How to be More Productive in Medical School

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How do I become more productive in medical school? This is a question we often ask as we go through our medical school journey.

If you’re here, looking for answers for that question, you’re in luck. In this post, I’m sharing with you a system that you can take to not only become more productive but stay motivated in the process.




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How do I become more productive in med school?

productive in medical school

My to-do list is too long. I’m not able to see any progress.

And by the end of the week or the month, I feel like I have so much more left to do that I have done.

I totally get that sentiment.

So, let me introduce to you a system that I used to thrive in medical school and be more productive inside and outside med school.

A Two-part System

productive in medical school two-part system

In this post, there’s going to be an easy two parts system that I use to get my work done.

Not only that but at the end of the month, I realize how much I’ve done.

It keeps me motivated to continue to work hard and grind as you are.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Productivity Tip #1: Have a “List of Done”

productive in medical school list of done

Part number one is to have a list of done. It sounds a bit strange but let me explain.

We have a to-do list which we all know – a list of everything we need to do.

But I also go ahead and just do the extra effort of creating a list of done.

This basically means that as I accomplish the task, I move it over to the corner of my to-do list.

I usually do it on a piece of paper.

One side is going to be my to-do list. Then, as soon as I scratch something off, instead of just putting a checkmark, I literally go in and put the effort to write down that I did it.

If it was a syllabus chapter, I read it and put it on the right side.

If it was a workout that I put on my to-do list, I do it then put it on my right side.

Not only do the check marks feels motivating but just simply writing and have a whole other listing continues to gather over time of how much you’ve done.

I just find that there’s so much of a motivation factor that comes with it because you want to continue to fill that list.

When you’re checking off on a to-do list, it feels fine.

But sometimes you focus too much on how much is left to do and how much checks are left.

But when you’re creating a separate list of how much you’ve done – a list of done – then you just want to continue to fill it up.

You’re motivated to continue to work.

And so, I think that if you go ahead and apply that principle of a list of done, it’s going to be an easy way to just continue to stay motivated because you will have a visual representation of how much you’ve done.

Productivity Tip #2: Have A Streak Calendar

productive in medical school - streak calendar

The second part of the system is to create a habit of streaks.

Now you’ve probably seen people on their calendar where they work out and they go ahead and just put an x on the calendar for every single day they’ve done it.

This is kind of something similar.

Your list of done is kind of your motivation for a day.

But on a week to week basis, you know that motivation may dip and rise depending on how our life is going.

So, what I like to do is I basically break down my life into three main components.

    • School
    • Fitness
    • Personal

I have different goals that I want to achieve at each of those.

For example, for my fitness, it may be getting all my workouts and for the week.

So, every week that I do it, I put a checkmark in the calendar.

I just have a whiteboard in my room and then I’ll go ahead and just write a simple checkmark.

My personal goal is to read a book a week. So, every time I’m able to do that, I put another checkmark.

Every time that list becomes longer, it basically feels like it will cost you more not to continue with that habit and stay productive.

For school, maybe something very similar.

You may want to have a goal that I want to have all my work done by Saturday afternoons – that way you can enjoy a Sunday.

Case Study on Being Productive in Med School

productive in medical school - productivity success story

I’m going to give you a quick example in case you’re not convinced.

When I first started the MD journey blog, I was writing I think one to two blog posts a week.

Then, it got to the point where I lost motivation. I lost traction and I had no accountability to continue.

Eventually, I got back to it mainly because I started to see that people were being helped by the content.

Then I wrote a blog a week and I started to do the streak system and the list of done.

And now I’ve basically put out something useful, hopefully, on these blog posts and videos.

And it’s been like almost two years now that it’s been able to continue that streak.

The End Goal: Be More Productive in Med School

productive in medical school - success in med school

The goal may be different for you but having a list of done is going to help you on a daily basis.

Furthermore, taking a step further and having a system to track your streaks is going to keep you motivated for a long period of time.

The semester is going to be long and med school is long.

So, to have just a simple way of keeping track of your wins, that really is where the motivation comes in.

And I promise you, guys, that you’ll be able to stay productive.

And this is something that you can apply at any phase of your life, whether in med school or personal and career goals.

So, have something daily, like a list of done to keep track of how much you’re able to do and then transfer that over on like a weekly calendar where you’re able to kind of see how long something has been going on.

The longer your streak is, the more likely you are to continue that habit.

I encourage you guys to check it out and I hope it helps you as you continue your medical school journey.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 

Did you enjoy this post or found this helpful? I hope you did.

Here are more articles that you might find helpful in your medical journey.

How To Study in Medical School [Ultimate Guide]
A Typical Day of a Medical Student
4 Tips to Succeed in Medical School
How I’ve Found Time To Write 3 Books in Medical School
How To Balance Multiple Classes In Medical School

Until the next time, my friend…

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