Introduction School season is here and many people can use tips on how to have better study sessions. Here is a list with 26 techniques that will help you be more productive in School . I have broken up this list into Sections, (A, B, C..), and as bite-sized pieces, so you can find information easier. I tried to stay away from generic advise like "get organized" or "sit in the front row". This is a long post, so I recommend you read it on the treadmill at the toilet.
- Edit: I am a Computer Science major at a major American university.
- Edit 2: U. Stop Socializing with Classmates has been deleted. You can still view it as
- A. Pomodoro Technique
- B. Phone on Airplane Mode
- C. Avoid Daygame Environments
- D. Know your Circadian Rhythms
- E. Whiteboards
- F. "Get Stuff Done" Secondary User Account
- G. No Study Groups
- H. Do Small Chunks
- I. Growth Mindset / Chinese Productivity
- J. Mood Regulation
- K. Environmental Triggers
- L. Plate Management
- M. No Mental Health Excuses
- N. Active Reading
- O. Note Styles
- P. Oneitis Prevention
- R. Procrastination / Learned Helplessness
- S. Time Management
- T. Don't Multi Task
U. Stop Socializing with Classmates
- V. Sleep Hygiene and Nutrition
- W. Spectatorism
- X. Crab Mentality
- Y. Take Breaks
- Z. Supplemental Learning
A. Pomodoro Technique -"The Pomodoro Technique can help you power through distractions, enter hyperfocus, and get things done in short bursts while taking frequent breaks to come up for air." Start by concentrating intensely on a task without interruptions for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. As you improve your Pomodoro, increase the time by minute intervals until you can reach 1 hour in concentration, 10-minute break. There are plenty of Pomodoro apps you can use. The science behind is that you train your mind to enter focused mode and the diffused mode. The focused mode is like having a "target lock" like a missile, while the diffused mode is to see the big picture, like the “forest for the trees". The book "A Mind for Numbers" goes into great detail about Focused mode and Diffused Mode.
B. Phone on Airplane Mode For those that are not on Monk mode, you MUST prevent smartphone distractions while studying. Almost every time I see someone studying at Starbucks I see them check their phone every few minutes. People can wait an hour for you to text them back. It is not important to see how many likes your recent post got or if you’re Tinder matches have replied back. If you must check your phone I recommend you check it during your Pomodoro breaks. If you're a self-described phone addict put your phone on Greyscale mode when going on social media. Using Accessibility settings you can even program your phone to enter Greyscale mode with three home button clicks. If for some you cannot have your phone on Airplane mode then set the phone on No Disturb Mode so you don't hear a "ping" every time you get a message. Even better! Disable social media but for most of you, that is too extreme of an option.
C. Avoid Daygame Environments You need to find a cave somewhere and hide from the world. If you're frequently distracted by beautiful women you must avoid Starbucks and areas where they can be found in plenty. This is especially important if you're like me and love to Daygame beautiful women everywhere you go. If you lift and look decent you must hide from women because those IOIs are very tempting and distracting. College campuses are notorious for having beautiful women in cafeterias, the library, and sitting by themselves everywhere. If you must study in areas where beautiful women are plentiful I highly recommend you wear a hat with a Hoodie that blocks your peripheral vision. Going to school full time and practicing how to get women at the same time is not efficient. Save your sexual tension and social times for the weekend when your study time is finished. The 1 hour of social life you sacrifice right now will be four hours of extra free time in the future.
D. Know your Circadian Rhythms Identify if you're the most alert in the morning, afternoon, or evenings and schedule your study times around those hours. I am very sluggish in the morning but quite alert in the evening. You should also identify if you’re the type that becomes more concentrated before OR after going to the gym. For some individuals studying right after a gym session gives is their peak mental performance. Other people have to sleep or get very tired after a gym session. Be aware of how many hours of sun you get and try use your bed only for
studying sleeping. For people with ADHD recognize when you're in hyperfocus mode, and those with mood disorders like Borderline, Bipolar, Schizoaffective, and PTSD recognize when your moods are depressed, stable, and manic.
E. Whiteboards Get yourself a large dry erase whiteboard and an assortment of color markers. On this whiteboard write when homework assignments are due, and random thoughts you need reminders of. Put this whiteboard somewhere highly visible at your home. Even thou you have a smartphone with calendar apps, to-do list apps, or schedule apps it's easy to dismiss those messages and notifications. A big white board with colored text is a greater reminder to get you to realize you have stuff done. If you're the highly distracted type I recommend you place it on the wall on top of the toilet because every time you take a piss you standing up you will be reminded what you have to do. You can also buy a "Chores" whiteboard and checkmark the days you study for your class.
F. "Get Stuff Done" Secondary User Account If you're easily distracted online or have large computer game collections I suggest you create a secondary User Account on your desktop computer or laptop. This secondary account should not have access to your computer games or social media profiles.
The bare minimum applications like a web browser needed to get schoolwork done. I would even go as far as installing the Get Focusd extension on your main account and use the nuclear option to block all internet access except for whitelisted sites. This will force you to use your secondary account and get stuff done. If you live with your parents attempt to use your laptop outside your room. If they catch you wasting time they will let you know.
G. No Study Groups Unless absolutely required for class do not do voluntary study groups with classmates. Trust me, you will just end up having a social gathering and chit chat. I see this all the time with the high school students at Starbucks. They sit on the table and just talk, talk, talk. Nothing gets done. If you are a social learner and need a study group to find a male and study with him 1 on 1. Make sure your study partner is an organized male who wants to get an A in class. Absolutely avoid doing a study group with 99% of women and people who are very social. They will treat the study session as hangout time and nothing will get done.
H. Do Small Chunks Study for your classes in small chunks almost every day instead of rushing to the last minute. The blue pill way of studying is to cram hours of studying the day before the test. The red pill way is to gradually add bricks of information to your "mental wall". By studying small chunks almost every day you allow your "mental wall" sufficient time for the cement to dry and store knowledge in your long-term memory. Cramming hours of information at once is like adding too many information bricks to your "mental wall" and causing it to collapse because the cement is to wet to hold that many bricks. Trsut me, you will underestimate the amount of time required to get homework done. Work a little every day.
I. Growth Mindset / Chinese Productivity It is theorized that Chinese students do excellent in school due to their growth mindset and hard work mentalities. Chinese students to have Chiku, "an intrinsic belief that anything is possible with hard work, and a lack of effort, rather than of intelligence is to blame for poor grades". In Chinese academics, is believed that there is little difference between the intelligence of student, and academic success is based on their efficient use of time to produce the best work. Chinese students are trained to have a growth mindset: If they aren't doing well, they'll work harder, and they'll be successful. American children tend to be trained to have a fixed mindset about academics: Their abilities are largely predetermined and static. If they aren't doing well, it's because they're not good at it. The idea of growth mindset can be further explored in the books Little Soldiers by Lenora Chu and Mindset by Dr. Carol S. Dweck.
J. Mood Regulation It may sound like common sense but you should monitor your energy levels and general mood and find patterns. Discover what events lower your dopamine, and which give to dopamine overload. When dopamine is either too high or low it causes attention, anxiety, and focuses issues. Identify when you tend to feel irritated, stressed, depressed AND when you tend to feel calm, focused, and exited. For those with ADHD, (me!), Bipolar disorder, Schizoaffective disorder, or PTSD discover what triggers your depressed states and manic states. For me, I know that being really social with women will trigger my ADHD mania state and I will be too euphoric to concentrate on reading. I also am aware that not going to the gym for more than three days will trigger my depressed state due to low dopamine. I highly recommend that if your moods are irregular to use a mood app like Daylio and identify triggers and times when your mood is bad.
K. Environmental Triggers Identify objects that trigger you to be distracted in certain environments. For most of you the video game console, computer, and your television make it easy to be distracted. If you have a television y you find yourself watching TV shows or video games instead of studying unplug the HDMI cable and put it on top of your fridge. If you have an internet addiction or pc game addiction leave the house and go study at Starbucks or library. Social addictions like having Bae [lover] come over to suck dick means you must get you to get your work done first and schedule her to come over later. The point is that you must change your environment if you have too many distraction triggers.
L. Plate Management
One of the biggest distractions in young men is spending too much time communicating with women. You need to tell your Plates that you have Study hours, and that you will not be able to communicate with them. A simple "I'm really busy between 2pm to 7pm because of class" is usually enough. You need to develop a mentality that your education comes before hoes, and you need to be in a social cave to get studying. A good advice is to text your hoes when you're at the gym and have to rest between Sets. Even better! Adopt a "text for logics" strategy like we have been telling you here in TheRedPill for years. Put your phone on Greyscale mode when texting them to minimize the dopamine rush.
M. No Mental Health Excuses
It is very easy to blame ADHD, (me!), Depression, and other mental disorders for not being motivated focused, or productive enough to get stuff done. The same applies to take medication. You have to understand that school is a competitive atmosphere and it doesn't matter if you have a disadvantage. There is no room to have a victim mentality. The only thing Universities care about is your G.P.A and grades. That's the cold hard truth. If you have a mental disorder you must find efficient methods to get work done. You might have to work harder than others, develop new ways of time efficiency, or adopt unconventional study methods. If you have ADHD or Depression it means you must do intense exercise before studying. Those with Schizophrenia might need music therapy, and those with PTSD might need to use brown noise apps to block background noise. If you have a serious mental health condition and take medication to identify the times you are the most stable for study. Ask your Disability Center if you can get priority registration to take online classes or what accommodations they offer.
N. Active Reading "Active reading simply means reading something with a determination to understand and evaluate it for its relevance to your needs. Simply reading and re-reading the material isn't an effective way to understand and learn. Actively and critically engaging with the content can save you time." This means that you read the material four times. The first time, read the material casually and skim through. The second time, identify key points of the material and identify the Why? of the Chapter. Most Textbooks identify Why? for you at the beginning of the chapter in bold letters. The third time, take notes of the material in an outline style. Finally, for the fourth time read the textbook and create a one/two sentence summary for every paragraph or major subtopic.
O. Note Styles There is three general Note Taking styles; Outline, Cornell and Mapping Method. The traditional style is the Outline which uses Titles, SubHeadings, and Details to create a hierarchy of information. The Cornell style "...creates deliberate space in the margins of their notes for summarization, questions, and connections, and focuses on revisiting notes to help organize knowledge and make learning “stick". The Mapping Method uses a whiteboard or mind map software to group information in geometric shapes. If you're the highly organized type the Outline method probably suits you the best, while those with ADHD should use the Mapping Method. I highly recommend you google "note taking styles" to learn more.
P. Oneitis Prevention
Having Oneitis is a mental virus that robs you of your attention, focus, and willpower. Do everything in your power to avoid getting oneitis this school session. If you feel like helping her study ITS TIME TO STOP. That is a recipe for Level 10 Oneitis. Hot girls are notorious for finding a nerd to do their work for the unwritten promise of pussy. They will tease you and treat you really nice, but after the class is over she is Gone. Be aware of this trap. Other hot girls will give you their number to "study together" but in reality, they are just using you for notes or homework copying. Back in my beta days in the ancient past, I remember a hot girl asking me if I could do her online Economics class for sex after I tool her Finals. I am happy I turned it down but I'm pretty sure some other nerd got cause in that trap. The reality is that as soon as you do her Finals, you will be blocked. There are plenty of guides here on TheRedPill that offer tips on how to avoid having an Oneitis. If you are still blue pilled or fall in love easily this is the time to disable social media. Many bright students have had their academics annihilated due to hyper focusing on their magical unicorn. This is of special concern to those here who have ADHD and have their brain think of one hundred scenarios on how to get a girl. If you already have an Oneitis its time to go soft contact, and if you need help make a post on AskTRP.
R. Procrastination / Learned Helplessness
This section is from a future post called “How to TheRedPill with your ADHD pt. 2". I have striked through the irrelevant parts for this mainstream audience.
- Helplessness is the Wife,
- Procrastination is the Side Girl;
- The first steal your head and time,
- The second wants your whole world." - Mr_Badass
R1. Learn Helplessness happens when a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness and can't complete a task, and Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something to later. In street terms, Learn Helplessness is like a Wife who is always nagging you to not do something and is making you feel bad about yourself when you take initiative. Procrastination is like your busty side Girl who always wants you to see you when work has to be done. Procrastination gives you lots of attention and is always happy to see you, compared to the wife Helplessness who seems to put you down all the time. ~~The reason Procrastination and Learned Helplessness happens is that ADHD individuals are low in the executive function called Task Initiation, which is a fancy way of saying that their brain has trouble A). Starting tasks, B) making decisions or C). Feels helpless to get started. ~~
R2. Learned Helplessness: The Wife In Learned Helplessness, the individual doesn't get a Task started due to fear, low self-esteem, or has a self-image of being told he is lazy, dumb, or useless over and over. In practical terms, the most common Learned Helplessness phrases are: "It is too hard", "I’m not smart /good enough to do this", or "I’ll never be able to do this successfully". Many people have Procrastination due to finding a Task irritating and hard to deal with, (like a nagging wife). Think of Learned Helplessness as the nagging Wife of the typical blue pilled marriage who constantly tells the husband that they're forgetful, lazy, dumb, or unmotivated. Why bother getting started if pain and displeasure are what the experience will be.
In the ADHD brain Getting started is hard because of the person constantly being told they're not good enough. Their brain, (the nagging wife), won’t stop putting them down and sometimes scares them with "What IF?" over-analyzation. The best way to deal with Learned Helplessness is to achieve small victories that make you feel good. Examples of small victories are brushing your teeth, making your bed, and eating a healthy breakfast. ~~Another strategy to deal with Learned Helplessness is to adopt The ABC Method for reframing negative situations. ~~
R3. Procrastination: The Side Girl In the case of Procrastination, the individual has a displeasure of doing something unenjoyable and prefers a dopamine boost from doing something fun. Procrastination like being in a marriage and having a side girl who is fun and doesn't require responsibilities. The side girl is there for a good time and is happy to give you attention even thou there is work to be done. She is a time waster but she makes you feel like the Man! The best way to deal with Procrastination is to break up with her and do No Contact. In Practical Terms, this means to change your Environment and eliminate distraction triggers. If you have a video game addiction go to Starbucks to get your homework done. If you are a busy social butterfly put that "phone on airplane mode".
S. Time Management If you're like me you probably have a spontaneous way of scheduling your time. You tend to do your studying when you have free time or when you feel like it. The reality is that this is a very inefficient method of studying. Whether you realize it or not the majority of the time you will underestimate how long something takes to do. The truth is that you can let inspiration or motivation determine your study schedule. The only master should be Discipline. Just like the Iron barbell at the gym will never lie to you about your strength, discipline is the cold hard steel that will never lie to you about productivity. You need to schedule your study time. Use deadlines and time limits to your advantage. Even if you don’t technically have a deadline on a task, set one for yourself. Develop predictable patterns that use your time the most efficiently. If you're truly the distracted or spontaneous type then Checklists are your best friend. I recommend the app "Any Do" or any checklist app that has alarm reminders. Like I mentioned in Section E. Whiteboards, if you are always distracted put a whiteboard on the wall on top of your toilet so you know your schedule every time you take a piss.
T. Don't Multi Task It's silly to me when I see people trying to study three different subjects in between each other. If you have English, Math, and Science class create a chronological time block for each subject. The silly thing to do is to spend an hour on your English reading, two hours on your Math homework, and then go back to your English reading for an hour. A better thing to do is focus two hours on English homework, and then two hours on Math homework. A crazier scenario is when students are studying and cooking dinner at the same time. Either give your full attention to studying or cooking.
U. Stop Socializing with Classmates
Edit: This section is is for social butterflies who want to make friends with everyone and tend to be distracted by being too social. If you're a self-aware people pleaser do not make friends with your classmates. Even better don't talk to other people in class or attempt to make friends. They don't care about you, as soon as the class is over its statistical that they will disappear. A classroom is an artificial environment and people will try to take advantage of you. Every single time there will be someone with a sympathy story and ask you for notes or to "peer review" your homework. For me, it's extremely common for classmates to ask me for the class E-book I found on Libgen. "Sorry, it’s watermarked and I can't share it", is my go-to response. Others get butt hurt when I won't let them borrow my e-book or textbook to copy it. Not my problem and they will share the copies with everyone. The truth is the classroom is a competitive atmosphere so why would I give them an advantage? If you must...must... have a classroom buddy you need to qualify them and see if they're the serious and studious type. The classroom buddy must be a person who wants to succeed in class. Be very alert of letting losers and unmotivated people try to push you around.
V. Sleep Hygiene and Nutrition having quality sleep and eating the right food is fundamental to be at your peak mental performance. This means you need to fuel your body with quality macros and get your 8 hours of sleep. I would highly recommend you take Melatonin 3g/ 5g for three days before bed to establish a sleep schedule. I'm sure you're very aware that you need to use a blue light filter at night, don't have caffeine after 2 pm, and to drink enough water. Most students don't get adequate sleep and eat junk food all day. If you want to be at your most productive your sleep and nutrition need to be at their best. If you don't get enough sunlight it means to take Vitamin D, and if you lift weights find an appropriate diet plan. Having get Sleep hygiene and nutrition will give you a great advantage in class.
W. Spectatorism Most people are spectators who try to escape reality and are addicted to boredom. It hurts them to think. Others are spectators because they have too much mental energy that's not being used. Identify if you frequently daydream, always have ass + titties on your mind, or are obsessed with some video game, sports team, or television show. You should not be thinking of Game of Thrones all day. For most people, the reason they do this is because they're afraid of dealing with stone-cold reality OR they need mental stimulation. Spectatorism steals your attention and must be managed. If you want an A in class you need to give it your full attention. If there is something that is always stealing your attention you need to find techniques on how to deal with it. I suggest you good "Maladaptive Daydreaming" and I'm sure there is a redpill post about that too. If you absolutely have to watch your sports game then do your homework before the game starts. For people that are obsessed with video games, you need to understand that you have work to do. Use the Pomodoro technique to train yourself to focus on homework for at least 30 minutes.
X. Crab Mentality A common theme for College Athletes and Frat Boys is that their teammates will attempt to sabotage their academic future. Most people are sheep and don't put an emphasis on academic performance. The teammates will complain that you're spending too much time at the library or the frat boys will nag you that you don't spend enough time at social functions. You need to understand that college is to get a degree and extracurricular activities are the second priority. I have heard stories of people having roommates call them nerds because they are always studying in their free time. Fuck them. Certain minorities, especially Mexican Americans, have fathers that make fun of you for reading books and "acting white". Realize that if you have people in your life that try to bring you down you must do your best to not be around them. Also be aware of doing too much extracurricular activities like Student Senate or school clubs. At the end of the day what matters most is your G.P.A.
Y. Take Breaks
You need to take breaks between study sessions and be careful of trying to do too much at once. The reason you need to take breaks is for stress management. I'm assuming since you visit TheRedPill you lift weights, are aware of Meditation, and maybe watch porn. Those are great stress relievers. I highly recommend the Pomodoro technique I mentioned in Section A so you study for a predetermined amount of time and then take a break. Stress management is very important so you don't get burned out. If you don't have a fulltime job I highly recommend you treat School as a full-time job. Spend 40 hours a week studying, and if you finish all you work then work ahead of schedule. This means you study for 4 hours, take a 1-hour lunch, and then study 4 fours.
Z. Supplemental Learning Most A students use YouTube videos, EDX courses, Libgen, and websites to learn about a subject more efficiently. Just relying upon the professor's PowerPoint slides, the textbook, and homework might not fit your learning style. Most people have one or a combination of kinesthetic, visual, reading, or audio learning styles. I highly recommend you Google "4 learning styles" to learn more. If you're in a Biology class, a YouTube video about the Cell might help you learn faster than reading the textbook twice. You need to discover your learning style and find supplemental learning material that benefits your learning style.