You can get pretty far by:
Most good general advice just emphasizes these points by repetition. Do not worry about other strategies till you establish these foundations.
Great, now we have some core goals, but how do you actually establish and maintain them? These habits seem to help many students:
Sleep is when your brain solves the hard problems for you.
Help yourself out by going to bed at the same time every day.
We have limited brain power and emotional energy each day.
A regular routine lowers the cost of “maintenance tasks”, which frees up brain power and emotional energy for working on hard problems.
The most pernicious trap is procrastinating today and promising yourself you will do even more to catch up tomorrow or over the weekend. Avoid this vicious cycle!
Just getting started is often the biggest barrier to daily progress.
Do something on your main project at the start of every day. It will be easier and more pleasant than you expect, or at the very least, you will have less crap left to grind through.
Before powering down for the day, write down the most important task you will accomplish tomorrow morning.
This task should be something you expect can be done in about 30 minutes. It may actually take a bit longer, and that is OK. The point is to start off by getting something important done and get an emotional boost that creates momentum for the rest of the day.
Stunts like pulling all-nighters are almost always a bad big-picture tradeoff.
Preparing for tomorrow means stopping work today with enough time to power down, plan tomorrow, and get good sleep.
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