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#006 Impending Consequences and Staying Motivated 💪🏼

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Hello friends 👋

This will be my sixth newsletter in a row! I am currently writing this whilst sitting in my car in a hospital car park and I needed to do something ‘productive’.

I’ve been struggling with getting motivated to do particular tasks even though I know I need to do them. At uni, if I knew had an assignment due in 3 weeks I wouldn’t really get down to writing until I was a few days before the deadline. Terrible I know – but I’m sure many of you can relate.

I think it has something to do with impending consequences. Three weeks before the deadline I didn’t have any immediate negative consequences. But – If I didn’t submit the assignment by the deadline, there was obviously a negative consequence i.e. a fail grade etc.

This is probably a bad way of working as my teachers and friends would say if you spent the full 3 weeks working on the assignment you would have achieved a higher grade. I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

Looking back at all my assignment grades, I have always performed best on assignments when I worked under pressure against a deadline. Long assignment stints just made my thought process stale and in the end, my focus on the assignment became wilted.

The opposite is true for exams though.

I found that the exams I performed the best in were the ones that I had consistently revised over the longest period of time. To many of you, this is probably just common sense but I know there are others who like to cram as much as possible during the final weeks leading up to the exam.

When I was doing my MSc I came across this guy called Ali Abdaal on YouTube who was making videos about studying. At the time he was a medical student at Cambridge so he was clearly a smart dude. He introduced the concepts of Active Recall and Spaced Repetition to me.

Active Recall is the process of forcing your brain/mind to retrieve information at a given time.

Spaced Repetition is a programme of revision to enable efficient information retention – or in simpler terms – the more you revise stuff the easier you will remember – this enables better Active Recall.

If you are studying anything I would suggest you check this video out:

Interesting Links 📌

  1. 📚 Books: Show Your Work – Austin Kleon. A brilliant book that pushed me to start this blog. The biggest lesson I took from this was that you don’t need to be an expert to put your ideas out to the world. There are many other gems in here so you should definitely check it out.

  2. 🔉 Podcast of the week: Joe Rogan – Bob Lazar & Jeremy Corbell: This is a bit of a weird one. There is a Netflix documentary about this dude called Bob Lazar who apparently used to work for a US government agency that had access to UFOs. Please watch the Netflix documentary and listen to this podcast. 2020 is about to get a lot weirder …

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