hours, kids, studying, write, exams, worrying, closed book exam, spend, law, realize, sydney uni, introductory lectures, most important asset, scrambling, waring, activities, profound, smart, planning, class, selective schools, selective test
Steve Xu 00:00
How do you go about managing time? How do you control time? How do you make sure that you are most efficient with the time and the very little time that you have. And so I understand in this world now where every single parent wants their kid to be brilliant academically, but also very well balanced socially, and in all their co-curriculars. It’s very, very difficult to balance time because let’s face it, when you go to school from nine to three, and you come back home, you don’t have that much time left to do the things that you need to do. One key thing that I’ve learned over time is that time is the most important asset, and what I want to do right now is on and tell you guys a story about what happened when I was a kid. So when I was a kid, I always felt like I was the dumbest person in the class. I went to opportunity class, I went to a private school where we had four or five kids who ended up going to Harvard and Cambridge, Oxford. So I always felt like the dumbest person in the class. And what was really profound was when I was 18. 18, I got into Sydney Uni, and I was going to study a Bachelors of commerce and law, right?
So this is a very prestigious program. And there were a lot of really, really smart kids, basically smartest kids in Sydney, right, we’re here, right? A lot of kids who DOCSIS school got a 99.8, 99.9, 99.95, all of these very, very smart people in one building. And I remember, it was one of the very first introductory lectures for law, and it was 200 kids all crammed in a lecture hall, again, termed the brightest minds in Sydney, and you see, all of them scrambling, anxious and worried because we’d been given a task. Our first assignment in law school was to create, or to write up a 750-word case, grief, summarizing a judicial opinion. That’s all that it was. 750 words and everybody was freaking out. So we’d been given that assignment, and we had two weeks to do it, and everyone is going crazy. You see people worried, they’re like, oh, you know what, we need to start forming study groups, we need to go to official library, we need to go to law library, and we need to stay there, and we need to be there for a certain amount of hours every single day, and just, you know, prepare that. And I was baffled. I was confused. Because I was like, well, it’s 750 words, we already have the case. And the case is only 14 pages long. So let’s say it takes me an hour to read the 14 pages, which is a lot of time. And then it takes me another hour to write 250 words. So if I write out a pace of 250 words an hour, which is really, really slow, then I’ll get the whole thing done in like four hours, one hour of reading, plus three hours of writing, four hours done. And that’s the way that my brain thought.
But as I’m looking at all these people, right, all these kids, bright minds, much brighter than minds, and I see them scrambling, I start worrying a little bit. I’m like, Oh, wait, is this really going to work? Maybe I do need to spend 12 hours, 13 hours a day studying for this, maybe I do need to do some extra research. But what was really, really funny was that as these people were studying day and night in the law library, comparing notes, doing all this kind of stuff, all I did was I came in, I remember it was a Wednesday night, seven o’clock, I’d finish all my classes, I came in law labor at seven o’clock. And I was like, Okay, I’ve got four hours to get this assignment done. I don’t want to waste time. And so I remember leaving at exactly 11 pm, and it was all done. It was all done, I finished it. It wasn’t that hard, and four hours, to be honest, was a lot of time. And when I got my marks back, it was good. Right? I passed with the distinction. All right, not too bad. What’s the important lesson there? What I realized was that very first case note, that very first case brief experience repeated itself over and over again.
Every single time we had an exam, there would be the same freaking, oh, you know, there’s a, you know, it’s closed book exam, you got to memorize all of these things, you got to- we got to write notes, we got to do all this. And it’d be the same process over and over again, there’d be the scramble where everybody would get worried. And they’ll spend probably 90% of their time worrying, being anxious doing activities that were not conducive to the final result. And that’s when I realized something profound. That most of us spend 90% of our time on activities that don’t matter, that don’t move the needle. 90% of the time worrying, planning, you know, doing things like this. What’s the point? And so I figured out very early in life that so long as I get rid of that 90%, well, I try my best because it’s really not possible. So there are days where I wake up and I just want to have fun, where I wake up and I don’t feel like doing any work. But if you just plan it out that way where you try to get rid of that 90% wasted energy,
Steve Xu 04:37
you have so much time left. If you become ultra-efficient with taking out the stuff that you don’t need, taking out the worry, taking out the anxiety, taking out the planning, taking out you know the double-checking and triple-checking and quadruple-checking, all that kind of stuff; if you throw that all out, and you focus on just doing the task at hand and being very, very smart with your time and calculating exactly how much time you need to complete an activity, then you realize that you know what, it doesn’t actually take that much time. And you have time to do everything. Right now, I think to all parents who are watching this or preparing for selective test, scholarship test, or OC test, I want you to ask yourself a simple question. How many questions are you getting done on a weekly basis? Then what I want you to do is multiply that by one minute, because really should take you one minute per question.
Now, what’s really funny is whenever parents students this exercise, they are absolutely astounded, because what they realize is that maybe the kid only does like 100 questions a week, that should literally take you 100 multiplied by one is 100 minutes, which should take you one hour and 40 minutes do it. And yet, when you ask how long are they spending this, they’re spending two hours, three hours a day? And it’s ridiculous, because how could you be spending two hours, three hours every single day and only get 100 Questions done in a week. And so if you start really auditing your time, auditing your output, because really, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is output. It’s not about the input, it’s not about how much time you put it, right? Think about engineering. You don’t want to put a lot of fuel in a car for it only to travel a very, very small distance, you want to put the least amount of fuel into that car so you can travel a huge distance. And so a lot of you guys getting this from, it’s not about studying three, four hours a day, it’s about how do you make sure the hours that you spent studying provide the greatest yield? And so I implore you guys all if you’re having problems with time management right now, you know somebody who’s having problem with time management, share this video, comment down below. I want to know what your thoughts are, let me know. And thanks!