Tangerine Gleam wrote:On my very, very best days, I can get in around 8 hours of studying if I really, really try. But on most days, I think I'm doing 4-6 actual hours of work, if not less. I take tons of breaks. I'm also watching movies every night. I can't do the 12-hour push.
I honestly think the people that study "12 hours a day" are including all the wasted time. If you spend 8 hours in the library but spend 4 on facebook, that isn't really 8 hours. I'm not saying those people aren't studying, its just that the amount of burnout I feel after 4-6 hours every day for 2 months makes me feel like its impossible to really do 10+ of real work every day.
I think studying is unique in this aspect. In the real world you can do certain tasks on autopilot after 2 months of practice and it doesn't take away from your mental reserves. To study effectively you have to be actively engaging with the material. This goes back to my point above: one CAN study 12 hours a day, but only if they zombie through it the way one does menial work tasks. It takes less energy, but there is little or no return on the investment.
Work smarter, not harder is a cliche but it is very apt here.