Study Hacks Blog Posts from April, 2009 - Study Hacks - Cal Newport - Part 2

Finals Diaries: Let Me Help You Ace Your Finals

April 8th, 2009 · Be the first to comment

UPDATE (4/9/09): I have chosen my four volunteers for this series. The application is now closed. If you haven’t received an e-mail from me, assume you weren’t chosen. I received over 70 volunteers within the first 24 hours! Thank you everyone who offered their help. I think this series will be a lot of fun. Stay tuned…

A Few Good Volunteers

I’m launching a new series this spring in which I follow a group of students through their preparations for final exams. The students I follow will get personal advice from me on how best to structure their studying. My goal is to provide a realistic view of study habit rehabilitation — often a messy process!

If you’re interested in participating, e-mail me the following: your school, your major, and the dates of your final exam period.

I predict I’ll get many more volunteers than I can accommodate, so I apologize in advance if I can’t fit everyone in.

Quick Note: Dan Schawbel’s New Book

April 7th, 2009 · One comment

A Brief Interruption…Me 2.0

Excuse this brief interruption to our regularly scheduled programming. My friend Dan Schawbel, who conducted an excellent interview with me last December, just published his first book: Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. Dan is well-known in the business world for his writing and speaking on how young people (i.e., us) can build a personal brand to stand out in their job hunt. If you’re facing the job market in the near future, check out Dan’s popular blog and consider diving deeper with his new book.

That’s all, back to the study hacks…

4 Weeks to a 4.0: Streamline Your Notes

April 6th, 2009 · 40 comments

4 Weeks to a 4.0 is a four-part series to help you transform into an efficient student. Each Monday between 3/30 and 4/20 I’ll post a new weekly assignment to aid your transformation.

Welcome to Week 2Time to Change

This is the second post in our four-part series 4 Weeks to a 4.0. Last week, I asked you to start an autopilot schedule and adopt a Sunday ritual. If you’re like me, you’re probably having some trouble making this schedule work. That’s okay! Just keep adjusting; it takes some practice to work out the kinks. This week I want to move from the big picture issue of scheduling to something more tactical: notetaking in class.

Week 2 Assignment: Smart Notes

This week we’re focusing on taking notes in class. To better target my advice, I’ve identified three major types of classes: non-technical (history, english, etc.); technical without math (biology, psychology, etc.); and technical with math (calculus, macroeconomics, etc.). Below, I’ve provided a specific notetaking strategy for each of these three types. This week, I want you to adopt the appropriate strategy for each of your courses.

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Using Fitness “Algorithms” to Stay in Shape Without a Rigid Workout Plan

April 2nd, 2009 · 7 comments

The Fitness Guru ReturnsAdam Gilbert

Way back in the early days of Study Hacks, I introduced you to fitness guru Adam Gilbert. I was drawn to his story because he had left his high-prestige job at Ernst & Young to start My Body Tutor, a web-based company that has Adam, and his team of trainers, work daily with clients to help them stick to their fitness plan. I like stories of young people following innovative paths, and Adam’s path was certainly fascinating.

Since then, Adam has become my go-to guy for fitness advice. I recently asked him to help me put together an article I’ve long envisioned: a collection of simple fitness algorithms that can help a college student stay in shape without requiring a rigid schedule or complicated, finely-tuned workout. I was inspired in these efforts by Michael Pollan’s famous simplification of eating advice: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Adam came through. Below are his simple fitness algorithms. (Of course, if you like what you hear, or are interested in becoming more serious about fitness or weight loss, check out Adam’s site.)

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