Tag Archives: focusing

McCafferty on Cramming

Memorize and purge - cramming is stupid
“All subjects are the same. I memorize notes for a test, spew it, ace it, then forget it. What makes this scary for the future of our country is that I’m in the tip-top percentile on every standardized test. I’m a model student with a very crappy attitude about learning.”
Cramming is just dumb. There are much more effective (and easy) ways to study!
© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

The Secret to Kicking Procrastination: Reward Yourself


This short video, by Dan Ariely–one of my favorite psychologists–gives you some quick and easy tricks for defeating procrastination. You can find loads more good info on defeating procrastination here. Dan Ariely, an Israeli American professor of psychology and behavioral economics, currently teaches at Duke University. He is also the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and also the co-founder of BEworks.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

4 Simple Steps to Beat Procrastination


Motivation done right lets you motor through your to-do list like magic. Try this simple trick from London-based writer, Sidin Vadukut. Pair each chore on your daily to-do list with a short, sweet reward.

You are using a to-do list and a calendar to make short work of your academic tasks, aren’t you? Paper works great, but I’ve recently been playing with Wunderlist 2 and have been pleasantly surprised.

Here’s how it works…

  1. On your to do list add a fun to-do after each and every task.
  2. Assign your tasks (the fun ones and the less fun ones) a time to complete. That will keep you from letting things drag out or from over-scheduling yourself.
  3. Keep your fun to work ratio at about 1:10. For example, if I spend forty-five minutes studying my Econ homework, I might then allow myself five minutes of Smarter Every Day.
  4. Bask in the glory of a fully checked off to-do list.

Let us know your favorite rewards in the comments!

Read Sidin’s full article on fighting procrastination here.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Maintain Focus in 100 Words (or Less)


~~The “100 Words (or Less)” series gives you a super-short summary of what you need to know about the subject at hand and does it in 100 words or less. Check the link at the bottom for more detailed info about the topic.~~

Eliminate Distractions. Hide yourself away from friends and fun. This includes non-essential electronics.

Be Strategic. Identify the high payoff items in what you’re doing. Do them first.

Take Breaks. Set a timer and work in 30 to 45 minute bursts with short breaks in between to recharge your brain. Don’t like breaks? Take them anyway. They help! (Caveat: NOT for people with ADHD.)

Ask questions. Ask yourself tough, open-ended questions about what you are learning. Answer the questions.

Talk to yourself. Sitting in silence is a recipe for daydreaming. Talk to yourself as you think. Keeps your brain train on the tracks.

Take a more in-depth look at how to maintain focus…

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Study Tips to Increase Focus in Four Fast Steps


Study Tips to Increase Focus and Achieve Your Educational Goals

Focus is the big hairy bugbear that stalks many students. Twenty minutes into their two-hour study session they find themselves talking or texting or trimming their toenails or doing absolutely anything rather than studying. So how can you deftly dodge the distraction of friends, phones, Facebook, food, etc.? Follow this simple formula to increase focus Continue reading Study Tips to Increase Focus in Four Fast Steps

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Simple Way to Boost Reading Focus


dugthedog.jpgAnyone who has ever tried to bulldoze their way through a narcolepsy inducing SAT or GRE reading comprehension passage will know just how hard it is to maintain focus when reading. No matter how hard you try to feign interest in scintillating topics like “The History of Corn Prices in 19th Century Dubuque” or “An In-Depth Look at Catatonia in Clams” we just can’t seem to keep our gray matter engaged. We end up like that dog in the movie Up. “Squirrel!”

I’ve got an easy fix to help keep your wayward brain on track and boost your comprehension.

Don’t be like Saint Ambrose.

Saint Augustine noted that when he went to visit Ambrose–then the bishop of a hoppin’ 4th Century Milan–he often found him reading silently. No lie. The guy read without saying the words out loud! I know. Weird, right? “When he read,” Continue reading Simple Way to Boost Reading Focus

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Focus Booster App


On my study skills video and in my study skills ebook I discuss the importance of taking frequent breaks during study sessions to boost recall and focus. Studying for 30 to 45 minutes and then taking a short 5 to 10 minute break can really boost your brain power.

Try this handy FREE online focus booster app to help you make sure you’re taking regular breaks and squeezing the most out of your brain’s capacity. Click on the “i” tab in the upper right to change the timing.

focus booster logo.jpg
Improve your study focus with this free app


© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.