Why I’m able to a Study Less than YouAug 07, 2023
- Hello guys, it's Mike and Matty. And today we will show you how to
less, but smartly. And no, we won't give you a random list of
studytips with no direction. We will give you specific strategies that we use in medical school. - Doctors study a lot. Then we find out what works and what doesn't. So we will give you practical advice that you can use today, right now and you will see that you will study
lessin no time. - What's up guys? - What's happening? (upbeat music) You may have noticed that we like to delve into the science behind these strategies.
And we could just give him the advice and then move on. But it's not really doing you any favors. So if you can understand the science and reasoning behind why these strategies work, you will have a much easier time using them in your own life. That's why we do it. - So the first strategy that really helped us in medical school was something called teaching back. Basically, you want to simulate teaching the information to someone else so it suits you better. I'm sure you've heard of this strategy before, but it may not work for you because you're not doing it in a way that you can get the most out of it.
So this is how retrospective teaching helps you study smart. So there are three very specific things you need to do to make this work. And we will give it to you right now in practical steps, three easy steps. In step one, you need to close your workbook and close your notes. Because for this to work, you can't cheat and look at your notes. This forces you to actively recall information from your brain and you can practice retrieving that information, without hints or clues. In step two, you can say out loud, or write down on a typewriter or on a blank sheet of paper, word by word, what you want to teach.
Word for word is very important because it forces your brain to process the information in your own words. When you're just trying to teach something silently in your head, your brain tends to skip over some of the important concepts. But if you try to teach it out loud or write it down word for word, this forces your brain to reformat the information. So, in step three, you will aim to teach someone who does not yet understand the information. This means, A, teaching someone who is not in your class or out of your field, or B, teaching a child or someone at the fifth grade level.
If you intend to teach a child, then you can't use big words, which means you have to condense the information into its simplest form. And if you intend to teach someone outside your field, then you can't rely on using key terms and jargon from your field. As a doctor, I have to do this all the time. Like for example, when I try to explain to my patient what heart failure is, I can't rely on big medical words. I can't say things like "you have a low ejection fraction" which causes pulmonary edema. I have to say something more like "your heart is having trouble pumping blood forward" and so fluid will accumulate in places "that don't belong." , like your lungs." So I have to carefully select my words.
And the way to do that is to write a script word for word. So here's how retrospective teaching can help you study less. If you follow those steps that we just talked about, you will get something very valu
able. And that is, identify your strengths and your weaknesses. If you are teaching something and you find it difficult to explain it to a child, then maybe you don't understand it as well as you thought. Or if you're teaching something and you can't remember a specific detail and you have to look it up, then that's a gap in your knowledge.
But now that you know what your strengths are. and your weaknesses are that you don't have to waste time reviewing things you already know well, but you can focus on reviewing things you don't know. And so you study less. - Well, let's talk about the next strategy. The following strategy is what really helped us get through those long days of studying in medical school. It's called using a stopwatch. It is also called the Pomodoro Technique. Maybe you've heard that term instead. But basically, you study for 25 minutes, then you take a five-minute break, and then you repeat that cycle over and over again.
So how does the Pomodoro Technique help you study less if you take breaks in between? Well, the human brain has a very limited attention span. And the average student can only concentrate for about 25 minutes before her mind starts to wander and she begins to feel fatigue. And at that time, its efficiency will decrease dramatically. If you keep trying to overcome that mental confusion and study more and more, you will be wasting a lot of time, right? You'll start rereading the same sentence two or three times, simply because your brain wasn't sharp enough to understand it the first time.
So this is a big waste of time. And that's why the Pomodoro technique works so well. Just take a short break, let your brain reset, and then get back to it. You'll find that you can read the material much faster this way, rather than trying to read it and then retaining nothing at all. So how does this help you study smarter? Well, it all comes down to giving your brain a chance to rest. Give your brain a break from all the material. Then do something else for a moment. Get up, go for a walk, do some stretches, have a snack, just give your brain a break.
And in medical school I studied at home most of the time. And the Pomodoro Technique was
ableto help me focus even though there were many distractions around me. And I think part of the reason was because I got into a little routine with my five-minute breaks. So every 25 minutes, I had this little thing I did. So I was getting into soccer a lot back then, my first year of medical school, and I was learning how to play and my roommate is a pretty good soccer player, so he was kind of my teacher. But if you know me, when I start learning something new, I get really into it and want to do it all the time.
So he bought me a soccer ball, you know, one of those mini, mini soccer balls for Christmas. And during my five-minute breaks, I would get up from my desk and then do a couple of stretches on my yoga mat, which was right next to my desk. And then I'd practice my dribbling with that little soccer ball for a couple of minutes back and forth, you know, stomping it around making a lot of noise around the house and then I'd finally end up kicking it at him and kicking it. him. And it always, you know, surprised him a little bit when he saw that, but that was like my little routine that I had, and then I'd have a snack and go back to my desk.
There are a couple of reasons why I shared that story with you. And the first is because I would reward myself after studying for 25 minutes with that break, right? That was my little incentive to get through the 25 minutes and be able to kick the soccer ball. And the second was because I think it's a good idea to incorporate a little exercise into those five minutes, right? Exercise is really good because it gets blood back to the brain and body, and it really helps reset your mental state to focus. There's a ton of science explaining why exercise is good for brain function, even in small doses like five minutes, so this will really add up, it can only help you study.
Alright, that's the Pomodoro Technique in a nutshell; 25 minutes of study, five minutes of rest and then repeat. But over time, you'll probably find that you can study for more than 25 minutes, right? You can extend it to 30, 35 minutes, 40 minutes before the break. So little by little you can start to increase that time as long as you don't sacrifice your concentration. Okay, so strategy number three is to make a very concrete and very detailed study schedule. So detailed that you will know exactly how long you will study each time you study and what you will study that day.
Okay, and some of you will think, damn, isn't that a lot more of a waste of time than just sitting down and using that time to study? And the answer is no. And let me explain why you are studying less. So this is what happens when you study without a plan. Maybe you know the feeling, because I know I definitely know the feeling because it's happened to me before. But, you know, I'll pack my bags, get ready to leave, we'll both go to campus or the library, I'll make myself a cup of coffee, and then I'll be out the door. , I prepare my desk and I'm ready to start.
And then you just sit there, blank, like, wait, what should I study, right? And you're also nervous about coffee and your mind is racing and maybe your first thought is, well, you know, I'll start at the top and go down, you know, I'll start with the first thing. conference and I will continue until I finish all the conferences. But maybe after about 10 minutes of that plan, you realize that you know the first few lectures pretty well. So, okay, let's move on now, maybe I'll move on to chapter five. And then you start reading chapter five and you start studying a little bit and five minutes later, you realize, wait, I know chapter five too.
So effectively, the first 20 minutes of studying, when you're not sure what you're going to do, you've wasted them because you're already studying what you already know. And this process repeats itself over and over again and then you've basically wasted half of your entire dedicated study block reviewing things you already knew or trying to figure out what you were supposed to study in the first place. So now you didn't finish all the studies you had to do. And now it will make you study even longer. So we want to avoid all that. So if you simply sit down with your planner and your study schedule, and plan out exactly what you need to know for your exam, you'll be able to identify what you know well and what you don't know well so you can allocate your study appropriately.
And by doing this, you'll save a lot of time because you won't be studying things you already know, right? Study less. Ok, so how does this help you study smarter? If you plan your day, for example, you say that today I am going to study chemistry, for two hours, right? And if you give yourself just that two-hour block, you're much more likely to follow that plan and stick with it, right? This is called Parkinson's Law. So Parkinson's Law is the saying that "work expands to fill the time available to complete it." So what this means is that if you give yourself two hours instead of, say, four or five hours, Naturally, we're going to want to extend that time as much as possible in order to complete the task.
Now, obviously that's not true for all situations, but we want to avoid wasting time by spending more time than necessary. So give yourself blocks and that should work. - So those are three tips. Use them, abuse them, so you can crack down and study less, but study smarter. What are your best study strategies? Leave a comment below because we would love to hear it and we are always looking to improve. If you want to chat with us directly, feel free to visit our Discord community and hang out. Link in description. I hope you enjoyed the video, please like it. because it really helps us.
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