All about that EFFICIENCY (reading from the “Study Hacks Blog”)

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The Art of Stealth Studying: How To Earn a 4.0 With Only 1.0 Hours of Work

Using the “Stealth Study Philosophy”. It means take the pile of tasks into 5-10 min small chunks. Finally one feels almost no study but actually mastered the knowledge.

Use the walk time for a review.

Fill in the understanding gap immediately!

Review within 24 hours.

How to Become a Zen Valedictorian: Decreasing Your Stress Without Decreasing Your Ambition

Zen Valedictorian Philosophy

find a way to become less overloaded and less stressed without becoming less impressive:

follow three principles:

  1. under-schedule
  2. innovate
  3. focus

Fixed-Schedule Productivity: How I Accomplish a Large Amount of Work in a Small Number of Work Hours

Fixed-Schedule Productivity

The system:

  1. Choose a schedule of work hours that you think provides the ideal balance of effort and relaxation.
  2. Do whatever it takes to avoid violating this schedule.

e.g. 9am to 5pm during weekdays + half a day on weekends


  • keep a fixed and reasonable # queue, e.g. 2 projects in the queue
  • be clear about the expected results and don’t need to be soon
  • reasonably drop and quit a project
  • habitats the regular behavior
  • start early


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2.这个任务我可以每次做一小步 (vs.这个任务太大了)
3.我今天要开始做…. (vs.我今天必须把…)
4.我也可以是平凡人 (vs.我必须完美/出类拔萃)
5.我一定要休息娱乐/休息娱乐是正常生活的一部分 (vs.我没空休息娱乐/休息娱乐就是偷懒)”

只要 20 小時就能學會任何事

“原来「一万小时定律」是针对「达到专家等级的学习」,麦尔坎.葛拉威尔 (Malcolm Gladwell) 所指的专业学习,经过口耳相传、以讹传讹,从「成为世界顶尖人士要花一万小时」变为「成为专家要花一万小时」,再变成「擅长某事要花一万小时」,最后成了广为人知的「学习某事要一万小时」。然而他的学习目的并非要专精到参加世界大赛,经过研究后,他发现,只要 20 小时就能从牙牙学语晋升到上得了檯面。”


Four simple steps to ‘rapid skill acquisition’:
  1. Deconstruct the skill: Decide exactly what you want to be able to do when you are done; break down the ’thing’ to discrete skill sets according to the goal
  2. Learn enough to self-correct: learn just enough to do self-direct and self-correct
  3. Remove practice barriers
  4. Practice at least 20 hours: stay to overcome the frustration barrier wall

[Note] Learn How to Learn 4. Renaissance Learning and Unlocking Your Potential

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A better leaner can be enhanced by physical exercise. Because neurons are born every day in Hippocampus. Hippocampus is very important in learning new things. And exercise can help new neurons survive.

Better Understanding Concepts: Create a visual metaphor or analogy.

Einstellung – block of the thoughts

A Test Checklist: (developed by Richard Felder)


test helps learning effect

Did you make a serious effort to understand the text?

Did you work with classmates on homework problems?

Did you attempt to outline outline every homework problem solution?

Did you participate actively in homework group discussions?

Did you consult with the instructor?

Did you understand ALL your homework problem solutions?

Did you ask in class for explanations of homework problem solutions that weren’t clear to you?

Study guide?

Outline lots of problem solutions?

Go over the study guide and problems with classmates and quiz one another?

A review session?

A reasonable night’s sleep before the test?


Helpful Hints for Tests:

Start with the hard, then jump to the easy. (Only useful when already done preparation)

The hard will trigger the diffuse mode. It can guarantee at least a little work on each problem.

To relax, hand put on the stomach and take a deep breath

Go over the materials the night before the test, practicing switching between focus and diffused modes.

[note] Learning How to Learn 3 Procrastination and Memory

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“Zombie Mode” – A habit has 4 parts:

  1. cue – the trigger to do sth. in the “zombie” mode
  2. routine – the reaction to the cue, the actual “zombie” mode
    • rewind the reactions by editing the plan
  3. reward – pleasant feelings or things make the habit formation attractive
    • treat yourself with rewards, like small ones goofing around without guilt for one night or big ones like going out for fun or a nice purchase
  4. belief – to change a habit may need to change the underline belief
    • believe in yourself to hold the belief that you can do this

Process vs Product – Focus on the short period of process instead of the product expectation

Juggling life and learning

  • weekly list of key tasks
  • daily “to-do” list
    • make the list!
      • don’t let what-to-do occupy the space
      • make reasonable time estimation
    • make the list the night before
    • plan both the starting and quitting time
    • do the most disliked task in the morning (at least one pomodoro) / eat your frog in the morning

Sum up

  1. keep a planner journal
  2. commit yourself to certain routines and tasks every day
  3. delay rewards until you finish the task
  4. watch for procrastination cues
  5. gain your trust system
  6. have backup plans for when you still procrastinate
  7. eat your frogs every day


The goal is, building the long term memory:

  1. Visual memory system: relate funny and evocative image to what you learn
  2. don’t learn all in one day, spread into pieces day by day
  3. use index card to help recall (flashcard, one side the index letter, the other the details)
  4. repeat the recall and gradually extend the time in between the recalls
  5. create meaningful groups to simplify the material: e.g. the first letter of the words group
  6. build Memory Palace: use a familiar place to put on the unrelated things to remember

[note]Learning How to Learn 2. Chunk

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Chunk is the interconnected pile for knowledge of one specific area. And to make conceptual chunk little by little is the road to expertise. One is easy to create the chunk when in focus mode.

So how to form the chunk?

1. not distracted when building the chunk

2. try to understand the basic understanding of the concepts

3. close the books and test yourself for speedup

4. learn the major concepts first and fill in the gap afterwards

After several study sections, it’s possible that one gets the illusion of competence. To avoid this illusion leading to the ineffective study, one should do the two things: practice and recall. Only through these two instead of repeating reading the same material, one can make the chunk lasting longer and deeper so better connections can be make. Besides, to change the study location from time to time can effectively avoid the disturbance from the ambience.