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Show up.
Do the things.
Be consistent.


Show Up

A large part of making progress is just showing up – even if you don’t feel like it.

In the case of academics, to increase the probability that you might learn something from lecture, come to class prepared. Bring:

  • paper

  • a writing utensil

  • a notebook

  • colored pens or highlighters


Be present in class; eliminate distractions by stashing your electronics.

Do The Things


Just “do the things,” i.e. practice with intention.

My number #1 tip: Find a study group. How do you find a study group? Go to office hours and supplementary tutoring sessions if they are offered.

Review your notes after every class starting from the beginning of the quarter. Redo all of the examples, and complete any examples not covered in lecture.


Repetition is key to understanding. Spending time to strengthen your knowledge foundation will serve you in completing the lab assignments.


Start assignments early. You will inevitably run into bugs that you have to fix. This often takes way longer than you might think to resolve. Starting labs early enables you to catch these issues early on so you are not panicked at 11 pm on the due date.

Make up your own examples. Rewrite the homework with different numbers. Solve this new version of the homework.

If you feel that you've been "doing the things" and you are still stuck, reflect upon the approach you are taking. Are you hitting roadblocks in your process? Talk to others to get their feedback and form a new plan.

Be Consistent


The key to progression in any context is consistency. We can’t expect to learn a new subject or skill if we don’t work it into our weekly schedule. So, just show up and do the things. Consistently.

"We can determine how to be masters of our habits so that our habits may be useful servants to us."

Sir John Templeton

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