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The 80/20 Rule of Disproportionate Results

On 22, Dec 2012 | One Comment | In Education, Productivity | By Daniel Kao

I’m weird. While most people study different subjects, I study different ways of studying.

After reading things from Tim Ferris, Michael Ellsburg, and others, I have found that the 80/20 rule applies practically anywhere.

The idea is that 20% of the work produces 80% of the results.

The challenge then, is deconstructing and figuring out which 20% gives you the most results. For example, in every language there are words that are the most commonly used words, which often make up a large majority of the whole language. If you are able to supercharge your learning by learning what matters, everything else comes a lot easier.

This concept has saved me countless hours of academic work, by prioritizing material to learn. In my most recent writing class, I experimented on how to read and analyze multiple articles and write a two to three page response in less than half an hour. With the end paper in mind, I began typing my response to the articles while I was reading them, knowing that all my teacher wanted was a thoughtful response to the articles.

This concept explains how people like Tim Ferris are able to master skills in extremely short periods of time. (Look him up if you’ve never heard of him)

Therefore, it is no longer about how you study, how long you study, but also what you study and the order you study it in.

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The Disturbing Reality: How I Learned More at one TEDx Conference than a Quarter in College

On 10, Dec 2012 | One Comment | In Education | By Daniel Kao

It’s been about a week since I attended TEDx San Diego, and I’m still thinking about the inspiration and ideas that were shared at the conference.

TEDx San Diego

In case you aren’t familiar with TED talks that are slowly popping up everywhere, feel free to check them out. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

I stumbled across TEDx San Diego while browsing the internet one day, and decided that I would like to go to one of these conferences at some point in my life. Coming across the TEDx San Diego page, I promptly noticed that I would be in San Diego at that time, and filled out an application. (Yes, you must apply in order to attend a TEDx Conference)

I applied, thinking that I probably wouldn’t get in seeing as I had applied late, and probably wasn’t the hyper-entrepreneur that other people probably were. But when I received the acceptance letter, I quickly paid my $100 for a ticket.

TEDx was incredible. To say the least. The way that the speakers engaged with the audience on levels ranging from emotional to intellectual was nothing short of mindblowing.

I learned about and connected with people who had inspirational life stories, people who were making a difference socially in the world, people who were researching new technologies such as thought controlled computing, and people who were musical prodigies. There were people who were teaching entrepreneurship in prisons, people who were educating homeless children, authors who wrote countless bestseller books, researchers learning about indigenous African tribes, engineers who are creating contact lenses with a computer chip on them, and so many more.

It felt amazing sitting in an auditorium surrounded by people who were so captivated and willing to learn and understand what each speaker was talking about. Each session lasted approximately an hour and a half, but the day felt like it went by in a breath.

It was a seven hour conference packed with 33 talks, all of which struck different intellectual and emotional chords.
Read more…

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