How to Study 10+ Hours a Day

Studying is a lifelong activity. Whether you’re a kid, a high schooler, or an elderly person, you will most likely be studying something. At least that’s what I hope for. For decades, the scientific community has reached a consensus that long-lasting studying is extraordinarily healthy for one’s mind and wellbeing. That said, a recent phenomenon has arisen in the self-help industry: the numerous amount of studying techniques. By analyzing our most toxic habits, psychologists around the world come up with hundreds, up to thousands of approaches to the way we perceive study.

Even so, what was supposed to be an attempt to produce an efficient means of study suddenly became a dilemma filled with uncertainty on whether or not we are using the best form of learning. So, in my quest to become the most productive self I can be, I firmly believe that I’ve found the best method of them all.

I must state, though, that the popular Pomodoro Technique isn’t as effective as people think. For those who don’t know, this technique includes setting 25-minute work intervals with short breaks in between them. I tried using this method for a couple of weeks and failed miserably.

The reason I was unsuccessful in this endeavor is that the Pomodoro Technique didn’t allow me to reach a significant dose of focus. Often times, when I would find myself completely immersed in a task, my alarm clock would blare out, interrupting my continual state of concentration. An article from Productivityist explains it better:

If you have a task that takes longer than 25 minutes to complete, then the rigidity of the system forces you to step away from it for 5 minutes and actually prompts you to move on to another task. So when you start your day (or take the time on the day before to plan your day), you need to work out “pomodoros” with the knowledge that you have 25 minutes or less to work on it at any given time.

Just like this article, I favor systems that are not as rigid. It is impossible to impose a broad and straightforward productivity technique if every single person has a different way of working. Thus, the Pomodoro Technique is, for many people, inarguably useless. Therefore, I forgot about it.

Instead, a better style of work is the “Flow Technique.”

At school, students like me are always given homework which might not hit our appeal. However, other tasks, or usually those that are chosen by the student – such as extracurricular activities – are of our appeal.

So, once I get home and start doing my homework, I don’t set the alarm. I don’t stand up every hour to make sure my “blood is moving,” or that “my mind can focus better.” I don’t “set an alarm every 30 minutes to make sure I’m drinking a certain amount of water.”

I sit down and start working. Done. When I feel like I want to stand up, I do so. When I feel like eating, I do so too. Necessarily, this technique involves reaching FLOW as fast as you can by completely immersing yourself into the task at hand.

For those who don’t know, FLOW is “the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” [1]

In fact, this psychological phenomenon can be expressed in a graph – which I immediately hanged in my room:

1

Often, the most excellent option in life is to aim for activities and tasks that reach the highest level of challenge and your highest level of skill. In this graph, that would fit in the FLOW category – where both your skill level and the challenge level of the task are high. Consequently, by working on achieving flow while doing your assignments, you are much more likely to go through a 10+ hour-session of work successfully. I’ve done it sometimes.

Still, many of the tasks that schools provide are viewed as uninteresting and useless. Therefore, it seems like Flow is impossible to occur since the challenge level is always disproportionate to the student’s learning. However, it is not!

Whenever you reach the Relaxation or Apathy section in the graph above, flow can still be achieved due to the amount of importance you give to the assignment at hand. You can do this by creating a dependence on your work. I do this by thinking that every single task has to be equally prioritized. You may do it a different way, though. Again – working styles are created by the individual, which is why the Pomodoro Technique might not work for everyone.

Overall, the “Flow Technique” is much more likely to assure one’s productivity when working as it helps people to construct a greater sense of focus in their lives.

Footnotes:

[1] זרימה

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