Medical studies are tough.
You have classes all day, books to study and work at the hospital.
Some of you have a part time job.
Others have families and kids to raise.
So how do you find time and energy to study for your medical studies?
When I asked my students in my Anatomy course, what the #1 barrier was to be the best in class, this was one of the most frequent responses:
I’m sure you have been there before. You come home from medical school, and you’re EXHAUSTED.
You have dinner, maybe settle down to talk a bit with your roommate, and it’s already 9 pm.
You have an anatomy lesson to review going by the planning in your Anatomy Course, but you are already tired from having studied all day. Doing another revision when your brain seems to explode is not something you are looking forward to.
You say to yourself that you will just take a little break, and work on your medical studies later on in the day. You get on the computer and start reading the facebook feed from your friends, maybe watch an episode or two of your favorite TV show, and spend some time with your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife.
All of a sudden, it’s 11 pm and you know that you should slowly get to bed. As you lay down in bed, you realize that you forgot to work on your Anatomy Course… AGAIN.
That’s when the guilt comes in. You’re guilty that this keeps happening to you. And you start doubting your abilities.
“Can I really do this?”
“Maybe I just don’t have what it takes to be the best student…”
“I guess I’m just not as good as all of those other star students in my class.”
This keeps happening every single day, and you feel like you’re stuck in this never-ending loop that you just can’t get out of.
You’re not alone. This has happened to me before, and nearly every successful student I’ve ever met. And in all cases, the solution wasn’t just “trying harder” or “pushing through it”.
If you want to get different results, you need to DO something differently.
And today, I’m going to show you WHAT you can do differently to find the time and energy for your medical studies.
Case study: How Lisa found 10 hours each week to work on her Anatomy Lessons
A friend of mine, Lisa, used to struggle with finding the energy to work on her anatomy lessons. She had classes for most of the day, and by the time she came home in the evening, she was completely spent.
She said to herself that she would work on her lessons every day, but on most days she just opened her computer and spent the afternoon on Facebook, wasting precious time on the internet.
Even when she actually sat down to review her anatomy lessons, she wasn’t really productive. She was “busy”. She was “studying” aimlessly with no end goal in mind, and she didn’t see much progress.
Now, things are different. Now Lisa successfully finds 2 hours a day to work on her anatomy lessons – and she makes consistent progress every single day.
This isn’t just 2 hours of busy time any more. Now, she gets measurable results – she remembers her lessons. She scores higher in exams. She finally feels like she’s moving forward and not just stuck in the same place.
So – how did Lisa do it?
How did she go from being “busy” and unfocused to consistently making progress with her studies, even though she was still working THE SAME amount of hours?
The ONE thing Lisa did to find 2 hours a day for her studies
When I talked to Lisa, she said to me that her main issue is that she’s tired after she comes home from her classes.
She could never really stay focused for a long time. She always got distracted by her Facebook friends messaging, and she just didn’t feel like studying more.
At that point, I could give Lisa an organizing system to take care of her tasks, tell her to block out Facebook, or to avoid going on the internet – but I know that none of those tips would help her solve the core issue that she was facing.
The main issue was that she was tired after classes.
And when you’re tired, it’s hard to stay focus and put in high quality work, regardless of how hard you try.
So instead of implementing 10 new systems in her life, we just made one change – I told Lisa to try studying BEFORE she goes to class, when she’s still fresh, and most of her Facebook friends are still sleeping.
This would allow her to put in a few hours of high quality, uninterrupted work.
We started slowly – with just 30 minutes a day – and Lisa immediately saw that it was much easier for her to study each morning and get work done.
She went to sleep just 30 minutes earlier than she usually would, so she didn’t really miss out on anything or feel like she needed to go to bed at 8pm.
Over time, she started loving the progress she was doing and she started waking up at 6am. Now, her mornings looked like this:
6am: Waking up
6am – 6:15 am: Waking up, showering, breakfast
6:15 am to 8:30 am: Study
9am: Going to class
After she comes home each day, she’s still tired – but since she knows that she’s already worked on her review sessions, she can have a guilt-free afternoon each day and do whatever she wants to do – whether that means spending time on Facebook, socializing or watching her favorite TV show.
She can go to sleep without feeling guilty and disappointed in herself.
She can go to bed with a smile on her face, knowing that each day she’s closer and closer to her goal of being the best in class.
How YOU can find time and energy to study – EVERY DAY
If you’re finding it hard to find the time and energy to revise for your medical studies, I challenge you to wake up just 30 minutes earlier tomorrow.
NOTE: It doesn’t matter whether you have have classes all day, have kids, or a part time job.
You will ALWAYS be tired from class in the afternoon. You will have kids running around. You will have hundreds of Facebook messages, e-mails, and other distractions waiting for you.
If you wake earlier up in the morning, you will have a lot more energy, and the best chances of finding some uninterrupted time.
Your kids and friends will still be asleep. It will be just you and your study notes.
EVERYONE can find 30 minutes each morning to revise for their studies.
The question is – do you REALLY want to?
If the answer is YES, you will not only find time, you will MAKE time for your studies.
You won’t find excuses why you can’t do it. You’ll make it happen.
In order to make those 30 minutes as valuable to you as possible, I want you to think about three things:
1. What will you work on?
If you just wake up tomorrow without a clear idea of what you want to do, it’s likely you won’t get anything productive done.
So take the time to think of ONE task you want to complete tomorrow.
I will review Anatomy Lesson 8
I will study Physiology Lesson 9
I will do a mock physics exam
2. What will you do to make the studies fun and exciting?
If you look at your studies like work that you HAVE TO do, you will have a hard time convincing yourself to actually wake up and not press the snooze button.
To prevent this from happening, think about what you can do to look forward to these 30 minutes.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
You can take a 15 minute warm bath in the morning to wake yourself up.
You can treat yourself to a big cup of coffee while you work.
You can go to a coffee shop next to your work, get a croissant and study there quietly.
3. Set the alarm 30 minutes earlier than you usually do
To make sure you actually wake up earlier, set up the alarm to wake up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to wake up, set up 3 alarms: One at 6.00, one at 6.02, and one at 6.04.
That should wake you up.
Now don’t forget to actually go to sleep 30 minutes earlier as well!
You need to get a good amount of sleep if you want up feeling rested and focused.
If you want to make sure you remember to go to sleep on time, just set up an alarm 30 minutes before you usually go to bed – this will remind you to go to bed on time and wake up feeling rested.
The point isn’t to create a 3-hour morning routine. That can come later. The most important thing now is to develop a small habit of waking up earlier and doing just one task related to your studies each day.
With time, you will WANT to do more and more, and automatically start waking up earlier.
To get started, just follow the steps below!
ACTION STEPS: (don’t skip this part if you’re serious about being the best in class)
Step #1: Write down ONE task that you will do tomorrow and prepare everything you need to make it happen. Prepare your study notes on your desk.
Step #2: Write down what you will do to make studying fun and exciting.
Step #3: Set up the alarm 30 min earlier than you usually do.
Step #4: Set up a bed-time alarm 30 min before you usually go to bed.
I want you to try the 4 simple steps above and email me to let me know how it goes through my contact form! 🙂
P.S. I have created a FREE, 7-Day Course on How To STUDY LESS, RETAIN MORE!
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