It is a book that I wish I could read earlier. Luckily, it is not too late as I am still an undergrad… I like Cal Newport’s book Deep Work, so out of curiosity I read this one, his earlier book. The title is kind of buzzword… but the book offers some good advice. Here are my highlights.

Book Cover (Amazon)Book Cover (Amazon)
  • Set arbitrary deadlines to divide and conquer big projects. 稀缺通常来自资源丰富时犯下的错误, 现时偏见(present bias) 导致短视
  • Science courses don’t test you on reading; they test concepts taught in classroom.
  • Create Sunday rituals because it sets the tone for the week that follows.
  • A clean room creates a focused mind; a messy room creates a distracted mind.
  • Build study systems. With a system, your task become tolerable. You should never start studying without a systemized plan for what you are going to review, in what format, and how many times. Build a checklist then your responsibilities reduce to simply finding the time to plow through every item in your plan. In addition, the more unusual or creative your system, the better, since it leads to stronger mental connections.
  • Losing students don’t think they have enough time to be involved with extracurricular organizations. And winning students run extracurricular organizations.
  • If your brain is a muscle, then reading a newspaper is like mental calisthenics. You should read a newspaper every day. Alternate between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Read every article on the front page, and then read two or three articles of interest from each of the interior sections. Don’t just skip right to the sports page. Try to expand your intellectual horizons every day.
  • Develop a skill you can be known for, better than any of your friends at school.(???)
  • Time-block your day time instead of simply making to-do lists.
  • No nap. If sleepy in the afternoon, go out and do some light exercise, eg, jog, anything that gets your heart pumping. 让心跳加快
  • Take art history and astronomy class. Understanding the basic tenets of modern and postmodern thinking will provide you with the intellectual ammo you need to tackle the entire medium of the modern fine arts — from paintings, to novels, to plays. This is an easy way to make sense of the world of contemporary thought and expression.
  • 50 mins chunks to focus.
  • Your work time is any time that you are not explicitly relaxing. Choose an end point for the day. Then decide exactly when you are going to relax through out the day. As you move through the day, there will never be any question as to whether you should be relaxing. There is no fear that you are being irresponsible, or neglecting something important. 定义休息时间
  • Dress nicely for class. It makes the day official.
  • Don’t study in your room. Studying is not supposed to be convenient, it is supposed to be effective.
  • When you complete your schoolwork, you feel motivated. When you complete schoolwork every single day, you feel motivated every single day. 完成 来motivate 而不是 motivate 再完成
  • Everyone feels good about themselves when come out of gym feeling honed and ripped. Don’t let the decision to exercise become a debatable question. Make it a habit. Quick routines are more time efficient and thus easier to schedule consistently. Conserve your willpower for more important battles.
  • Stay in touch with your friends from back home. Your sense for personal identity will remain strong. Instant messages don’t count. You need voice-to-voice contact.
  • Take 3 days to write short papers — your mind, your body and your profs will thank you.
  • Never be the first person to give an opinion. (????)
  • All-nighters are never inevitable. They only occur if you decide to start working the day before. They should never be considered a viable approach for getting things done.
  • Investing in your school supplies is surprisingly important. The sense of quality and order helps you establish a serious mindset and reduce the stress of disorganization.
  • Relax for at least half an hour before you go to sleep.
  • Projects: start fast, end slow. Start long term projects the day they are assigned. It reduces the tendency to delay.