Whats going on readers!
I wanted to focus on today’s subject on some concepts that I have been testing in my life as I streamline my processes in my life to become more effective for running my business. I have been thinking about what value I can add to my readers and viewers in the audience, and one topic that comes up from my clients and friends is how I “remember” a lot of information (or I seem to)
So, I have been reflecting on my study habits and workflows that got me through college, and ones I still utilize to this day to help pass along some recommendations that have helped me. Let’s take a look at my first recommendation – The Pomodoro Technique
Pomodoro Technique – Study Tip #1
I find that this study hack can also be leveraged as a workflow hack as well. To utilize this technique, I simply use the iPhone Clock app on my phone to set 55-minute sprints, where I will get locked in and work on the task at hand.
I have found to get into this mindset, that I have to schedule my day, in the beginning, to think about what tasks I want to do and plot them out in 3 sprints that I want to accomplish that day. One sprint is my Top priority sprint — which happens directly after my meditation session. The second sprint will be a creativity sprint — in which I work on tasks that allow more free form or creation — such as writing this blog or creating video edits/content. The final sprint I take, I reserve for “menial tasks” which simply involve light thinking and execution. This can be from performing website updates from clients to updating/responding to emails.
Back when I was in college, I discovered this methodology from other classmates and I would say building this habit will help you past college when you get into work sprints and finishing tasks for the day. So one tip I have if you have to have difficulty studying and this relates to you, think about an activity in which you can engage for in long periods of time. For me, this was playing Video games, and particularly Dota 2 :p. I always think about how I could spend hours and hours engaged in that activity and then relate that in my mind that I am capable of sitting down for long periods of time. Something about thinking about that helps enable me to lock in and focus on the tasks at hand, now that I am bought into the idea that every single thing I am learning can help me gain skills and contribute to society (such as becoming a better writer and practicing writing these blogs)
The next tip is something I picked up one time I went to a self-help seminar: WEAR SHOES
Wear Shoes – Study Tip #2
So, I was at a conference and the speaker asks the group – “What are some ways we can be more productive?”. Someone says sticky notes. Another hand goes up — Write your lists down on a mirror. Everyone throwing out good advice but all stuff I’ve heard before. Then someone in the back of the room yells — WEAR SHOES!!!!
The speaker and everyone else in the room turn their heads (as do I)…. What did this guy just say???
So from my research, there are a lot of studies going out on how the brain will make associations when learning and processing information, and how if you can recall those feelings, thoughts or senses during the recall phase, it will help.
So advice like chewing a specific flavor gum while studying, then when its time for exam time to pop that gum right in for recognition in the brain and to help bust it out.
So drawing from that study, you can think about how in the classroom/work or wherever your exam is going to be — to be consistent with your study patterns. So to reverse engineer that, if you are going to be wearing shoes when you are taking that exam, be sure to wear shoes (or the same shoes if you want that extra edge) when encoding the information in your brain.
Time Blocking – Study Tip #3
So, we all know that if you were given a long stretch of time to study for a test, or submit a paper, that you will probably spend a long amount of time PROCRASTINATING, then when the pressure and stress is on, you finally begin to study.
I know I was guilty of that. It turns out that is how we are hard-wired so, don’t feel bad. But the good news is we can build habits to help us not get in that pressured state and set manageable stress each day. One method comes from Cam Newport’s book Deep Work. He talks about the idea of Fixed Schedule Productivity
In the section “Finish your work by Five Thirty” he dives into this concept that when you set a hard deadline of when you will finish work, your brain will work harder to accomplish the limits you set on yourself and work optimally and more efficiently to accomplish the tasks when you set deadlines.
I have tested this method throughout college, and throughout corporate, and now am finding it key when running my business to have these scheduled sprints so that whatever tasks I look to accomplish will be completed in the time I set for myself to do it. This way, whatever work gets completed, I know I set aside time later to “unwind”
I would suggest setting up your Google Calendar with these sprints and see if it works out! By focusing and sticking to this, you can set aside time to have your breaks. You can set up mini reward systems for yourself in which if you finish your sprint, you can allow your time to do a productive activity you like — such as… read a book, or post on and browse on Instagram — whatever you can find positive enjoyment in. I know it sounds weird hearing this, but eventually, you get locked in on what is productive and you can change your lifestyle and habits to want to be as productive as possible so that you can serve a task bigger than yourself.
Diffused Thinking – Study Tip #4
So every time I think about this subject, it’s hard to explain in detail but you would just have to trust that your brain can function this way. It’s called diffused thinking and the concept comes from the book Moonwalking with Einstein. In it – it explains the reason why I remembered the wear shoe concepts in the story I explained above, and also what my mom explained to me is the way your brain can remember concepts.
So, some backstory, my mother is a Pediatrician, but formally studied Psychology. When I asked her how people remember stuff, or how she got through med school, she explained the concept of remembering what items from the grocery. In short, she stated – “If I were going to have to buy Pledge, Oranges and paper towels, the way I would remember those items is to think of myself using Pledge to CLEAN the Oranges, while balancing the Bounty towels over my head.”
Absurd association right? Even just imagining that sounds so weird. But that is how the brain remembers, things that are ABSURD, that shock you out of the mundane and help you remember that. I still remember that conversation about wearing shoes to help you study?!?!?. Then when my mom explained how you can remember things, it all is coming together.
So this book, Moonwalking with Einstein…. that’s a pretty weird thing to say too right? Exactly. Which is what the book talks about. The associations your brain uses to remember details is what will help you remember everything. Michael Jackson and Einstein are now forever linked in your mind. Also how to remember things. You will think about Michael Jackson and Einstein and now forever make a connection that those two people somehow can relate to learning. Also, now you are relating those two people with me.
Hence…. if you study the greats, you will see that they try to make the most associations as possible. So, as I have been getting into Digital Marketing, and learning these concepts, I see how some of the great salesman and businessmen that I have studied have leveraged or…hijacked positive associations with their traits to help spread their message across. Think about books, or learning or just Google all the self/help people and the niches they are getting into. The more they can weave in associations, the more they can connect