What’s the first thing you do when you come home from school? I bet that after you’re done lounging, grabbing something from the fridge or checking Facebook, you start the work that’s most urgent first.
It could be an assignment that’s due within the next few days or a load of homework that you need to complete for tomorrow.
But is this the best approach?
In this video and article, we’re going to take you through why you should RETHINK the way you study, and how you can focus on the study that ACTUALLY matters.
So how should I prioritise my study?
Tip #1: Focus on the Hard Stuff
If you want to create more sustainable, long term study habits, you need to learn to put aside that sense of urgency, and here’s why.
Reason #1: The Treadmill of Urgency
Heres the thing, focusing on what’s urgent is like running on a treadmill.
You’re always running on the work that’s urgent, and things always feel like their due the next day.
What can happen is that you dedicate all of your time to completing what’s urgent and by the time you’re finished, another urgent task is due the next day!
Here’s the kicker. This means you don’t get to focus on the work that’s HARD.
As a result, urgent work can prevent you from completing the study that’s the most important to your learning.
Reason #2: The Hard Stuff’s What Matters
The work that you find the hardest and most challenging, is the work that’s going to move the needle on your knowledge and understanding the most.
It’s the stuff that’s actually going to help you nail your HSC!
By focusing on urgent, it’s going to prevent you from working on what’s hard.
This means that it’s harder to acquire both new skills and knowledge. Completing what’s difficult will help you to excel not only within the HSC, but in general life also.
But how do I focus on what’s hard???
Tip #2: Create a Daily To-Do List
A daily to-do list is what we call a DOMINO HABIT.
It’s a single simple habit that if you nail, has a domino effect on the rest of your day in terms of improving your productivity and efficiency.
To create a daily to-do list, you simply have to sit down each day and write a quick list of all the tasks and study that you need to complete. Voila!
Tip #3: Separate What’s Hard and What’s Urgent
To understand the work that you should prioritise, you first need to identify what aspects of your work are urgent, and which are more difficult to complete.
To do so, grab your task list and follow these two simple steps.
Step 1: Underline the Urgent Task
This step is pretty easy. Simply go through your daily to-do list and underline the most urgent task you see.
This is the task that you feel most urgently needs to be addressed. It could be an upcoming test or perhaps an assessment with an immediate due date.
Step 2: Circle the Hardest Task
This is the task that you know you’ll have the most trouble completing.
It’s the task that’s actually going to make the difference for you when you’re trying to fill the gaps in your understanding.
Tip #4: Complete the Hardest Task First
This might be a little controversial, but now that you’ve got your urgent and hard tasks identified and separated, the best thing to do is start on the hard task first.
This is because, if you start with what’s urgent, your brain is going to get caught on the treadmill of completing the work with the closest due date over and over again.
If this is the case, by the time you finish your urgent work you’re going to feel tired, your brains going to be dead and you’ll probably never get to study what’s hard if you don’t complete it first.
How will this help me?
By switching your study up and tackling what’s hard while your brain is still fresh, you’ll be constantly filling gaps in your knowledge every day.
On the flip side, you can be sure that you will complete your urgent work afterward because it has to be done for the next day.
Completing what’s urgent isn’t going to get you good results over the course of the year. It might allow immediate success, but won’t necessarily improve your results for the long term.
So there you have it! Working on what’s hard first will help you get more done, more effectively.
We’d love to hear how this strategy works for you.
You can get in contact with us in the Youtube comments section or over Facebook. It would be great if you could share one of your daily to-do lists with us!
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