This is probably the most important life lesson you will ever learn, an idea that I am still struggling to put into practice in my own life. Entrepreneurs swear by it, you can find the same sentiment in most of the sacred books of the world’s religions, and I am willing to bet that almost every successful person in the world would agree with me. Simply put, don’t waste time.
If you are a student, this means mainly one thing.
Make full use of your time in class.
As a young boy, my parents used to tell me, “Pay attention in class. If you understand everything, you can play while other people spend more time trying to go through the same material.” (Or something to that effect. It was probably delivered with much more nagging and with much less grammar. Teehee 😉 )
As a student, that meant a few concrete steps I almost always took. During English lessons, I realised that I finished reading comprehension passages much faster than my classmates, when my teacher would tell us to read silently. To make full use of my time, I would attempt the comprehension questions before everyone did, and because I did THAT faster than anyone else, I would do other things — my math homework, for example.
During math and science lessons, I would make sure I understood every single concept of the lesson — and I mean every last one. I was that annoying student who pestered the teacher for explanation after explanation, if I could not understand the concept. (F=ma? WHY?? WHY?? OH because F=dp/dt — a lesson I have since forgotten. I needed to wiki the thing. Sigh. I still remember asking my exasperated Physics teacher, though.)
Now, the beauty of this for math and science is that problems in the textbook just SOLVE themselves automatically in your head. The steps are so clear, once you understand the reasoning behind them. I still owe my secondary school math teacher two full books of homework, because I thought it silly that I had to do my homework when I could solve them without writing down anything. (Don’t worry, I scored A’s for my math subjects!)
It is slightly trickier to excel in languages — in a nutshell, you have to swim in the language for awhile before you can master it. However, if you make GOOD USE of your time, you will find that you become much less busy, and that life becomes a bit better, the sun shines a bit brighter, and that your hair becomes a bit shinier.
I will probably post something specific to excelling in English soon, but here’s a sub-tip for you. If you don’t want to waste time on English, follow these two principles:
1. Challenge yourself. Read material just on the edge of your understanding.
2. Have fun.
Want further tips to excel in English? Hire me as a tutor. You PROBABLY won’t regret it 😀
For adults it’s a little bit trickier, eh? Who’s to say what’s a waste of time or not? Hmm.