What the Hell is Study Hacks?March 27th, 2009 · 53 comments
The Study Hacks Philosophy
It occured to me recently that I should write a short post that explains what Study Hacks is all about — something I can point people to when they stumble, for the first time, into our quirky little world of note-taking strategies and rants about focus. So here we go…
The purpose of Study Hacks is clear: to help students succeed without stress.
My philosophy for achieving this goal can be reduced to three simple rules:
- Do fewer things.
- Do them better.
- Know why you’re doing them.
All of the important advice on this site circles back to these same three themes. Folks, I’ve been obsessing over this stuff for years. Trust me, this is what works.
I think the happiest, most successful students know why they are at college, and they believe this answer. They also tend to do very little, but the small amount of things they do, they do exceptionally well. They recognize that in the end, the world rewards those who are so good they can’t be ignored. By contrast, we forget about the burnt out triple-major who joined 10 clubs to show leadership and managed to earn a 3.9 without ever once impressing a professor.
I applaud the student who adopts a balanced and reasonable courseload, and leaves enough free time in his schedule that he can saturate himself in the material — letting it get inside his head and stew for a while; the type of student who tolerates a little boredom as the price you pay for doing stuff well.
I think studying is an art and should be taken seriously. (I even wrote a whole book about this.) Most students are terrible at studying. The best students, however, are like scholastic maestros: their methods for note-taking, reviewing, and paperwriting are magical in their efficiency.
I have a weird obsession with reducing e-mail (even though I don’t get much).
I harbor an inexplicable hostility towards business majors.
These are the ideas that drive Study Hacks. It’s not for everyone. But for some of us, it just seems to make a hell of a lot of sense.