Super Human Productivity & Efficiency | Tips from a Surgeon

Super Human Productivity & Efficiency | Tips from a Surgeon

there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day I totally get it I have been fascinated by the constraints of time and how to maximize efficiency for as long as I can remember in this video I’m going to share with you the secrets I’ve learned over the years that have allowed me to reach insane levels of productivity and efficiency what’s going on guys dr. J from med school quick announcement the vlogs are back there on a new channel called life of a surgeon link in the description below for those of you who are new to the channel I am a plastic surgery resident physician the founder of medical insiders and I do several other things on the side such as advising for another company that I founded as well as performing clinical research I have learned how to get a lot done in a short period of time and I’ll show exactly how you can do the same one quick thing before we jump to the advice a lot of you may be concerned that becoming so efficient and productive may drain the fun out of life that could not be further from the truth and this thought stems from ignorance and fear when you achieve similar levels of productivity you will open up so much free time that you can decide if you want to have more fun or get more things done my balance between work and play may be different than yours but by being efficient you actually are able to decide how you spend your time most people don’t maximize their time efficiency and are a slave to time becoming efficient will free yourself you can decide if you want to spend more time in the gym and get jacked or spend more time at home with your family or if you want to pick up a second or third site business like I did that is totally up to you my philosophy is that since time is limited maximize it that means either fully enjoy yourself or be fully productive and present in the moment none of that nonsense in the middle where you are trying to relax and get work done at the same time it just doesn’t work number one time is money time is your most valuable asset but the problem is that you do not treat it as such when you add up all the in efficiencies throughout the day you are wasting hours every single day begin to acknowledge the importance of your time and treat it as such a common mistake many people make is wasting time trying to save a few dollars does going out of your way to pick up dinner from the restaurant makes sense or should you spend the $3.00 for delivery in order to save 30 minutes of your own precious time does signing up for a grocery delivery service like Google Express or instacart make sense if it saves you a few hours every week this analysis will yield different results day to day and depending on where you are in your life now that I am a physician and no longer a student I have an income and I can place a higher price on my time ultimately determining how much your time is worth is a very personal decision and I cannot do that for you I personally would argue that waiting in line for 10 hours to get a good deal on a TV on Black Friday is a complete waste of time but you may enjoy the experience and see value in doing so there’s nothing wrong with that it’s your call to make number two understand Parkinson’s law Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion this means if you give yourself five hours for a task rather than two it will take you the full five hours to do it but if you give yourself two hours you will be much more efficient and feel that time crunch and although you may go over your target of two hours you will still spend far less time than five this is a tricky technique because you have to purposely cut things close and not give too much time for any one task the downside is that it can generate unhealthy amounts of stress if you don’t have good coping mechanisms or if you are too aggressive with your deadlines this is something that takes experimentation to get just right I use this all the time even when researching and writing medical insider scripts as it helps to keep me efficient number three identify tasks that you can perform anywhere I want you all to start paying attention how much time you waste each and every day waiting in lines standing around and not doing anything fun or productive I guarantee that you will be surprised how much time is zapped each and every day now the best way to navigate this problem is to have tasks you can perform anywhere and residency I still need to study I use on key flashcards which I have made multiple videos about when I’m either waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting for someone at a restaurant or in other brief moments of downtime the brilliant thing about these flashcards is that you can do them anywhere and just brief spurts of free time you don’t even need to set aside 20 minutes if you only have two minutes you can get 10 flashcards done and that is still very effective when I’m driving I listen to audiobooks or podcasts this allows me to consume valuable information when I would otherwise not be doing anything or just listening to music last year when I was finishing medical school and flying around the country for residency interviews I maintained my productivity even while traveling went on the plane I told myself I will either sleep read my Kindle or do work I don’t watch TV or movies on planes and this leaves me feeling accomplished and happy when I step off the plane I feel like I spent my time the best way possible and it also means that I have more time to do the things that are important to me I did the same thing even when I was on vacation flying to South Africa took about 30 hours I was rotating between working on medical insiders research projects and sleeping when I got off the plane I did not have to worry about work since I already got it all done and I could truly enjoy my vacation and be present in the moment with my significant other this is not stressful if you do it right it is just an efficient and optimized way to manage your time so you have more flexibility to do the things you love if you are able to squeeze in an hour of work every day during your brief moments of downtime then that means you have one more hour later in the day to do whatever it is that you want number four optimize your brakes and switch tasks to maintain momentum our brains cannot run at 100% intensity at all times one highly effective method to maintain focus and avoid burning out is to use the Pomodoro Technique however even with Pomodoro you will be unable to maintain intensity later on in the day after a few cycles this is where I used to tricks optimizing brakes and switching tasks when I say optimizing brakes I mean doing the things you have to do every day as a break from your work if you’re getting fatigued from work and need some time away then go shower or do dishes or do laundry or get a quick workout in do tasks that you need to complete anyway and that allow you to take a mental break switching tasks is another trick I utilize often if I find myself getting bored or my focus is slipping I will switch tasks to something else let’s say I’m working on a research project for a couple hours and my rate of progress is sharply declining I can either take a break or switch over to something else like doing flashcards or working on medical insiders this keeps things interesting and I’m much less likely to get bored or to slow down and number five delegate appropriately no matter how efficient you get there are always only 24 hours in a day even Elon Musk the Martian and productivity machine has learned his own limits he doesn’t pursue everything on his own and has tasked others with working on some of his world-changing ideas while I am nowhere close to being an Elon Musk I too have learned the importance of delegating tasks with med school insiders I now have help animating videos and with social media with the other company I started I stepped down from my president role now opting for a senior advisor position to help keep the company on track with research I have medical students help me perform short review and other tasks that are less critical for me to be actively involved with for you this may mean taking turns getting groceries with your roommate or dividing up chapters in your study group and then taking turns teaching each other the important concepts take a look at the Fineman technique video for more information on this effective study hack so tell us down in the comments below how are you going to apply some of these tips and tricks to your own life or share some of your own as always thank you all so much for watching special thanks to my patreon supporters who make videos like these possible if you like the video make sure you press that like button hit subscribe if you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one [Music]


100 thoughts on “Super Human Productivity & Efficiency | Tips from a Surgeon”

  • This is not all 100
    % productive, a lot of this is simply movement without real action. Also, most of what you constitute as “productive” are processes that provide immediate results, it doesn’t really account for long term goals and true productivity. Flash cards in the grocery line, really? THAT much of a time crunch? I would be very anxious living your life.

  • yep productivity sharply declines once i start/review biochem + genetics lol
    much rather do pathology all day but this biochem…i hope my attending physicians in the future don't pimp on these enzymes + cofactors + gene translocations

  • Ivana Zirojevic says:

    So this guy thinks he is the best example of successful becaus he has 3 jobs and whatever. I want to know how old is he and how many children does he have. If he says not married one or two i dont count him as a successful.

  • very true, i use the pomodoro for couple time and i start to feel tried even 5,10mins break every cycle, ty for sharing great tips XD

  • It doesn't come from ignorance or fear but from being raised in a different way. You sound stuck up. Agreed on being more productive makes you more happy therefore it's more fun than being lazy

  • I still remember a line that Arnold Schwarzenegger said in one of his commencement speeches – "You sleep six hours then you'll have 18 hours left." Elon Musk said that if you put in 100 hours/week you'll accomplish a year worth in 4 months compare to an average person that works 40 hours /week

  • Ruy Martinez says:

    I'm gonna use my waiting times to study! I'm also gonna use downtime that isn't spent with good friends to get work done.

  • I'm going to be honest the thing that helped me most was NoFap both in terms of productivity and overall satisfaction in life. 1 year clean counting!

  • This explains why after 4 hours of studying, my head feels like it's going to explode. It's like i want to keep going, but something is stopping me. Now i know what to do. Thanks!

  • I am your fan from China,I determined to got a PhD degree in China,but I found its so hard to spend time on study in the evening, cos there is always distraction from my family or the job routine,I want to get up early in the morning if possible,about 4:30 or 5:00,so that I can use two extra time to read before I go to job,any suggestions?

  • Hello, i just went back to full time study at age 30 am still learning to manage my time your videos have helped with this was just wondering if you could do a video on tips for researching a topic when doing an assignment.

  • Quick summary:
    1. Time is money, your friends are wasting it you can just use it in better way.
    2. Give yourself less time to complete tasks, give yourself deadlines.
    3. Identify tasks you can perform anywhere. Ex: Listen audiobook while traveling or exercise or use Anki flashcards while travelling. Be productive even in your downtime.
    4. Switch tasks to be focused. Pomodoro is best. Optimise breaks – do quick walk or few jumping jacks.
    5. Everyone have 24 hours – Use feynmen techinque, -> why, what, how.

  • I love lists. I Often jot down the things i need in to do lists as a reminder so i wont have to waste minutes to search my mind for the tasks i need to accomplish daily. Also write down grocery/things to buy on a buying list. that way you can maximize the time you a lot for grocery and other errands. also stack on as some spares for toiletries and basic commodities (in moderation) This prevents you from having unplanned trips to the grocery because you ran out of tp!

  • I always feel bad when I don't watch or play games the whole time on the plane. Tickets are expensive and I wanted to try to use up all they had to offer. Yes more coffee and tea and water and juice.. and I make sure to finish all my food. If I can't finish, I give it to my mom. Lol

  • Here is a tip that personaly helps me , when you do wotk , try to think of it like you are doing a speed run (doing someting as fast as possbile in av video game , for intent of beating a world or personal record)

    basicly try to think of any way to cut out even a second of your work time . while working. and put all of your focus into it.

  • See I'm obsessed with medicine but I ended up as a programmer for a company I like at 29
    I really wish though that my path to more academic roles that deal with physiology would have been wider when I was 16-18
    Today I got so much low-level stuff done that I could open a logistics company, but I feel I am missing out on the critical stuff.

  • I used to study with pomodoro with 10mins of study and 3 to 5 minutes of rest. It sounds really lazy but it was so easy. In between i drank tea or saw a movie (yeah, with 10 minute breaks, lol). I could watch a movie or half a movie everyday and keep studying.

  • Very informative video. Surprisingly I just found out about this channel not too long ago. I used to function with the idea "you can sleep when you're dead" and just tried to cram as much as possible in one session until I was exhausted completely. But Little did I know I only spent about 50% of those times doing what is truly necessary. Sleep, break, and naps have become higher on my priority list because they keep me more productive. They basically become non-mentioned tasks I set for myself to switch in whenever I hit a certain limit.

  • First year in nursing school and it’s 3 AM but I’m heading to bed now. I really wanna continue to learn from your videos (at a more decent hour) and apply your ideas. Thanks for this channel!

  • What is this type of youtube video called? Where they use this real life hand drawing ala draw my life type video? I see a bunch of different youtubers having the same exact style as shown here. Is it in creator studio?

  • I love that your content always has promising and intriguing titles on interesting topics- and it actually delivers. No clickbait nonsense, just solid information! You’re one of my favorite channels on YT.

  • Use scetch notes as visual aids in school and work. "Verbal to visual" on will show you how to use scetch notes in school and work.

  • What if you focus on your dream and do that instead of being retarded and lying to yourself…all the great people pursued one thing they liked…they didn't had to do this.. they had ups and downs but they went where they wanted to be…
    And what?? After all this? You will get a job that you don't like?? You will still be in this chain?? And constantly hate your life?
    If being productive is taking the fun out of your life then you are not being productive for the right thing…fuck this i am dropping out of college College this year..

  • This is packed, so much in such a short vid. YT could be giving ad income to dense quality instead of X minutes duration of fluff, rambling about nothing

  • Complete Formula says:

    I consider myself a relatively productive individual…but watching this gave me so many tips! Thank you appreciate the content!

  • Optimizing my breaks is a really handy tip. I can get most of my stuff done during the day, and I'll still have time for myself.

  • Confused StrawberryBanana says:

    I’m trying so hard to be productive but it’s not working for me so I can’t get anything done thinking about the other things I haven’t done :/

  • I’ve watched this and a couple other of your videos on procrastination so I’m convinced that “systems produce results”. But just as a reference point to get an idea for what I should do for myself, would you make a video on YOUR systems that you used during your pre-med/med school years that were most effective? Like ochem has been a beast and I’d like to improve my study habits but don’t quite know how to make a stellar “system” with it, so I’d appreciate the guidance!

  • I’m going to listen to lectures when I go walking instead of listening to music since it’s the only time I get to be outside and spending more time outdoors is something I want to do. I will also print out practice quizzes and past years exams to do when I need to change tactics. I’ll also try to implement Parkinson’s law and see how it goes 😉
    Thank you again for all this quality content, I’m currently trying to get into med school and if I do it’s going to be thanks to you so well done and thank you for everything ^*

  • My 5 cent:
    1. detox: cut out/minimize useless or toxic habits, things, distractions and draining people out of your live. live minimalistic and prefer loneliness and meditation over time with unproductive and pessimistic people/habits. Stop watching series. save those and the drugs up for when your 100+ and can´t walk around the whole day having fun with your challenges and passions anymore. this way you might free up tons of time and energy, combined with the advice from this video get you to great places in live.

    2. I try to combine activities that are challenging and/or productive and possibly make me feel good at the same time. Flirting and encountering social fears is a big one for me, just as getting my health-care-professional career forward takes not only a lot of work but also courage. Many jobs are also challenging and productive and can make you feel good. Medicine certainly can be that if you give it your heart. Conquering challenges/fears and the right type of productivity (like helping others) can feel great just on their own. I love the feeling I have after doing something i feared.. Once you have a profession that you love and that pays you will spend lots of time having fun and being productive, what could be better on this earth? I would not like to have to choose between fun and productivity.

    I personally am a distracted person losing time due to lack of focus, i still need to minimalize my life, detox (e.g. from youtube (lol) and drug friends) and do more meditation, organize myself, clean up my room, be willing in order to spend slightly more money and delegate tasks in order to save time and energy and stabilize myself. Next step is collecting this energy and balls in order to challenge fears and really get my life forward.

  • The very first tip about clearly separating work and free time really resonated with me!
    I just caught myself doing exactly what you recommended against.
    I tried to work and relax at the same time and in the end, I didn't really get anything significant done and didn't feel relaxed at all.

  • @ MedSchool Insiders: Could you repeat/summarize all the tips at the end of your videos, please?
    This way, we can remember them better and have a nice overview. Thank you.🤗


  • To sum up:
    1) Time is money, you may decide to spend a little more money to save some time. (e.g. ordering food instead of getting it yourself).
    2) Parkinson's law: The more time you give yourself for a task, the more time you'll spend doing the said task. Give yourself not too much time to do something.
    3) Get things done wherever you are: use Anki if you have a few minutes (Dr. J, we know you are paid to make ads for them, even if you denie it) or work while you travel by plane or train. While driving, listen to audiobooks or podcasts.
    4) Use the pomodoro technique to avoid burnout and get other things (that don't involve too much brain activity, like ironing) done during a break. Also, if you are deconcentrating after a few hours, switch task to maintain the momentum.
    5) Delegate some tasks to other people, for example take turns for going to the grocery store with your roommates.

    You are welcome!

  • Krisielle Kim says:

    I'm not even a med student but i like to thank you for making these cool videos. it helps me a lot!!!!!!!! i would like to do the same thing (sharing techniques and learnings) soon!

  • Mammy to a little man old page says:

    Parkinsons law so works I didn't know the name of it, but I've been doing it for ages but not on purpose 😂😂😂 when I've went to bed early instead of preparing for the next day, when I have a limited amount of time I get so much done 😂

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