I have noticed that ever since I graduated college two years ago, my mental capacity to just focus in on anything has been getting slimmer…and slimmer…and slimmer. Every time I try to sit down and focus on doing anything, I can only make it 5 or 10 minutes before I start mindlessly checking my phone, staring out the window, or getting up and walking around aimlessly.
Now that I’ve started a new semester of grad school, I need to get it together. There are fortunately a lot of things I would like to accomplish this semester — both intra and extracurricularly — and I am looking forward to doing, well…all of them.
If I am to do that, I need to sort of “re-teach” myself the art that is working efficiently. I invested in a monthly planner for example, and I have started to write down everything on it: appointments, meetings, my work & class schedule, assignments…This has helped substantially. However, there are a lot of things I still need to work on. Until I do, I feel that I will not be giving the opportunities in my life the time and energy they deserve.
I have thus come up with three things that I am prioritizing this semester when it comes to planning and working efficiently. This way, I can start kickin’ ass instead of sitting on it watching Netflix and stressing over all of the things I need to do.
Let’s get to it!
1. First of all, I need to stop believing I am the Queen of Multitasking. Sit down Paola, you’re not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted to work on three different things at once only to realize a couple of hours later that I have not successfully accomplished any of them. Repeat after me: 10% of 10 things does not equal 100%. Focus on doing one thing at a time.
2. I have started prioritizing by doing some quick brainstorming and have quickly become obsessed with it. To do this, I start out by writing my name on the middle of a sheet of paper. Around it, I write all of the things that are taking up my time or that I need to or want to accomplish in the near future. I then rate all of those things in order of importance using a number system (from 1 to 3) so I have a better idea of what to tackle first.
3. I’ve (finally) started implementing my psychology studies into my life, especially the concept of instant VS delayed gratification. Instant gratification is easy to give in to because it is damn attractive: In short, it is avoiding short-term pain (i.e. studying for a big test) by choosing to indulge in quick but fleeting pleasures (i.e. binge watching Queer Eye on Netflix) that will ultimately result in long-term pain (i.e. failing the test). We tend to choose easy distractions over our responsibilities because they help us escape from whatever is stressing us at the moment. This just leads to procrastination and added stress however, so the next time a friend asks you out for margaritas on a Tuesday night when there’s something you need to complete by Wednesday, consider rescheduling!
Until next time,