• Japanese Minimalism: Five Principles to Declutter your Life
    Does this sweater give me joy? Nope, well, that means it goes into the trash. Does this pillow excite me? No, bye-bye. What about my left arm? Well, I have no strong feelings toward that either; goodbye! Minimalism is a trend that I’ve jumped on, and it has resculpted my … Read more
  • I Tried Minimalism for 30 Days
    Why do I own so much junk? My closets are stuffed. My drawers don’t close properly. There are some items in my fridge I haven’t touched in years; jeez, that smells. Clearly, I have too much stuff. But are there negative consequences beyond just the physical items? Is my cluttered … Read more
  • The Island Where People Escape Death
    Are wine, olive oil, and laughter the answer to a long life? Maybe, but probably not. Let’s dig a little deeper. History Sardinia was dominated by the Aragonese and Spanish for the second millennium until Italy finally took Sardinia in 1861; this beautiful place has a unique culture and history. … Read more
  • Studying Disasters – Study Methods I Avoid At All Costs
    I remember my first notebook from 1st grade. It was a glorious, black, lined piece of stationery. It settled perfectly next to my pencil case inside my classy Jansport backpack. If only I knew how useless that notebook was. If only I knew that there were study strategies that took … Read more
  • I Tried to Learn Spanish in 30 days
    Hola, soy Zach. For the next thirty days, I am going to try to learn Spanish, because, why not? What’s the best way to learn Spanish? I have no idea, and I didn’t do any research, which is very unlike me. I just jumped into the first resource I saw … Read more
  • The Danger of Poor Sleep
    Sleep poorly, and you die sooner.1 Hooked? I hope so. Poor sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer.2 Poor sleep harms your cognitive performance, with some studies equating a very bad night’s sleep to being drunk.3 However, there is an enormous amount of “sleep” information. Podcasts, YouTube … Read more
  • How to Properly Utilize Practice Questions
    Most people are using practice questions all wrong, which is a big problem because practice questions are the most effective study strategy you can use. This form of active recall has the best evidence in academic journals and is the most commonly used study technique of top students. Practice questions … Read more
  • 11 Stoic Principles to Live By
    For thousands of years, many of the greatest rulers of all time have abided by the cardinal virtues of a single philosophy. This philosophy emphasized temperance, courage, justice, and practical wisdom. The great roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who ruled for 20 years, with arguably the most power in the entire … Read more
  • I Tried Stoicism for 7 Days
    Recently, I’ve been in iPhone hell. I constantly check YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. This lack of focus has leaked into my life. I eat more snacks; I stay up later playing video games and complaining. These are not good qualities. My thoughts whirlpool around the most recent drama on Twitter … Read more
  • The Magic of Exercise
    People who exercise live longer. But what if you don’t want to live longer? (skit with two people here). Ok, well, people who exercise also have better sleep. Ok, but what if I don’t care about sleep? Ok, well, people who exercise also have better memory and cognition, reduced anxiety, … Read more
  • 7 Things Everyone Using Anki Should Know
    Check out my 2 hour + class on Anki for FREE on Skillshare Anki is the best way to memorize anything. But are you using it right? The forget function, learning intervals, card customization, missed questions, add-ons–do you use these things with your Anki cards? You probably should. In this … Read more
  • I Tried Running for Two Years and it Transformed My Life
    “I want to die.” That was the thought I had as I looked up a staggering hill on my third ever run. I had just run for 15 minutes around my local block when I met this behemoth of a hill. The hill looked like Kilimanjaro or Everest; I would … Read more
  • I Built My Dream Podcast Studio
    I love podcasts. I like talking to cool people. I had a spare room. So, I built a podcast studio. It took me two years to finalize, but I think it’s pretty great. In this post, I’ll show you everything in my new podcast studio. Audio Gear The Shure SM7B … Read more
  • How to Become a Morning Person in One Week
    Accomplish more, be successful, attack the day – these are the promises of what’s in store for you if you become a morning person. I am not sure the promises necessarily hold. However, I have found waking up earlier has made me more productive, healthy, and happy because I have the … Read more
  • 3 Healthy Meal-Prep Meals that Take Less Than 30 Minutes for Busy College Students
    College is an especially busy time, but I learned early on that cooking not only saves me money, but also allows me to make healthier and tastier meals. Here are three meals I make on a regular basis (I make 2/3 of these every single week) that reheat amazingly well. … Read more
  • My 9 Favorite Early Morning Habits
    So you want to wake up earlier, get more done, and be a morning person. That’s great; when you wake up earlier, you can accomplish tasks, side projects, fitness goals, or dreams because you have that extra time. Here are my favorite things to do early in the morning. 1. … Read more
  • 101 Pieces of Advice to Myself for 2023
    Inspired by  Kevin Kelly, here are 101 things I hope to remember entering the new year. These are in no particular order or organization.
  • 22 Things I learned in 2022
    2022 was a big year for me; I entered my last year of medical school, this whole YouTube thing became very real, and I finally figured out how to get my freezer ice machine to work. Here are 22 things I learned in 2022 (I wish I had known earlier). … Read more
  • I Tried Waking up at 5:00 AM for 30 days and Here Is What I Learned
    I want to accomplish more, I want to do more, and I want to be successful. Does this mean I have to wake up early? And how early is early? I don’t even like worms. But, Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 am, Jack Dorsey wakes up at 5:30 am, … Read more
  • How to waste your life
    Step #1 – Don’t Think About It Just bumble through life, ignoring everything and everyone and making no plans. Everything happens for a reason, right? It is too painful to consider what the future might hold. To plan it. To make hard decisions. It is easier not to think about … Read more
  • 13 Unexpected Things that Ruin Productivity
    I don’t drink coffee until 90 minutes after I wake up, I never sacrifice sleep, food, or exercise for extra work time, and I always position my computer screen at a certain height. Why do I do these weird things? I found 13 things in peer-reviewed articles and from anecdotal … Read more
  • The Secret to Accomplishing More
    Motivation is a myth. It’s 6 pm, and I’ve just arrived home after a crazy day in the hospital. I’m tired; I’m smelly; I’m hungry. Of course, food is the most important thing because it’s what I am thinking about the most. I can imagine a luxurious frozen pizza bubbling … Read more
  • 7 Rules To Live A Happy Life
    Sixteen years ago, I had an awful experience, a traumatizing experience. Something I never thought I would talk about on the internet. I was 11-years-old, and my mom accidentally threw away my Super Mario 64 game, and I lost all the progress I had made. Mario was dead. It was … Read more
  • 17 Productive Things To Do Instead of Watching TV That You Can Do at Home
    It’s 7 pm, I’ve just finished dinner, and it’s time to unwind. Let’s see what’s on Netflix today… Sound familiar? This used to be my night every night after I got home. Is TV the best thing for me to do at night? Is it helping me grow? I’m not … Read more
  • The Danger of a Distracted Life
    Have you ever had a drawer where everything goes into? For me, that’s my kitchen drawer. When I get home after the hospital or after a night out, everything gets stuffed into that drawer. The annoying thing is that I usually need items from that drawer. But it’s an absolute … Read more
  • Why Most People Are using Active Recall All Wrong (how to make sure you are efficient and effective)
    Most people aren’t using active recall correctly. And this is a big problem because active recall is the best study technique there is. Period. Proper utilization of active recall changed me from a mid-B student to an A-student, and this improvement happened during medical school. If I had learned about … Read more
  • The Ultimate Lucid Dreaming Strategy – how to have a lucid dream TONIGHT
    Lucid dreaming is extremely difficult. Many people go weeks, months, or even years without having one even though they practice the essential strategies every day. I’ve found the ultimate method, the ultimate strategy, to have a lucid dream tonight. At one point, I used this strategy to have around four … Read more
  • My NON-Minimalist Philadelphia Apartment Tour
    I love my apartment; I think I have finally maximized the space. There are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a living room and kitchen combo. Let’s start with the entryway. No one is sponsoring this post; there is the occasional affiliate link throughout. Entry Way This little mirror on the … Read more
  • 10 Things I Do Everyday to Improve Focus
    Oh, I need to wake up, oh there are 27 emails in the inbox, oh I need to return this voicemail, oh I need to set up breakfast, oh I need to clean this up, oh I need to go to work, oh I need to run this errand, oh … Read more
  • Why You Can’t Focus
    I can’t think. I can’t pay attention. I can’t do it anymore. I just don’t want to. I don’t want to look at another page, another email. I don’t want to type another word. Where is my motivation? Why can’t I do this? Does this sound familiar? Sometimes, it feels … Read more
  • 10 Best Mac Apps for Productivity 2022
    I never need to click again, I can maintain hyper-focus, and I’ve become more organized and productive than ever before, all because of Mac apps. The Mac is a good computer, but when you start correctly integrating and using great apps, the Mac becomes a great computer. These apps save … Read more
  • My Efficient Desk Setup 2022
    I am addicted to those desk setup videos. Finally, after drooling over an Amazon cart of about 30 items, I pulled the trigger. My final desk setup was more incredible than I could have ever expected. In this post, I’ll take you through everything in my dream desk setup (which … Read more
  • How I Make My YouTube Videos
    I’ll admit it. I love gear. I love 10-bit color space, 32-bit audio, 4k 120 fps, drones, gimbals, motorized sliders, and multicolored lighting; I love all of it. Since I first started making videos, 90% of my money from YouTube goes right back into creating better videos. So, at this … Read more
  • Lucid Dreaming 101 – Unlocking Magical Worlds
    Have you ever been in the middle of a dream and suddenly realized you are dreaming? Well, that’s lucid dreaming! What if you could cultivate a mindset, a practice, to repeatably become aware while you are dreaming? Then, you could even start to take control. Flying into outer space, speaking … Read more
  • I Tried Lucid Dreaming for 30 Days and My Life Has Changed Forever
    One-third of our life, about 9,000 days, are spent asleep. Is it possible that there is more to our sleep than just blackness followed by waking up? As I get busier, as I get older, I am constantly hunting for more hours in my day. I know, however, from academic … Read more
  • The Danger of the Feynman Technique (why most people are using it wrong)
    The Feynman (pronounced “Fine-man”) technique has changed my life. Reviewing all the study methods I’ve ever used, this technique easily secures a place as one of my top five study methods. The basics of the technique are that you try to explain a complicated topic in simplified terms, allowing you … Read more
  • How I Rescued My 20s – 20 things I wish I learned sooner
    So I am 27. Jeez, I’m getting old. However, I think 27-year-old Zach is hugely different from 21-year-old Zach and tremendously different in a better way. The worst year of my life was probably when I was 23. I was floating in between schools, unhappy, unhealthy, and unsure where my … Read more
  • How to Influence Anyone – The Psychology of Persuasion
    8/10 How do you convince someone to listen to you? Offer you a job? Buy your product? To most people, including myself, getting better at even one of these things would greatly benefit not only my career but also my personal life. In Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, time-tested (and academic … Read more
  • The Danger of the Pomodoro Method – Why Most People are Using it Wrong
    The Pomodoro method has revolutionized the way I study. However, after three years of religious use, I have learned there is a better way to do it. When I first started using the Pomodoro method, I would often lose focus, get burnt out, or not study right. In this post, … Read more
  • The 8 Best Things to do During Study Breaks
    So, are there ways to maximize study breaks? Are there things to do during a study break that improve studying? That improve mindset? That improve wellbeing? Well, I did the research, and the answer is yes to all. In this post, I’ll give you eight things to do during your … Read more
  • How to Score Higher On Test Day | Evidence-Based Tips
    How do I do the best I possibly can on exam day beyond studying? Are there certain things I should do with my body the day or week before? Should I eat or not eat certain things on exam day? How much should I sleep? Should I drink coffee? How … Read more
  • 10 Amazing Items That Improved My Life Under $100
    Ten items have drastically improved my life under $100. These items are game-changers. I will never go without these items for the rest of my life or try not to because of the amazing impact they have had on me. These items make my life easier, happier, and better. Let’s … Read more
  • I Went Screen Free for 24 Hours – I Will Never do it Again
    Tech, screens, notifications, and pop-ups seem everywhere. How much benefit do they provide? Is there a negative effect of all this screen time ? I wasn’t sure. So, I wanted to go nuclear. For one whole day, I wanted no screens whatsoever. No iPhone, no laptop, no TV; it can’t … Read more
  • How to Make Money on the Internet – The Only Strategy You Need
    Create good content consistently and the world will pay you back. That’s it. However, what content do you create? Where should you put this content? And how do you actually start getting paid for this content? In this post, I’ll tell you how I started making money on the internet, … Read more
  • 7 Habits That Revolutionized My Life
    There are habits that have made my life happier, healthier, and more productive. Over the past couple of years, I have tried countless new habits. Some have stuck, some haven’t. Here are the habits that pack the biggest punch, that have made the biggest difference. I tried them out so … Read more
  • I Traveled 3000 Miles to Ask My Grandpa The Meaning of Life
    My grandpa is 97-years old. He lives 3000 miles away and I love him very much. I wanted to make sure, for my sake, for my family’s sake, for the world’s sake, that there was some record of his story, a memory of the amazing man he is. Here is … Read more
  • 31 Medical Mnemonics Every Medical Student Should Know
    Here are my favorite and highest yield 31 medical mnemonics you should know in medical school. In medical school, people say weird things. In medical school, people say funny things. I GET PP SMASHED, PLAY TABLE TENNIS INSIDE PLAY TENNIS OUTSIDE, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP. Why do we say these silly … Read more
  • How I stay focused studying long hours in medical school
    How do you stay focused for long periods of time? Are there certain evidence-based methods that work better than others? What works best and what have I learned in college, post-grad, and now medical school about focusing? In this post, I’ll tell you how I’ve maintained my focus and, therefore, … Read more
  • How YouTube Revenue works and how to optimize your videos for $
    In a previous post, I talked about how much money I made on YouTube. I really never expected to make that much money after a hobby. There are certain things you need to do before your YouTube channel can start making money. There are certain things you should think about … Read more
  • How to get out of a rut fast
    The couch is escapable. I promise. In this post, I will show you not only how to extricate yourself from the couch but to do more of the things that make you happy and less of the things that make you unhappy. The rut is beatable. Let’s beat it. Step … Read more
  • What I Wish I Knew Before Starting Medical School
    This week, at my school, the new medical students start. I have spoken to a few of the incoming first years, and the questions seem to be the same, is it hard? is it fun? How should I study? Here are seven things I wish I knew before starting medical … Read more
  • My Favorite Mac Apps 2021 – 19 Apps I Install as soon as I get a new Mac
    The internet is a great place. On it, I have discovered apps that have transformed how I use a Mac. There are apps that I will always install on a new Mac because they make using my Mac so much better. Here are 19 apps I install on every new … Read more
  • How I manage my time as a medical student and YouTuber – Nine Tips to Manage Time Better
    My free time per week dwindles the older I get. That’s why it’s important, vital, that I maximize my use of what little free time I have. I have started a YouTube channel and a website during medical school without sacrificing grades, fitness, or sleep with these nine strategies. Here … Read more
  • The 8 Most Important Study Techniques I use in Medical School
    For the past two years, I have studied more than I have in my entire life. At least one-third of every day has been studying. I study at least 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. That equates to about 5000 hours, which is over 200 full days, of … Read more
  • Daily Habits for Reducing Stress and Improving Performance
    Occasionally I get stressed, I think we all do, if you don’t you are some sort of superhuman. And, usually, this stress is ok. A tough test, an important argument; stress usually helps us perform better. Sometimes, however, it can become too much; the stress can build to the point … Read more
  • Anki Settings: A Complete Guide and Recommended Settings For Medical School
    I have slaved over perfecting my Anki settings. I spend about 3-5 hours on Anki every day. I started doing Anki religiously in November of 2019, which is about 2,300 hours on Anki. That’s crazy. I know it’s crazy though. So If I am this crazy, and spending this much … Read more
  • Why I’m able to Study 70+ Hours a Week and Not Burn Out (how to stay efficient)
    I don’t pull all-nighters. I don’t miss the gym for any reason, even if the most important final of my life is tomorrow. I study at the same exact seat, on my one table, every day. In this post, I’ll give you four evidence-based tips on how to get the … Read more
  • I Tried Running for 30 Days and My Life Will Never Be The Same
    Two months into quarantine my fitness was at an all-time low. I wasn’t going to the gym. I wasn’t doing yoga. I wasn’t exercising. On a walk with my parents, I was out of breath. My parents are both around 60 and were completely fine. Nope. That was not going … Read more
  • How to do a Yearly Review (Instead of New Year’s Resolutions)
    “Next year will be better… next year I will get in shape… next year I will start my business… next year I will x.” Sound familiar? It does to me. Most New Year’s Resolutions don’t stick, they are too vague and unactionable. How about, instead, we take the time to … Read more
  • How I take 0 Notes in Medical School
    Summarizing, highlighting, and rereading are poor studying strategies. Active recall, spaced repetition, and practice testing are evidence-based and effective studying strategies. You can check out the evidence in my posts here and here. At the beginning of medical school, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information and needed to … Read more
  • How to Learn Anatomy in Medical School with Anki
    What anatomy do I need to know for my school’s exams? What anatomy do I need to know for Step 1? In this post, I’ll take you through two Anki decks that have helped me understand anatomy in medical school, perform well on anatomy practicals, and prepare for Step 1. … Read more
  • How to Get Your First 1000 YouTube Subscribers
    If you do these things, and you do them consistently, it is nearly impossible to not get your first 1000 YouTube subscribers in a short amount of time. I recently hit 1000 subscribers! I am so thankful for everyone who comes to this website, and visits me on YouTube, for … Read more
  • The Best iPhone Apps for Students to Maximize Productivity
    The iPhone is amazing, almost too amazing… I often get distracted and spend too much time on the wrong applications. There are certain applications that help me study more efficiently and lead a generally more productive life. These iPhone apps can help you focus, eliminate distractions, and become more efficient … Read more
  • Must-Have Anki Addons for Medical School and How To Use Them
    If you are new to Anki for Medical School check out this guide first for installing and setting it up. The right addons can optimize your studying, everyone wants that right? Here are my must-have anki addons for medical school and how to use them. First of all, if you … Read more
  • How to Customize Your Anki Background
    Doesn’t this look nice? In this guide, I’ll tell you exactly how to make your background to any image you desire. 1. Download First of all, if you don’t know how to download addons for Anki it is fairly straightforward go to tools -> addons, and this screen will pop … Read more
  • $800 vs. $8,000 YouTube Setup – Is There a Difference?
    I recently made a YouTube Video (link coming Friday) where you can check out the side-by-side comparison. Is an $8,000 YouTube Setup 10x better than an $800 YouTube Setup? I decided to run an experiment and find out. Recently, I bought the a7S III. However, is it that much better … Read more
  • Best Podcasts for Self Improvement and Starting Your Side Project
    How do you start something? A website? A business? A YouTube channel? There are four podcasts that I listen to weekly that teach me how to improve myself and pursue my side project. 1. Tim Ferris Podcast Tim Ferris, better known as the author of The 4-Hour Workweek, talks to … Read more
  • How to use Anki like a Pro
    Anki is an amazing tool, but like any tool, it can be used incorrectly. If you use Anki incorrectly, you will waste time and not retain the information (two very bad outcomes). These tips are more advanced than my previous guides but help you maximize your efficiency with Anki. 1. … Read more
  • 19 Ways to Interview Better for Medical School – Tips from a Student Interviewer
    The interview is arguably the most important aspect of your medical school application. In one survey of medical schools, over 60% of surveyed schools reported the admissions interview as the most important criterion in the selection process. Desai and Katta Cumulative science and Math GPA was rated third, while MCAT … Read more
  • MCAT Study Strategies that Improved My Score 10 Points
    When I first took the MCAT I scored a 508, not awful, but not amazing. I knew that if I wanted to get accepted to the medical school of my dreams I needed a better score. I changed my study strategy drastically, these changes took my score from a 508 … Read more
  • How I Scored in the 97th Percentile on the MCAT
    The MCAT signifies to medical school admissions boards that you are ready for the academic rigor of medical school. The MCAT, tied with GPA, is the most important metric for your medical school application. I knew I had to do well if I wanted to get into my top choice … Read more
  • 7 Life Lessons I Learned from the Founder of Zappos
    The founder of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, is worth nearly a billion dollars. Zappos is also regularly listed on Fortune 100’s “best companies to work for.” How did Tony Hsieh develop such a successful company? He started a profitable button-making business in middle school. A profitable pizza joint while studying at … Read more
  • Top 5 Medical School Resources that Helped Me Study Better
    There are five resources that have changed the game for me in medical school. They provide explanations, memorization techniques, and structure to my studying. I use these resources daily to supplement the lecture material. The order is purposeful, all resources are good, but #1 is better than #2, and so … Read more
  • What Tibetan Monks, Olympic Runners, and Navy Seals Have in Common | The Importance of Self-Observation
    This was one of my weekly newsletters, but people enjoyed it so much I decided to post it here as well! A navy seal, a Tibetan monk, and an Olympic athlete walk into a bar, what do they all have in common? They all are observers of themselves. Let’s start … Read more
  • The Best Daily Workflow for Medical School – What Works
    I went from being a bad medical student to being a good medical student after fixing my daily workflow. My daily workflow in medical school is how I study, what I study, and in what order I study. Active recall and practice testing work. Highlighting, rereading, and underlining, don’t work. … Read more
  • How to use AnKing with Lectures – Medical School
    So you know you need to use the AnKing deck, but how do you use it alongside lectures? How do you know which cards to unsuspend? Do you have to manually search for every card? No. Here is how to use AnKing with lectures in medical school. Step 1: Identify … Read more
  • 4 Books for Success Beyond Your Day Job
    My “day job” is medical school. I enjoy it. But I was hungry for something outside of it. I wanted to build something. Create something. And yes, I’ll say it, I wanted to make money. Here are 4 books for success beyond your day job. In the past 5 years, … Read more
  • 6 Ways to Improve Your Blog
    Starting a blog is easy. Creating a good blog is hard. I think my blog, at the moment, is bad. I have been looking into various articles, and books, on how to make a better blog (website). Here is what I have learned in the past 2 months on making … Read more
  • How I Study for Exams in Medical School – 9 Day Plan
    Exams in Medical School are a new ballgame. You are drinking out of the firehouse. Information is given at a rate faster than anyone can expect to understand and internalize it. The key is to focus on the necessary information and use your time efficiently. I needed a way to … Read more
  • iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Impressions – is it Useful?
    A $300 “magic” keyboard? Is it worth it? In short – yes. The iPad Pro is amazing. I use it for practice testing, active recall, and my daily Anki cards. I also use it to take notes, watch Netflix, and (as a test) I am actually writing this post from … Read more
  • Why Spaced Repetition is Necessary for Medical School and How to Use it
    If you are here for the Anki Guide skip to Here. What content do you remember from your last exam? How about the author of the last book you read? What did you eat for lunch on Thursday two weeks ago? Can’t remember? Me neither. Our brain is constantly barraged … Read more
  • How to Study More in Less Time – 3 Mistakes Most Students Make
    Evidence shows summarizing, highlighting, and rereading are poor techniques when it comes to retaining information. Active Recall and Practice Testing have been shown to be significantly better in regards to improving content retention. I remember sitting down and looking at my anatomy textbook for my first exam in October. The … Read more
  • My Medical School Essentials | 11 Things You Will Actually Need in Your First Year
    There were 11 things that I actually used on a regular basis in my first year of medical school that I would say are essential. I always have every one of these items in my backpack at all times (other than business clothes). Here are a list and links to … Read more
  • How I Take Notes in Medical School with the iPad Pro and Notability (Legacy Post)
    Update: For the first two months of medical school, I took copious notes. In college, I took copious notes. I don’t take notes in Medical school anymore, and I outline why here. I wrote the post below over a year ago when I figured out the best way to take … Read more