Survival

I’ve been working hard since the last update, trying to figure out what things work for me and what things don’t. (Internet, for one thing, consistently hits the top of the ‘things that should be banned’ list)

But, using about five different tools, I’m slowly figuring out how my brain works and what the optimal learning conditions are for me:

  1. Material I can easily test myself on. I think if I could learn solely through worked examples and have a billion and one questions to go through for each chapter of the book, I’d be in heaven. The difficulty of the questions would be easy at the beginning and get harder as I go along, testing more and more of my brain until I’m getting to the impossible-level questions.
  2. No internet. If the first condition isn’t being fulfilled, I need the internet off. I use SelfControl, an app that completely removes your internet access for X amount of time. Once you set the timer, you can never turn it off. Since 99% of the things I ‘need’ to access online are Facebook and Howrse, there’s no problem to wait till 11am.
  3. Knowing how long I actually spend learning. Today it was about 3 hours. Last week on Wednesday it was 6 hours. The difference was that I spent a lot more time reading on Wednesday, and I did one big block of physics. I use Eternity for the iPod Touch to log my time. It’s awesome, and I can color-code all my activites and view them in pie charts. Amazingly enough, I don’t usually waste time looking at all the pretty pie charts.
  4. Having motivation. I also use EpicWin for the iPod Touch to make my daily to-do list. I get to beat up my tasks and raise the levels of my character. I like the background music whenever I beat something up…. and it’s worked so far for drinking my water every day.
  5. Interesting material. … if only there was an app for this. At some point I’m going to start using Wikipedia and other things to get more in-detail into the subjects I’m learning, but at this point, I’m still trying to keep my head above water.

I’ve got a way to go before I can work 8 hours a day (or even close to that)– it’s really hard to get back to learning after lunch.

Any tips for me?

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