is it what I call dead content, like watching the Kardashians on TV or watching cat videos on YouTube. Because this is super important. Back in 2013 and even to this day, the vast majority of the content that I consumed are of world-renowned psychologists, successful business owners, real estate moguls, high-performance athletes. They teach different things and communicate different messages. But one thing is common among all of them. They all have a high-performance mindset. By watching them, by listening to them, in my subconscious mind, high-performance is becoming a normal thing, is becoming a normal way of life. Being exposed to these high-performance mindsets on a daily basis, their way of thinking slowly starts rubbing off on me too. For example, after I wake up, I shower while listening to John Peterson's 12 Rules for Life audiobook, while having breakfast, I'd watch a documentary on Netflix. On my commute to university, it was usually around 40 minutes depending on the traffic, so I'd listen to Gary Vaynerchuk on Podcast. Throughout the day I'd be constantly learning and growing without even really having to think about it. To this day, seven or eight years later, I still live my life like that. It's a fun way of learning. Learning doesn't have to be about reading thick, heavy textbooks. If you start watching or listening or reading educational content that you'd like the subject of, like psychology, business, personal development, and health and fitness, whatever it is, then you're learning. But it's like a seamless way of learning, is a very easy way of learning. I think that that right there is absolutely massive when it comes to comparing what you might call average students with high-performance students. The high-performance student is constantly learning, not always just learning about the subject material or what they're going to be tested in their exam, but also how to learn effectively. How to study smart and also other areas that they might be interested in that might be completely unrelated to their formal education. What I like about this way of learning is that sometimes I want to learn about business, so I learn about business. Then the next day, I may want to learn about health and fitness, so I learn about health and fitness. I like it because it never gets boring. It's not like studying across the university where you have a set curriculum that you have to stick to. That's the difference between informal learning and formal learning. Informal learning is more flexible, so it never gets boring because you can keep switching it off. This is a massive part of having a high-performance mindset. I don't think you'll ever meet a high-performance person that completely stops learning. All high-performance people are constantly learning and growing well after their formal education at school or when the university ends. By consuming content like this, and being exposed to high-performance people, you start to believe in yourself too. It increases your self-esteem. It inspires you. I remember reading a book back in 2014 or 2015, I don't remember exactly, but it was Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography, Total Recall. Honestly, the things he has achieved in his life even to this day, like seven years on the books still inspires me. I mean, everything that he put his mind to, he often became phenomenally successful in whatever it was. For example, bodybuilding industry, he won Mr. Olympia seven times. He became a hugely successful actor. He was massively successful in real estate and he served as the governor of California from 2003 to 2011. It's like, well, if this guy can achieve crazy success in all of these areas in life, then surely I can get a 4.0 GPA in my exams. I mean, in comparison, it's not that hard to get good grades compared to what he has achieved in his life. This lesson is all about self-belief. You need to believe that you can achieve incredible grades and boost your studying to the next level. It all starts with whether you actually believe it or not. You need the inspiration and a lot of that comes from your network, whether it's your physical network, or your parents, your teachers, your classmates, your friends, or whatever, or whether it's your digital networks. The books you read, the YouTube videos that you watch, the Podcast that you listened to. I see inspiration, almost like water in a bucket with a small hole in it, you need to keep that book in [inaudible] Because it's not sure for our inspiration to decrease gradually if we don't work on it. If you go to the gym for one year, then you stop going to the gym for one year. You're going to lose that muscle. The muscle that you worked so hard for over one year, the second year when you stop go into the gym, you're going to lose it. You need to continue going to the gym to stay healthy. It's the same way of inspiration. If the inspiration is the water in your bucket with a hole in it, you need to keep [inaudible] to stay motivated and to stay driven. That's why you've really got to be aware of the people that you spend the most time with and also the content that you consume. Because priming your mindset is the foundation for the rest of this course. Once you are primed your mindset and you really believe in yourself and you're surrounded with people that are positive and encouraged you whether it's physically in your life or digitally, we can then work on the next steps to leveling up your grades. If you have any questions about this lesson, anything at all, just let me know below, I'll do my best to answer them all. 4. Smart Goals: Setting goals plays a massive part in the coaching that I do. Goals keep us focused, they keep us on track, they help us sustain momentum. Sitting at school in university can often be a confusing time with so many tasks to juggle, with so many things that you have to do. Studying can be a chaotic time while you have your exams to study for, but you need to go to the gym too, and you need to spend some time hanging out with your friends. Maybe you have some sports or hobbies outside of your formal curriculum. It was the case for me, there was just so much going on. Having a goal allows you to zero in on each day's task with laser precision. Each task that you do, you should be asking yourself, is this task taking me closer to my main goal or is it taking me a step further away? These goals that I'm going to talk about in this lesson will also help you measure your progress because at the end of the day, you can't manage what you don't measure. You can't improve on something that you don't measure. Being able to measure your progress can be extremely rewarding and motivating, and help keep you focused and on track. That leads us on to the next benefit, goals keep us motivated. I remember I made a poll, I think it was about a year ago now, maybe eight or 10 months, I don't remember exactly, but I asked my viewers what their biggest problem with their studying was. The vast majority said that their biggest problem was either procrastination and or distractions. Basically, they couldn't pull themselves to that, that's their story, so that's why goals will help. Let's consider an athlete that is going to compete in the Olympic games in one year's time. You better believe that they're going to be working out each and every day, whether they feel like it or not, whether they feel sore or not, whether they are tired or not, to make absolutely sure that they're in the best physical shape for when they compete in the Olympics. That's a really good example of how having a goal can really zone your focus in so that you have a destination. You're not just working for the sake of working, but you're working because you have a destination to arrive at. For me, I had spent three years researching how high-performance people become high-performance people. At that point before I started university, I was so incredibly driven, I was so motivated. I knew that if I went to university, I wasn't just going to let life pass me by like I did in high school, but I would grind and hustle to do what it takes to get good grades. I had one goal in university, that was to achieve the 4.0 GPA or first-class honors degree. That was my main goal, and it was prioritized above everything else. Well, almost above everything else, my physical and mental health were prioritized above everything else, but you know what I mean. I would do what it took to achieve that 4.0 GPA, and that was a big deal for me. I'd never gotten an A grade in my entire life. I think I achieved some B grades at school, but the majority of my grades were C grades, Ds, and Es. So at the time, it was a big goal for me, because I've never stood in at that level before. This was the first time. I had that one goal, my main goal, then I had a few secondary goals, I called them supporting goals, because these goals are designed to support my main goal. The first one was to study at least eight hours a day, six days a week, and on the seventh day, on a Sunday, I'd study for just four hours that day. That was 52 hours of studying a week. I basically treated my university like a full-time job. Now it's important to mention that these eight hours of studying a day, were really extremely focused and very efficient study periods. This whole course is about studying smart, and that's exactly what I did. I know that if I studied six hours a day instead of eight, I'd still probably achieved my goal of achieving a 4.0 GPA. But I didn't just want to achieve my goal, but I wanted to smash it, I wanted to study beyond my goal. I wanted to make sure that there was absolutely no chance that I wouldn't achieve that goal even if the exams were particularly hard, even if I had some personal problems come my way, even if I had financial problems or other problems that would have hindered my performance, it didn't matter. There was just so much room for error, there was such a big margin of error that there was no way on this planet I would not graduate from university with a 4.0 GPA, and that really was where my mindset was. That was my first supporting goal. My second supporting goal was to go to the gym at least five days a week. For me, it's important that in order to be firing on all cylinders, in order to be performing in my full potential, I need to be healthy, I need to be physically and mentally healthy, I need to feel good about myself, I need to be confident, and so the gym directly helps with that. I'd fit going to the gym in the morning at about 6:00 AM because I'd wake up at 4:45 AM. Every morning at 6:00 AM, I'd be at the gym, and by about 7:30, I'd be finished at the gym and I'd be at the library ready to study. That was my secondary supporting goal. Now my third supporting goal was a bit unconventional. You see, in my first year at university, I was so inspired, I was so overflowing with motivation and I still am, but back then I had just experienced this life-changing moment in my life where over the previous couple of years, I transformed from this lazy and unmotivated person to someone that is super driven and focused, so I wanted to help other people. In particular, I wanted to help other students, because that's who I could relate with. I knew the problems that they were going through because just a couple of years prior, I was going through those exact problems. I wanted to help as many students as I could make the same transformation I did. That's when I created the ProjectElon Youtube channel. I remember I made my first video in October 2016, and because I'd never edited a video before, it took me three-and-a-half weeks just to edit my first three-minute video. But YouTube was an amazing platform to help me communicate my message at scale and have an impact on students from all around the world. My third supporting goal was to work on my YouTube channel for at least one hour a day, every day to help support and inspire as many students as possible, and funny enough, it helped boost my motivation too. Now here's the thing, the goals that I set, I stuck to them religiously. There's no point setting a goal like I did of studying eight hours a day, and then whenever you feel tired, just forgetting about it. The goal is there for a reason, it was like a target for me to hit and I took it extremely seriously. If I didn't manage to study for eight hours that day, let's say I just managed to study for four hours that day, then the next day those four hours that I didn't study would roll over, so then I'd have 12 hours to study that day. I really did not want to study for 12 hours in a day, so it gave me massive motivation to keep on top of my goals. However, there was one [inaudible] day. My mental and physical health always comes first. As highly as I prioritize my studying, as highly as I prioritize my goals, if my mental or physical health were being negatively affected, then I'd take a break from studying. This never did happen throughout my degree, but it was something that I was very mindful of, and that you should also be mindful of. However, at the same time, it doesn't mean that every time you get a bit tired, you just take a day off, because you need to keep your mental health in check. Don't use it as an excuse to take it easy, but if your mental health or physical health is taking a downturn, then absolutely scrap your goals, take a break, relax, recharge. When you're feeling better, then pick up your goals from where you left off. Now, I said earlier, I had one main goal with three supporting goals, and there's a reason why I only had one main goal. I went from achieving D grades to aiming for A grades. That's a big step. Jumping from D grades to A grades, that's a massive step up. So I purposely only had one goal. Let's say I had three goals or four goals, the more goals you have, the lower probability you have of achieving them because you have to divide your time and resource between all of them. However, if you'd just have one goal that is clear, that is well-defined, that is time sensitive, so you have a deadline of when you need to achieve it by, then you can focus all your time and resources towards that one goal. Now, I was so driven to achieving this goal, I was really strict, I was super strict. I pushed myself hard at university and I have absolutely no regrets. I'm glad I did because I think it was probably the first time in my life that I had actually really challenged myself and really put myself out there. When I'm coaching a student, one of the first questions that I ask is, what goal or goals do you want to achieve? Because that's important for me to know what direction to take your coaching and guidance in. But this is the reply that I often get when I ask what's your goal, and I receive the reply, to get better grades. But that's not a goal, at least is not an effective goal. The goals that you set in order for them to be the most effective needs to be smart, and you've probably heard this concept before, so I won't talk too much about it, but your goals should be smart. This stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, at university I didn't have a goal of, I will study more, that's just not good enough. My goal was to study efficiently eight hours a day to achieve a 4.0 GPA by the time I graduate. That specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, do keep this in mind when you're setting your goals. When it comes to studying smart, you need to ask yourself, is what you're doing actually bringing you closer to your main goal? Everything that you're doing throughout the day, is it supporting you, or is it distracting you? Your goal should be something that you think about throughout the day. They should be ingrained into your everyday life and help you with decision-making, and keep you focused and on track with leveling up your grades. If you do have any questions about this lesson or if you're willing to share your smart goals, I'd love to hear them. Drop them below and I'll do my best to reply to all of your comments. 5. Pareto Principle: This is massive when it comes to working smart, you don't need to be studying 12 hours a day every day. It's not an effective long-term strategy. The Pareto principle will help you with organizing what you really need to study and what you don't need to spend so much time on. The Pareto principle states that 20 percent of your input produces 80 percent of your output, and you can see this everywhere you look, for example, 20 percent of criminals might commit 80 percent of crimes or 20 percent of drivers caused 80 percent of traffic accidents or 20 percent of the population owns 80 percent of the wealth. When we bring this concept to our studying, it means it's 20 percent of our studying results in 80 percent of our grades. Now, this is very important to take note because when it comes to studying, there are some tasks that are more important than others, there are some tasks that affect the final grade more than other tasks, and when you recognize this, when you really understand exactly which tasks have the biggest impact on your grades, and then you double down on those specific tasks. That right there is a perfect example of how to study smarter, not harder. I only really realized this at university, and if only I knew this at high school, that would have saved me so much time. When I had my exams at the university, I started to realize that there were specific tasks that I could allocate less time towards and other tasks that I need to allocate more time towards, so let us take background reading from a textbook. When you start a semester, you are introduced to a new class and you've given a list of textbooks to do some background reading and I know for each module I was given like five or six big thick textbooks to go through, and at first honestly, I was a bit overwhelmed. I was like, how am I supposed to read through all of these textbooks? But then I realized that I could spend a week to read through an entire textbook, but would that help me with the exam? Probably not that much. It's just not studying smart, it's studying hard, but it's not studying smart and that's really what we're trying to achieve with this class, and so after realizing this, I put background reading using thick textbooks pretty low down on the priority list. That's an example of a task where using the Pareto Principle, it just wouldn't be worth investing my time in, but what about tests that are worth allocating time, so that may cope that 20 percent that go towards the 80 percent of your final grade. There are a few of these firstly, exam past papers. These were so incredibly powerful and maybe the most effective or at least the most time efficient way of studying. At the beginning, I download all the exam past papers on my course, some subjects that would be past papers going back five or six years or the subjects that would be just past papers from the previous year. I downloaded them at the beginning of the semester because then I could scan through them and see what topics would be taught, and secondly, it would ensure that I would have all the past papers downloaded and ready for when I start my revision for the exams, and there are several reasons why exam past papers impacted my final grade so much and why they were so useful for exam preparation. They help you understand the length of the exam, they help you work out how much time you have for each question, they identify the style of exam questions, for example, short answer, multiple-choice, or essay questions. You can practice exam techniques with them and they help you identify key subject areas to focus on when you're revising. Finally, if you practice past exam papers in exam conditions and mark them yourself, you can identify the gaps in your knowledge and where your weaknesses are, so you know to focus your revision more in those areas. As you can see, all of these benefits directly affect your exam, so they directly affect your grades as opposed to reading a thick textbook, so it's very likely that 90 percent of the pages that you read in that textbook won't come up in the exam, so it's just not an efficient use of your time. Another study task that I increase the time allocated to was practice questions. Now, those could be using past exam papers because those questions asked in the exam, there's a good chance that those questions might come up again, or similar questions might come up again. I'll practice questions that your lecturer gives you, a homework that your lecturer gives you. There's probably a reason why your lecturer is giving you those specific practice questions or that specific homework to do. I know with my lecturers, if they give us practice questions or homework to do, I'd make sure that I did it. The homework wasn't compulsory, so a lot of students, they wouldn't bother doing it, but I noticed a pattern where the lecturer would give us quite a big homework tasks, though was like I said not compulsory, but then that homework would appear in the final exam, so it was lecturers way of rewarding the students that put in the effort and did the homework. Now obviously that wasn't always the case, it's almost impossible to know exactly what will come up in the exam, but it's these patterns that you need to be aware of because they can help you massively in future exams when it comes to studying smart and saving time. Another task that fitted into the 20 percent category, so it was worth investing more of my time in, was consolidating lecture notes. Over a semester, we'd have one or two lectures per week for each subject, and obviously, we'd have a set of presentation slides and lecture notes by the end of the semester. I realized that it was incredibly important to memorize and spend time studying the lecture's presentation slides because it's this information that often came up in the exam. I would never go into an exam without knowing the lecture slides back to front. With the Pareto principle in mind, for every study task that you do, you should be asking yourself, will this positively affect my overall grade? If it does, to what extent will it? In the first year at university, I wasted a lot of time doing tasks that I just didn't need to do, although I could have spent a lot less time on. For example, it used to take me about eight hours to prepare to write an assignment. It's been eight hours researching, reading textbooks, watching YouTube videos on the subject before even writing a single word, and this honestly was just unnecessary. I needed to prepare for the assignment before I started writing, but eight hours was far too long. In my second year of university, and it did take a year to realize this. In my second year of university, I cut this preparation period down from eight hours to two hours and it had no significant effects on the assignment grade. In my first year, each assignment I wasted about six hours every time, which is crazy thinking about it, but we live and learn. At the end of the day, that's why I'm filming this video so you can learn from my mistakes. When it comes to studying smart, do take into account the Pareto principle. This is really where students with a self-reflective mindset can get almost a competitive advantage over the rest of the class. Once an exam has ended, not many students reflect and go over what topics came up in the exam and then match those topics with where they could have studied them. Most of the exams are based on the content of the lecture slides. It was mostly an exam based on problem questions that your lecturer gave you, and I used to go through this process after every exam, and I found, at least for my university in my course, I was studying economics and finance, was that exam past papers would be the most important predictor of what would come up in the exam, followed by lecture slides, followed by homework given to you by your lecturers, and honestly by my third year, I didn't do a lot of textbooks reading at all. It just wasn't a time-efficient way of studying, and I was realizing through year one and year two that textbook knowledge just wasn't coming up in the exam. You can be reading textbooks ten hours a day every day, and when it comes to your exam, you fail it because it's not an effective study strategy, instead, what is working for you, so practice questions, going through past papers, and going over your lecture notes. Those are the tasks that you should be doubling down on, and that alone will save you hours and hours every week while not affecting your grades at all. The very essence of working smarter, not harder, the Pareto Principle is incredibly important when it comes to studying smarter, so if you have any questions or if you need any clarification, just let me know below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 6. Advanced Information Processing: Have you ever read a page in a book where you read it, but then you immediately forgot every single word you just read? This is because you weren't actively engaged in the reading. This is such a massive time waster and it's the polar opposite to studying smart. When you're reading, when you're studying, when you're revising for your exams, the information that you consume is so important that you don't just consume it passively, but you process that information too because by processing the information, you're moving that information from your short-term memory and you're moving it over to your long-term memory. I remember when I was 15 or 16 and I was studying for my French exam, it was a speaking exam. What I had to do was memorize about three paragraphs of French. I had written three paragraphs in French, so it wasn't that much information to memorize, right? Then I spent weeks, literally weeks, reading these three paragraphs to try and memorize them. I remember it so clearly, I was reading these three paragraphs over and over, but it just wasn't sinking in. Then sure enough, the exam came around and I was given a grade F. Now my grades were pretty average at best at high school, but getting an F for an exam, I don't think I'd ever received such a bad grade before. Looking back, it was quite obvious to me now what was happening, but I just didn't realize it at the time. I was reading the three paragraphs over and over, but I wasn't processing the information because the text was all in French. Each word was just a random bunch of letters put together and each word didn't really mean anything. I didn't really understand the words, so I was basically just reading to memorize random sounds because when I wrote the three paragraphs, I was using the dictionary for pretty much every word and every sentence. What I should've done is used really basic words that I knew already and that way it would give me meaning to the text so that I could process it and memorize it far easier. That was the time where not processing information, but just reading the information passively got me the worst grade that I've ever gotten. That was an extreme example, but passively processing information was a theme throughout my entire high school career. Fortunately, in the few years between high school and university, I learned about how important active engagement is when studying. It really was a game-changer. Using some really basic strategies to activate my brain when reading, I could probably process and retain, and that last bit is important. Retain as much information in four hours, which would have taken me eight hours to memorize if I was revising the same material in high school. Basically, in terms of memorization for an exam, I could cut my studying down by up to 50 percent. Now that's huge, and that right there is the perfect example of studying smarter, not harder. I'll give you a few of the best active engagement strategies that worked really well for me. The first one is simplifying and summarizing the information. When you're taking notes, whether you're taking notes from your textbook or you're taking notes from your lectures, then you need to not just copy down the information word for word, exactly how it's written in the textbook, or exactly how your lecturer explained it. A far more effective way and smarter way of taking notes to force your brain to process the information rather than just passively record it is to first simplify it as much as you can. By simplifying the information you're making sure you truly understand the concepts. If you're not able to simplify it, then the chances are that you don't really understand it on a deep level. It's what the late theoretical physicist Richard Feynman taught. You should be able to break down and explain complex topics in very simple sentences using basic terminology. If you're unable to do this, then there may be gaps in your knowledge. Once you've simplified the concepts, you then need to summarize it. This does a couple of things. It makes it easier to remember for the exam. Obviously, the less there is to remember, the easier it will be to remember. So by summarizing a long complicated concepts into short one or two paragraphs, of course, it will be easy to remember for the exam, but also by putting the concepts into your own words, you're processing that information. You're making sure that you truly understand it, and you're processing the information and you're storing it in your long-term memory. The second strategy I used to actively stimulate the brain when studying is actually a memorization technique that I picked up from Jim Kwik, who is reading a memory improvement expert. It's such a simple idea, but it is incredible how powerful it is and how much time it saves. A massive part of memorizing what you read is about asking more questions. So by simply asking yourself questions when reading, it can exponentially increase the amount of information you retain from that book. I never just picked up a textbook and just started reading it without regularly asking questions throughout, because if you're just passively reading rather than actively reading, you're basically wasting your time. You're just not studying smart. You need to engage your mindset where you're more receptive to the information you're reading. When I was reading a thick heavy textbook, I would make notes on a separate piece of paper and I'd put a line down in the middle of the page. On the left side, I would take notes. These would just be the most important snippets of the texts that I thought might be useful for the exam. On the right side, I'd have my own thoughts and questions on what I just read. Jim Kwik talks about this method of retaining information from books quite often, he says there are three main questions you should be writing down on the right side of the page. The first question is, how can I use this? It forces you to link pieces of information from the book to the bigger picture. Now does the information that you just read, link in with the knowledge that you already know? What happens at this stage is that your brain is linking these new pieces of information to things that you already know and are strengthening your neural network, therefore making it easier to remember in the future. The second question is, why must I use this? If it's not a must, then there's nothing compelling you to do it. It could be because the notes that you just wrote down could be the answer to a certain question in the exam. If your lecturer has asked you to read a certain chapter in a textbook, there's usually a good reason why they recommended it, and that reason could be because the content in that chapter is likely to come up in the exam. The third question is, when will I use this? What this question does is it adds urgency. When is your exam coming? Is it in two weeks, in three weeks or in two months maybe? Often when you're reading a textbook, we're just skimming through passively because we're not engaged in the reading. There's no urgency there. The reason why so many students are cramming 24 hours before the exam is because there's a sense of urgency, right? You know, you need to get material memorized before the exam that's the next day, so you're far more engaged. By asking the question, when will I use this? You're adding artificial urgency to your studying because you do have a deadline, usually your exam day, but it's all too easy to forget this when you have weeks or even months to study before the exam. The Feynman Technique is another great way of engaging the brain when studying. The Feynman technique is when you explain a complex concept to either a friend or a sibling or a parent. Basically someone with zero or very little knowledge of the concept that you're explaining. You don't actually need to teach someone though, you can pretend to teach someone instead. That's just as effective and is how I used the Feynman Technique in university. There are four steps to the Feynman learning technique based on the method Richard Feynman originally used. These four steps are the exact steps that I took as well. Pretend to teach a concept that you want to learn about it to a student that is about 12 years old. Identify gaps in your explanation. If you struggle to explain something in simple terminology or you find yourself stumbling on your words because you don't understand the concept completely, then go back to the source material to better understand it. Re-read the source material and simplify it more and repeat again. This step is optional, but you'll realize that every time you go back to re-learn and simplify the concepts, you'll be able to explain it better and better. It's also why studying with friends can be a really effective way of studying. I found myself accidentally using the Feynman technique quite a lot at university. Friends would come up to me and ask me questions about the course. So asked me to explain something from the lecture that they didn't understand. By explaining it to them, I was almost solidifying it in my mind and storing that information into my long-term memory. Studying with friends comes with one caveat though; when studying in a group it's really easy to get distracted and start talking about unrelated things. So you do need a group of friends that are just as motivated as you, that will keep the study session focused and on topic, but by explaining the topics to your friends, you'll be inadvertently using the Feynman Technique. If you're unable to explain the concepts to your friends in a simplified way then it's likely that you don't know the topic well enough. The final way of using advanced information processes to activate your brain when studying is by drawing diagrams such as mind maps. Now I didn't use this technique much as I'm not much of a visual learner, but I have friends at university that swore by it. A mind map is a visual diagram of a collection of ideas of information. It's something referred to as a spider diagram. If you imagine the title, is the center of a page, is the spider's body and all the ideas sprouting from the body as if they're the spider's legs. The information that branches off from the center are all related to or associated with the title in the center. This is often used as a way of brainstorming. A study by Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy in 2002 found that mind-mapping improved the long-term memory of factual information in medical students by 10 percent. They reported the mind maps provide an effective study technique when applied to written material and that they are likely to encourage a deeper level of processing for better memory retention. Moreover, research was done on the efficacy of mind-mapping by Ralston and Cook in 2007, the study took place over a period of six weeks in two English primary schools, and in each case, about twelve, 10 to 11-year-old students were included. All their activities that were chosen to be enhanced with the use of mind maps were ones that encourage discussion and negotiation. The study concluded that an exercise involving mind-mapping software provided a useful focus for students to organize their thoughts and to present information clearly and attractively. So the next time you're studying, really think about it. Really think about whether or not you're processing that information. Whether or not you're activating your brain when you're studying or if you're just studying passively, because if you're studying passively for 12 hours a day, every day, then honestly you're wasting your time. You're studying hard and that's awesome, but just studying hard often isn't enough to get the very highest grades, and it's why it's so important to make your studying fun. It's why it's so important that you get to this position where you want to study, where you realize how much you're studying is going to positively benefit your life. If you're not in that place, if you're not really interested in what you're studying and you're disengaged and you don't really care about it, then that's a very dangerous place to be in. Ironically by putting effort into your studying and really putting in the work, you can make your life so much easier. You can free up so much time, you can study so much smarter by studying actively rather than passively. If you have any questions about this lesson, anything at all, just let me know below and I'll do my best to answer all of you. 7. Spaced Repetition: When I'm coaching my students and they're struggling with their studying and they're telling me that they don't have enough time to study and I introduce them to the concept to spaced repetition, if they've never done it before, it can often have a massive positive effect on not only the time that they save because they're studying more efficiently, but also on the grades that they achieve. Studies have shown that time and time again spacing out your studying is incredibly valuable for remembering large amounts of information in an extremely time-efficient way. Maybe the simplest and most effective memorization technique to save you time when revising for your exams. Let me explain how exactly I use spaced repetition leading up to my exams. Let's say I have an exam approaching on the 31st of December. It's a weird date to have an exam on, but just for simplicity sake, I would start revising early and this alone is massive. One of the worst things you can do is start revising for your exams just days before it. One of the easiest things you can do to boost your grade is to start revising for an exam super early and I mean really early. Often, I start revising six weeks before the exam. If the exam is on the 31st of December, I start revising on around the 15th of November. Then three days later on the 18th, I'd recap what I just learned on the 15th and then I'd learn more information. Then three days later on the 21st, I'd recap what I learned over the last two sessions and then learn more information. You can see what I'm doing here, I'm recapping the information that I learned in the previous revision sessions, as well as adding new information on top of that. Essentially, the pool of knowledge that I'm learning is increasing and increasing. I'm not trying to cram in everything in one or two days. Instead, I have smallest study sessions that are spread out over three-day periods that involve two parts; the review stage where I review the old information and the adding onstage, where I add more information and study and review new information. Doing it this way, with three-day rests in between, would look something like this. Day 1, studying the material. Days 2 and 3, take a break from that subject. Day 4, recap the material learned on Day 1 and learn more information. Days 5 and 6, take a break from that subject. Day 7, recap the material learned on Day 1 and Day 4 and learn more information. Studying this way is so effective because it allows the neurons in your brain responsible for remembering the material to be strengthened. It takes advantage of the spacing effects that shows that learning is more effective when study sessions are spaced out over a longer period of time, rather than by cramming and studying over a short period of time. There are countless studies. I mean, there are so many studies that show the effectiveness of the spacing effect or spaced repetition, whatever you want to call it. The studies go all the way back to 1939 when Professor at the University of Iowa Herman Spitzer tested the effects of spaced repetition on sixth grade students who were learning and memorizing facts about science. Spitzer tested over 3,600 students and his results showed a significant increase in the number of facts that the students in the group that were using spaced repetition were able to memorize, compared with the students in the group that were not using spaced repetition. It was an old study conducted back in the 1930s, there has been increasing research indicating that actually increasing the spaced between study sessions yields an even greater positive effects on memory. For example, instead of studying for subjects every three days, the research is suggesting that you should actually go from studying every three days, to every five days, to every seven days and slowly increasing the rest period that you have between study sessions. Spaced repetition with expanding intervals is believed to be so effective because with each expanded interval of repetition, it becomes more difficult to retrieve the information because of time elapsed between the study periods. This in turn creates a deeper level of processing of the learned information in long-term memory at each point. Now, there are various ways you can implement spaced repetition into your study strategy. Personally, I use the good old fashion flashcards and this is actually called the Leitner system, which was proposed by German science journalist Sebastian Leitner back in the 1970s. What I would do is, I'd have a thick pile of flashcard, each one with a fact or a date or formula or simple concept that I need to remember. I go through the pile of flashcards. As I went through them, I put each flashcard on one of three piles. The first pile was the flashcards that I had memorized well. The second pile was flashcards that I could kind of remember. I could remember them, but they would take quite a lot of thinking and poking around my brain to get them. The third and final pile was where I put the flashcards that I just couldn't remember well and I needed to spend more time on. With the three piles of flashcards, every morning, as soon as I woke up, I'd spend just about 10 minutes or so going through the pile of flash cards, where I could remember the information on them. Over time with consistent learning every 24 hours, that pile would get smaller and smaller until it was completely gone, because I'd remember the information on all of it. Then eventually, all the flashcards were just in one pile, the pile where I could remember everything. Spaced repetition saved me so much time at university studying for hours and hours every day, 7, 8, 9-hour study sessions only won't go, and sometimes just not necessarily, especially if you are taking advantage of spaced repetition strategy. Short study sessions or 10 minutes, 30 minutes, one-hour study sessions on each topic, but spaced out over 24 hours or 48 hours or three days, even seven or 14 days can often be more effective than studying for a full eight hours on one topic. Breaking that eight study session into eight separate one-hour study sessions can often be a far smarter way of studying. If you need any further guidance or support regarding spaced repetition, may be you're a bit unsure, just drop any comments or questions below and I'll do my best to reply to every single one of them. 8. Vary Your Studying: The whole point of this course is essentially to have you study a lot smarter than you are right now, and that you have been in the past. I want you to be able to process and retain as much information in four hours, that would normally have taken you eight hours to learn. That's what I mean when I talk about studying smarter. Varying you're studying is more of a psychological strategy to help with that. You see you're studying should be fun, you're studying should not be tedious, it shouldn't be boring. It shouldn't be something that you have to force yourself to do every day. Now, obviously, you are going to have your bad days, and they're will be elements of your studying that you find boring or subjects that you don't particularly find interesting. That's absolutely fine, That's completely normal. But I'm talking about overall, your overall experience with studying should be a positive one. It's so important to keep your studying interesting because then you're more likely to do it right. If you want to excel in something, you need to enjoy doing that thing. Reading thick, heavy textbooks, it's pretty boring for most of us, or at least for me it is. It's really important that you are regularly changing up the ways in which you consume your course materials. Reading and taking notes from a textbook is one way of studying. Another way of studying is watching YouTube videos on the topic that you're studying, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, listening to audio books, studying with friends, using office hours to talk to your lecturer, practice questions, online resources, creating mind maps. If you combine all of these methods together, they add up to make an incredibly effective long-term study strategy. Not only will switch it up you're studying like this make it more engaging, but it will also change the way in which the material stimulates your brain. For example, if you're watching YouTube videos, you'll be learning visually. Whereas if you're studying with your friends, then you'll be learning socially. These two types of learning, even if you're learning the same material, will activate different parts of the brain. A study conducted by Dr. Judy Willis in 2008, found that studying using different forms of media, stimulate different parts of the brain. The more areas of the brain that activates it, the easier it is for someone to process and understand the information and the better memory retention is. When I was learning a specific topic I make sure to vary the ways in which I consume the information. For example, I'd read lecture slides from the lecture, I'd read textbooks on the subject. I'd watch YouTube videos. I'd look online resources. I create mind maps, I teach friends when I'd learn. I'd write out the answers to practice questions. Obviously, I wouldn't be doing all of these methods all in one study session. But each time I'd review a topic, I'd use a different resource or different study method to learn the information faster. This strategy played a big part in being able to study relatively long periods of time in a day. For example, during exam season, if I wanted to, I could relatively easy study 12, 13, 14 hours a day. Because if I was reading a textbook and I noticed that I started to feel a bit bored or my mind starts to wonder, then I'd switch to studying from lecture notes, which would switch things up and makes studying a bit more interesting. Then after a couple of hours studying from lecture slides I'd switch to YouTube videos. It really works because if you asked me to study for 12 hours just by reading from a textbook for a whole 12 hours then yeah, of course I probably struggle just like most people. That was a big part of my transition from turning my 1.3 GPA into a 4.0 GPA, because I started to enjoy the studying process. It wasn't difficult anymore to just sit down and study because I actually wanted to study. That right there made a huge difference. If you want to be good at something, if you want to excel in something, you need to at least, enjoy doing it. If not, it's going to be an uphill struggle. It's the same with studying. In order to study smart, you need to be 100 percent laser-focused for the entire study session. We're studying smart. It's not necessarily about the number of hours that you study, but it's more about the intensity and the efficiency in which you study. By varying your studying, you'll be far more successful with staying focused throughout the entire study session. As always, if you have any questions, just let me know below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 9. Prioritisation: I've coached thousands of students all around the planet, and there's one thing in common between all high-performance students. They prioritize their studying. They know why they're doing it. They know what can happen and what opportunities they will get, and how many doors will actually open just from achieving incredibly high grades. The grades are not just a number or a letter to them, but there's just so much more than that. They have an opportunity to living a more financially successful life, a healthier life, a happier life, not only for them but their families as well. That's in contrast to what you might call average performing students or below average performing students because their mindset is just thinking short-term, they're more prone to procrastination because they're thinking about immediate pleasures, immediate gratification, rather than looking at the bigger picture and thinking, what do these exams mean to me two years down the line or five years down the line? There are two parts to prioritization. The first part is about prioritizing your studying as a whole, really looking at the bigger picture and realizing how important your education will be to your future happiness and the life you're going to live after you graduate. The second part of prioritization is looking at the smaller picture. Looking at the smaller daily tasks you have to do and prioritizing the most important and urgent tasks over the less important and urgent tasks because this is a big part of studying smart, you shouldn't be wasting your time focusing on tasks that just aren't that important. Let's take a step back and look at prioritization from the bigger picture. Throughout your education, you're going to be pulled in many different directions. You have your studying, then maybe you have a part-time job, maybe you have friends to go out with, maybe you have extra curriculum activities to spend time on. But prioritization doesn't mean that you should ditch all the other things going on in your life. Prioritization doesn't necessarily mean sacrifice. Let me give you an example. My goal at university was to achieve 4.0 GPA. I prioritized it over everything, almost everything. Like I said, my mental and physical health always confess as they always will and always should but just after that was to achieve a 4.0 GPA. I was absolutely laser focused on achieving it. I would study however long I needed to. If I needed to study 12 hours a day, that so be it. If I needed to start revising for an exam two months ahead of schedule, then so be it. You see, when I was at university, it was relatively easy to see the students that prioritize their studying and were getting decent grades and those that didn't prioritize their study and they weren't getting good grades. For example, I had classmates, they would go to party the night before an exam, even though they hadn't prepared for their exam. Of course, as a result, they didn't do very well in their exam. Now that's fine if that's what they want to do, but I'm assuming that if you're watching this course, then you ask striving to achieve at least relatively good grades. I guess it really boils down to how much do you really want it? How much do you really want to achieve incredible grades? Are you willing to pay the price? Because honestly a lot of people just aren't. That was the bigger picture. Now let's zoom in and look at how you should be prioritizing your smaller daily tasks. Because this is equally as important when it comes to studying smart. We've told about the Pareto principle early on in the class, and that same concept applies here. Where 20 percent of your studying will result in 80 percent of your grades. There are some tasks that you really need to prioritize and double down on, whereas there are other tasks that you should reduce the time you spend time on, or even just not do them altogether. A good way of organizing or choosing which tasks needs to be done right now and which task needs to be pushed back is by using the Action Priority Matrix because it is okay to push back some tasks, but it is important that you don't push back and procrastinate on the tasks that really matter. Looking at the Action Priority Matrix, there are two axes, the x-axis, which is the effort involved in order to carry out a task. The y-axis, which shows the impact their activity will have. How important that task actually is. Plotting each activity on the Action Priority Matrix let you see the tasks that give you the greatest return on your effort and helps you adopt the most effective approach for that activity. I'll give you an example. You have the quick wins, which are the most important and least amount of effort. For me going through a past paper for an exam coming would go in this category, it wouldn't take me too long, maybe a couple of hours. But the impact that it would have in terms of preparing me for the exam, like going through that past paper, would be absolutely significant. On the other hand, reading an entire textbook for subjects, I will put that in the hard slogs category because chances are reading through that entire textbook, firstly, you forget most of what you read and secondly, 90, 95 percent of what you read probably won't end up in the exam. Is a high effort, low impact therefore, I'd avoid reading entire textbooks. Going through each category, quick wins. High impact and low effort, these are the most attractive projects and give you a good return for relatively little effort, focus on these as much as you can, past papers, lecture notes, exam questions from your lecture. Those tasks fit in here. Major projects. High impact, high effort, well these give good returns, they do take a bit longer to complete, so meaning that one major project can crowd out many quick wins. If you're starting a major project, make sure that you complete it quickly and efficiently and that you move on as soon as you can. This might be a class assignment that only makes up 10 or 15 percent of your grades. It's important that you do it well and you put a lot of effort into it, but you shouldn't be spending weeks on it as it is only 10 percent of your overall grade. You should be focusing more time on resources, on other areas that you're assessed on that make up a larger proportion of your grade. Fill ins. Low impact, low effort, you can do these if you've got spare time but drop them if something better comes up. These might be helping friends with their assignments. If you've got spare time, sure help them out, it won't take long. It won't take much effort, and it will help you in a bit in terms of by teaching someone else, the material you're processing it better in your mind and you're understanding it yourself. But if you're busy and you have deadlines approaching or if you have an exam tomorrow that you have to prepare for, then focus on those more important tasks first. Hard slogs, so low impact and high effort. You should just avoid these completely. These are tasks that give you low returns and steal your time. Tasks this might be rote learning, for example. Rote learning is where you're just repeating the same material again and again, but you're not really processing it in your mind, it's not effective. There are far better ways to study. Anything that falls into this category, you can pretty much avoid them. For all your educational career, you should always be reviewing the task that you're doing and asking yourself, is what I'm doing actually going to affect my overall grade? If it's not, then stop doing it, unless there are other benefits, then don't do it. You really need to spend your time efficiently and effectively. You don't want to be studying 12 hours a day every day. It's not necessary if you study smart and you prioritize the important tasks and avoid the unimportant tasks. As always, if you have any questions, just let me know below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 10. Consistency: I'll tell you right now, you're not going to be able to achieve incredibly high grades if you're not consistent or you might be able to, but you'd be making things far harder for yourself than you need to. It's why I tried to steer students away from this idea of studying crazy hours every day. I've coached students that were studying 14 hours a day, six days a week, and they were getting really incredibly high grades. I mean, in the top 0.1 percent of the university. But the problem was the other areas of their life suffered. But that's not the only problem. Burnout is a real issue. In the real world in general, I mean, burnout is a really common issue, but it's especially common among high-performance students. Then my question is, how do you become a high-performance student without burning out in the long run? I'm going to answer that in this lesson. Consistency is huge, but it is not easy to achieve. Our motivation throughout the week goes up and down. Some days we'll feel motivated, some days we won't, and that's completely normal. But what I encouraged the students that I coach to do is to keep your studying on a consistent level every day because there's two different approaches you can take. Approach 1 is you're feeling super motivated on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday. So you get so much of your studying done, you average eight hours a day over the three days. But then you start to burn out for the rest of the week. So you don't study at all for the rest of the week. That's approach 1. Approach 2 is you're feeling super motivated on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday but you steady your pace because you know that this is a marathon and not a sprint. You pace yourself, you study on average, I don't know, six hours a day over the three days and then the rest of the week, you feel unmotivated, but you have a goal of six hours a day to study, so you push through it and you study six hours on Friday and Saturday too and then you have the weekend off to recharge. The idea behind approach 2 is you have a goal of studying six hours a day from Monday to Friday or Monday to Saturday. Studying six hours when you're super motivated is incredibly easy. Everyone can do it. But studying six hours when you're unmotivated and you're tired, it's not that easy, but it's not impossible. With a bit of self-discipline and implementing some really clever study strategy is studying the six hours when you're feeling unmotivated is just about achievable. That's why I really recommend spacing out your studying rather than going all out and studying crazy hours for a few days or a few weeks but then burning out. This analogy of running a marathon rather than a sprint is a really good way of explaining it. If you're running a marathon, then you don't sprint the fastest you can for the first 1,000 meters. Because you'd burn out pretty quickly. You need to pace yourself and I really want to encourage studying smart and studying hard, but in a way that is healthy and sustainable. That means sleeping well. It means exercising regularly, eating healthily, resting when you need to rest, taking breaks, that thing. Because I think this mentality of push yourself to the absolute limit every single day. It's good short-term and of course, you should push yourself hard, but just make sure that you're studying at a level where you can stay consistent. How do you stay consistent? How do you make sure that the level that you're studying at right now, you don't burn out and you stay consistent even when you feel unmotivated or tired? There are few things that you can do. Firstly, having a consistent and productive morning routine is super important. I've designed my morning routine to be as healthy and productive as possible, but at the same time making it as efficient as I can. The morning is the most productive part of my day. Instead, I've created a morning routine that will get me out of the door and be on my way to the office within 55 minutes of waking up. At 7:00 AM, I wake up I don't wake up super early at 4:00 or 5:00 AM anymore. But at university, I used to wake up at 4:45 AM religiously, every single morning. It worked for me then, but with the businesses run now and also with the time zones, I'm living in Vietnam now, I have to make calls or Zoom meetings to the UK who are six hours behind Vietnam. Sometimes I've been making calls until midnight or the early hours of the morning. At 8:15, I drink a glass of water. At 8:20, I have breakfast. At 8:35, I check my schedule for the day. Usually, I use Trello to organize my workday. I also have a calendar app on my phone that organizes any appointments or meetings or events I have. At 8:40, I shower and I get ready and at 8:55, I leave the house. This morning routine, for me at least works perfectly and make sure that my mornings are super productive and are consistent. I start the day off strong every single day. Now, some people are early birds, others are night owls. Personally, I'm most productive in the morning. I make sure that my morning routine is on point and I'm sat at my desk in front of my laptop as early as I can. Maybe you're a night owl and you're the most productive at night time or the early mornings. In which case you have a productive nighttime routine that you go through where you make sure that you're sat at your desk ready to study at 6:00 PM or 7:00-8:00 PM or whatever time that you are most productive. The second way that I stay super consistent in university was that I set goals. I had a goal of studying eight hours a day, six days a week, from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, I'd study just four hours in the morning. I could have had that goal 10 hours or 11 hours and really pushed myself, but I'd probably burn out after a few hours and that's exactly what I wanted to avoid. Eight hours was perfect for me. When I'm feeling super pumped and motivated, eight hours of studying is really easy. But when I'm feeling unmotivated or tired or just having a bit of a slow day, sitting for eight hours with a healthy dose of self-discipline was still achievable. My studying stayed consistent throughout the week, eight hours a day as opposed to 12 hours some days, four hours other days. I saw it like having a full-time job and that's where my mindset was. Most white-collar workers, they work at least eight hours a day. If they're feeling tired or having a particularly bad day, they can't just call their boss at work and tell them that they're not coming to work today because they can't really be bothered. That just isn't an option in the real world and people that do do that perhaps wouldn't have that job for very long. Honestly, I did have a bit of a head start because when I was young all the way up to my early 20s, I saw my dad go to work every single morning at about 7:00 or 8:00 AM and come home every single night and about 6:00 PM, he would never have a day off. I mean, really he would never have a day off. Then it was like my role model that became normal for me. Now is slightly harder at university because we're not going to get fired if we don't turn up to study. If we just study for four hours instead of eight hours, we're not going to have a manager breathing down our neck, asking why we only studied for four hours. Really, we have to be our own manager. We have to be incredibly self-disciplined enough that we make ourselves study and stay consistent with our studying, even when we don't feel like it because that's just life. Sometimes we have to do something that we don't particularly want to do. We want that immediate gratification of hitting the snooze button or turning on Netflix instead of studying. But that's just not what a high-performance student does. A high-performance student trains themselves to be self-disciplined and be consistent because trust me, it's so worth it. If you have any questions about this lesson, maybe you need some further guidance or support, just let me know below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 11. Akrasia: Now, this is quite interesting, because most of the strategies in this course are pragmatic. They're things that you can do immediately. They're tools that I implemented into my own university journey that enabled me to completely transform my grades going from one extreme to the other. But this lesson is a bit different. I'm going to take you back to around 400 BC, so around 2,400 years ago, to the time of Plato. Plato was an ancient Greek philosopher and he is considered to be the founder of Western political philosophy. He asked an interesting question. He asked, "How is it possible if one judges action A to be the best course of action, one would do anything other than A?" However, Socrates, who was also a Greek philosopher and alive around the same time as Plato pushed back and he said, "No one goes willingly towards the bad, If a person examines a situation and decides to act in the way he determines to be best, he will pursue this action as the best course is also the good course." I'm curious what you think. Are you on Plato's side where you believe sometimes we go ahead and do things even though we know that it would be damaging to us, or are you on Socrates' side where you believe no one does anything bad if they genuinely believe that it's bad? Simply put, akrasia is a state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment through weakness of will. This is really what I want to focus on in this lesson. When you know that you should be studying but get this huge urge to do something else, whether it's going out with friends or basically doing anything other than what you should be doing, studying, what do you do? How do you snap yourself out of that state of early procrastination? There's one tool that I use quite often at the university. When you catch yourself just about to procrastinate, you're not procrastinating yet, but you're on this cliff edge and you're weighing up your options in your head whether you should study or not, this is when I use the five-second rule and it's a super simple tool. Mel Robbins talks about it quite a lot. She's a motivational speaker and keynote. In fact, I take that back, she doesn't just talk about it in-depth, she's written a whole book on it called The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage. I use this tool so often at university because it really does work. It's based on the premise that if you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill it. The very moment I felt hesitant to study, whenever the idea of procrastination pops into my head even for a second, then I would go 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go, and move towards studying. It works because there's a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to study and then your mind killing it. It's a five-second window. If you don't take action in this five-second window, then you'll stay stagnant, but if during this five-second window, you count to five and then just go and study, you can start the momentum before the barrage of thoughts and excuses hit you at full force. Because procrastination is a lot harder to fix once you've already in that state of procrastination. The idea here is to deal with procrastination before it even starts. It's how I pushed myself to study when I really didn't want and it just takes five seconds. The five-second rule is particularly helpful for when you don't want to wake up in the morning, your alarm clock goes off and you've woken up, but you're so tempted to just continue sleeping. Before your mind can even process what's happening, before your mind can think up a list of excuses and reasons why you should continue sleeping, you just count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go and you get on. Another way to stop procrastination, simply having a task list. I downloaded a task list on my phone in my first year at university. In terms of organizing my life and prioritizing the tasks that I really needed to get done that day, It's been absolutely invaluable. It's weird because for me there's something slightly unsettling about having a long task list. I really don't like having loads of things on my task list. That's motivation in itself to make sure that my list is relatively small or even empty. When it does start getting a bit too long, maybe it's an OCD thing, I don't know, but when my task list starts getting a bit too long, then it's massive motivation for me to start working on those tasks and start ticking them off one-by-one. Something else you can do is use a productivity time on your phone. I didn't actually use this method at university much, but funnily enough, I use it more now where I'm working than back at university. The app that I keep going back to, because I tried a lot of these, but I prefer, the Focus To-Do app because you set the time however long you want your study sessions to be, and then you just start studying. I normally set it to about 25 minutes or 30 minutes, but sometimes if I have quite a lot of writing to do I'll set it to one hour and just write and write until the timer goes off. There are even some more advanced features where if you find yourself getting distracted on your phone, then you can set the app to actually lock your phone so that it's a lot harder to get distracted. Obviously, when your study session finishes and the timer goes off, then it will lock your phone. A super-simple and basic app, but really effective in fighting off procrastination. Giving yourself little awards can go a long way too. Now, admittedly, I didn't really do this at university, but I have friends where rewards really helped keep them focused and on track. They use reward systems to encourage them to study. For example, if they finish an essay without any distractions, they give themselves a small reward like spending the rest of the evening watching a TV show or taking a nap. A strategy I also use quite a lot these days and I used it often at university too, was to tackle the hardest tasks and my peak times. I'm usually at my most alert and most productive in the morning as soon as I wake up or like one hour after waking up, so I do the task that I really don't want to do or the tasks that are the most difficult or the task that will take the longest time to do. I often work until like 10:00, 11:00 PM at night. At nighttime, I'll do more relaxing tasks like replying to social media comments, or replying to YouTube comments, replying to emails, that thing. Another thing that is something that I actually just really implemented into my life, sometime early this year is to aim for done over perfects. This is super-important when writing assignment. It can be really intimidating when you're about to start writing a 10,000 word essay because you know it's going to take a long time. But imagining the perfect essay or assignment or project could be exactly what's holding you back, and pushing you into procrastination mode. But was super effective for me, is that I still do with pretty much all my writing is I just start, I write whatever's in my head, I just get it down on paper. Let's say I have to write a 10,000 word essay, I'd spend a few hours planning it, then I just write and write until I hit about 8,000 words. Now, that right there is my draft. I then add to it, I change things around, I'd add more scientific studies, making the wording more formal, that thing. I'd write the first draft, then I'd review it again, change it, add to it, then review it a third time and change to it and add to it. As you can see, I don't aim for perfection straight away, but instead, I just wrote what was in my head down on paper, then just keep reviewing it and perfecting it from thereon. While you're studying, this really is obvious, I'm not going to talk about it too much, but make sure that your study environment has very few distractions or fewer distractions as possible. If you're studying in your bedroom and you have your bed facing you, try moving your desk so that you're pointing away from your bed so you're not tempted to take another nap. One really simple thing I do is, when I'm studying, I'll put my phone behind my laptop screen, so I can't see it. Out of sight, out of mind. My study environment is absolutely spotless. Maybe I'm a bit OCD, I don't know, but messy workplaces can really stop me from getting any work done. As you can see from my office behind me, I keep my working environment pretty clean. A clean workspace can help increase motivation and help prevent procrastination. Another way to stop procrastinating is to really remember why you're studying in the first place. Why are you really doing? I don't mean shallow things like you want an A grade or GPA or whatever. I want you to go deeper than that. Maybe your parents have been supporting you financially for the last few years and you want to give them something back by getting good grades, by getting a good job, and becoming financially stable. Maybe like me, you had been failing your exams for years, and you have a deep desire to prove to yourself that you are capable of doing something with your life. Because that was my motivation. Honestly, I felt like a failure. I was rejected from so many universities, then finally one accepted me. That rejection was painful. Honestly, I felt like a loser. That's what I use to help motivate me whenever I felt like procrastinating. That's incredibly powerful. If you can find a deep pain you've had in your life. Something that was excruciatingly painful, maybe you were bullied when you were younger, maybe you were rejected from your dream university, whatever it is, if you can turn that around and use it as fuel for your motivation, I really can't emphasize enough how powerful that can be long-term. It was 2013 when I finally turned my life around. What motivated me more than anything was failing exam after exam and then being rejected from all the universities that I applied for. Honestly, I thought that that motivation would eventually burn out. But to this day, I'm still just as motivated as I was back in 2013. When I talk about taking the painful events in your life and really using them to motivate you, when I say that that's where you can find long-term motivation, I really do mean that. Being able to fend off procrastination is a massive part of being able to study smart. Someone who studies for eight hours, but it's unfocused and he's getting destructed from those eight hours is just not going to study as effectively as someone who stays studying for four hours completely focused. When you are ready to study, then make it count, make every minute count, and stay focused on the task at hand. Because as soon as you start getting destructed, you're wasting your time and you're not studying smart. If you have any questions or you need me to explain anything further or you need any elaboration on anything, drop a comment below and I'll get back to you shortly. 12. Flow State: A big part of studying smart is having the ability to focus for long periods of time. I mean, really focusing, having such deep intense concentration. You having so involved in the task where you are so in the zone, that you completely lose track of time. You can stay 100 percent laser-focused on that one task for hours and you're so focused on the task at hand, that you even forget to eat. This is a concept originally named in 1975 by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Outlining his theory that a flow state is a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. In an interview with Wired Magazine, Csikszentmihalyi describes flow state as being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away, time flies, every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved and you're using your skills to the utmost. When you're in the state of flow, you are completely focused on the task at hand and you forget about everything. You forget about yourself, about the world around you. You lose track of time, you feel happy and in control, and become creative and productive. Now, imagine if you could actively turn on this level of focus, almost like flicking on a switch every time you sit down to study. What if I told you that you can train yourself to reach this flow state because that's exactly what high-performance students are able to do. They have trained themselves to enter the state of flow when nothing else matters, only the work they're doing in front of them. How do you train yourself to enter a state of flow? The first thing to do is to find a quiet study place. Clear away all distractions, and a desktop notifications from Instagram or Facebook or emails or anything else that might pop up or make noise to disrupt your faults. I also find it helpful to have a clear desk, even if that means sweeping papers I don't immediately need in folders stored away for later. In my first year of university or at least in the first half of my first year. I'll be honest, it wasn't easy to enter into the state of flow. There were three things that I realized. Firstly, I needed to train myself and slowly work myself up to it. I start with just been super focused for 30 minutes. Once that starts getting relatively easy over a period of a few weeks, I increased it to 40 minutes, then to 50 minutes, and eventually by the end of the year, it was relatively easy to stay in a state of flow for hours at a time. The second thing that I realized was that I needed the conditions to be right. I needed the study environment to be perfect. For me that was in the library with my noise-canceling headphones on, usually with some classic music like Mozart playing quietly through them. I then needed to focus on just one task. Switching from task to task really was destructive when it came to entering into a flow state. The idea really was to get so consumed and focused on a task that you completely forget about everything else. Honestly, once I trained myself to enter into a peak flow, it was an absolute game-changer. The third thing I needed to do in order to reach a state of flow was that I needed to set a goal, just one goal. For example, if I was writing an assignment, my one goal might be to write 5,000 words in the next three hours. Writing five hours in three hours for me is not that easy to do, but it is achievable. I just need to push myself and that goal is perfect. A goal where it's going to challenge you and test you but if you put in the effort and you stay focused, you're going to reach it. Goals like these, keep you on track. Whenever you feel like you're getting distracted or starting to lose focus, these goals will keep you focused and keep you either in a flow state or on your way to achieving a flow state. Now, there are some caveats to this. Firstly, if I was feeling unmotivated or tired, or if I didn't really feel like studying, it would be significantly more difficult to enter into a flow state. Not impossible though, just more difficult. The same goals if the tasks that I was doing wasn't that enjoyable or if I wasn't that interested in the subjects I was studying. Again, it was more difficult to enter into a flow state, but not entirely impossible. What I like about entering into a flow state is that studying just becomes easy. You find yourself in a position where you're swimming with the tide rather than against it. Studying just becomes enjoyable, an enjoyable experience. That's really where we should be aiming for. Studying shouldn't be something that you need to keep wrestling with. It should be an enjoyable experience. Sometimes I could be in a flow state for an entire day studying for 12 or so hours, with breaks in between and eating and walking around to keep my circulation going. But it's how I could study for 12 hours actually relatively easily. Because it was 12 hours of just going with the flow and it wasn't forced studying. Because we really want to get to a stage where all the studying that we're doing is because we want to study rather than because we're being forced to study. If there's one thing you take away from this course, I would suggest that you start training yourself. If you haven't already start training yourself to enter into this flow state. After a few months or maybe a year, you'll be able to almost just enter into a state of flow as soon as you sit down. It really is almost like a superpower and honestly, that's no exaggeration. Once you're there, you'll know what I mean. This was a really important lesson. If you have any questions about it, maybe you need some further guidance or support. Just let me know below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 13. Accountability: One of the biggest differences I see between students performing at an incredibly high level and students performing at, you could say average or below level is accountability. You see students that are studying at average or below, they'll make excuses. They'll say they didn't get the grade that they wanted because this or because of that. They'll blame everyone else and everything else except for themselves. High-performance students, however, they take extreme ownership and that was a big part of what allowed me to transform my 1.3 GPA at high school to a 4.0 GPA at university. I began to self-reflect. I started being brutally honest with myself and ask, "Why am I not getting decent grades? Why am I not prioritizing my studying?" It's really easy to blame the teachers or blame the education system, or blame your parents, or blame your friends or your financial situation. It's really easy to blame other people but it doesn't fix the problem. If you continue blaming everyone else, but yourself, then the problem is never going to go away. You're only able to fix it when you take responsibility and start to make yourself accountable for your own problems. So for 14 years of my education, I was sitting on pretty average grades for the whole time, but I never really took responsibility. I didn't take action in order to improve those grades. I didn't take ownership of myself. If I did, particularly about an exam, I didn't self-reflect and think back on how I could have done better or tried to improve in any way. I did feel bad that I failed an exam but I'd move on and I'd never really think about it again. I never learned about my mistakes. So I kept making the same mistakes again and again and again. Jocko Wilink, who is an author, a podcaster, a retired Navy SEAL, taught us quite a lot about extreme ownership. In fact, he's written a whole book on it. The book is called Extreme Ownership. Whether he coined that term or not, I don't know, but he explains how our ego is the biggest obstacle because we don't want to take the blame for when things go wrong. We want to blame everyone else. Take ownership of everything in your world, the good and the bad. Take ownership of your mistakes, take ownership of your shortfalls, take ownership of your problems, and then take ownership of the solutions that will get those problems solved. It's such an important message, it's such an empowering message. Because if there's something going on in your life, maybe you're not financially where you want to be or maybe you're not as healthy or as fit as you would like to be. Taking extreme ownership really does give you the power and it lets you take back control so you can then take massive action in fixing those problems. Jocko Wilink also has another book called Discipline Equals Freedom. This concept is something that I've been thinking about quite a lot recently. This idea that the more disciplined you are, the more self-discipline you have, the more freedom you have. At first, this notion seems rather counter-intuitive because surely, the more discipline you have, the more you're working, therefore, the less free time you have. Therefore, the less freedom you have. But I'll try and explain it the best that I can. When I was in high school, I had very little self-discipline, I didn't want to study, I didn't make myself study. I just went with the flow and as a result, my grades were pretty bad. Because of this, I have very little freedom. I got rejected from so many universities. The opportunities that I had were few and far between. In fact, they were so few, and far between after high school, I started working at a supermarket stocking shelves, doing the graveyard shift. So back then I really didn't have much freedom. I was earning pretty much minimum wage. It was a dead-end job, I didn't enjoy it. It was boring, it was mind-numbing, but I didn't have many other opportunities. Fast-forward to university, I had a lot of self-discipline because I was so disciplined with my study. I needed to study eight hours a day, then the rest of the day I could do whatever I wanted. I started a YouTube channel, I went to the gym, I went out with friends. I traveled to five different countries. I graduated with decent grades and I had so many opportunities presented to me. That right there is how discipline equals freedom. It did cost me though, it cost me personal investment and an effort from the get-go, but that investment in myself really did liberate me and honestly, made made me so much happier. It's another reason why I'm making this course, why I make my YouTube videos because I've been on both sides. I've been on the side where I got really bad grades. I have been on the side where I got really good grades. Trust me, when I say this is, it's so much better when you're on top of your work and you're studying hard, and you just feel good, you just feel content and fulfilled. It's really quite difficult to articulate. But trust me, the more self-discipline you have, the happier you will be. This really links into accountability because the more self-discipline you possess, the more you hold yourself accountable and you take responsibility for what's going on in your life. The more freedom you receive, the more opportunities, the more doors will open. It's really the case for every area of your life. Maybe, I don't know, you're overweight. So there's something you can do about that. You're not earning enough money to live on. Again, there's something that you can do about that. When it came to my studying, every single grade I got back, whether it was for an assignment or a presentation or a group project or an exam, whatever it was, I would look at my grade and I'd review how I prepared for that exam and I'd ask myself, "What could I have done better?" That's how I pushed myself. I always want you to do better and learn from my mistakes because I realized that almost everything in my life is a direct or indirect result of my own actions and my own decisions. Even with group projects. Throughout my second and third-year university, we did quite a few group projects, usually, there'd be four of us in a group and if we received a group project back and we got a pretty bad grade, then I'd take responsibility for that. It's really easy to blame other group members but that's not going to fix anything. When you start taking responsibility and then take actionable steps to improve, that's when your grades will start to improve too. So the next time you find yourself blaming someone else for your grades or anything else for that matter. Or you find yourself complaining about something, or you find yourself not really happy with something in your life, ask yourself, what can you do about it? Really, what can you do about it? Be completely honest with yourself. If you can do something about it, then do it. That's what extreme ownership is about. It's about taking complete responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Once you start living like that, once you really start taking extreme ownership of your life, honestly, it will change your life. If you have any questions about this lesson, anything at all, let me know below and I'll do my best to answer them all. 14. Final Thoughts: Throughout this course, I've given you various ways how I was able to study smart and achieve pretty good grades without having to study 10, 11, 12 hours a day every day, because there really is no need if you're following the strategies that I've laid out in this class. Over the last few years, by coaching thousands of students all around the planet and helping them either transform their grades or giving them that extra bit of guidance, take them from being a high-performing student to even an ultra-high-performing student, I've realized one thing, the best students, they're constantly reviewing their study techniques. They're constantly asking themselves, "Is how I'm studying the most efficient way of studying? Is there anything that I can prove on to save time? How can I reduce my eight-hour study session to a four-hour session while learning the same amount of information?" It's these kinds of questions that you need to be asking yourself throughout each semester. But after going through this course, please keep this in mind, your mental and physical health should always come first above everything, above your goals, above your studying, above your friends, above everything. If you push yourself so hard and you don't keep your health in check, then it can have a massive detrimental effect on your performance and then it's just counter-intuitive. If you type hustle culture into YouTube, you get dozens of videos with titles along the lines of how hustle culture destroyed my life, hustle culture is killing your productivity, the toxic side of hustle culture and workaholism, but there's one constant theme throughout all of these videos, they prioritize their work above their mental and physical health. I don't want people to be scared of studying hard, it only turns destructive when you forget about the things that really matter, so look after yourself. With that, I want to say thank you for sticking to the end of this class. If you're looking for more study advice or you just need some help in general with your studying, then check out my YouTube channel, ProjectElon. I have hundreds of videos on how to become a better student and achieve higher grades. One last thing, if you want to leave me a review as well, I'd love to hear from you and know what you think about this course. I'm going through making more study advice courses such as how to study for 12 hours a day, study habits, memorization techniques, that kind of thing, so stay tuned. With that, I hope you all have an amazing day and I wish you all the luck in the world for your upcoming exams. I'll see you in the next course.