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Welcome back! Whether you’re a student trying to handle your school work, a part-time job and life or working a 9-5 trying to find a balance between work, your social life and your business. We know the feeling of stress and not having enough time all too well.
As we enter our 4th or 5th week of school/work the stress begins to kick in. You see the work load of everything you should’ve done pile up and a constant inflow of new things that keep adding to the pile. You wake up feeling scattered, distracted and just overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. But it’s tough to move along and get thing done when you don’t even know where to begin or how you got in this mess in the first place. So as I’ve done before I’ll try my best to help us get back on track and break it up into three parts so that we can achieve all the things we need to and excel in everything that we do!
So, let’s do this!
The Three Keys to Focus
I know the title says how to multitask but if you really think about it… Our brains are the WORST multitaskers. Try reading two sentences, thinking about two separate things or listening to two people at once it just doesn’t work. Your brain gets overloaded with information and nothing makes sense. So when we feel overwhelmed with all the work we need to get done, don’t jump in a try to do everything at once! To get all our stuff done efficiently and effectively it all boils down to FOCUS.
It’s been said time and time again, “Success doesn’t happen overnight” yet we always put in last minute work and expect our projects to surpass excellence. Unfortunately, life just doesn’t work like that. In order to not become overwhelmed with all our work and truly get things done we need to breakdown those overwhelming task to bite-sized, smaller, workable chunks. So instead of pulling our “oh so lovable all-nighters” cramming a 10 hours study session or rushing a product/project in one night we’ll do a little bit every day and spread it out into twenty 30-minute sessions over a few weeks. That way we’re not pressured or rushed allowing us to do a better overall job on the task.
Okay, easier said than done. Baby steps also require you to know when your deadlines are so you can have an adequate amount of time to spread your work out. Leading us to our next point!
Organizing is key to your ability to focus. Once you know the deadlines to your projects/work/tests you can back track and schedule the activities/study topics that you need to cover so you know what you need to get done every day and hold yourself accountable. Personally I love using Google Calendar because of its ability to create multiple separate calendars. That way you have one specific place you can track all your tasks in: school, life, extra-curricular and a side-business.
And the beauty of it is once you schedule your time you begin to see your progress and that is extremely motivating to see how much closer you get to your goals whenever you complete a task!
And since you’re reading this post I’m sure you’re going to be like me and take this to the ground running and soon realize that you may have filled up your schedule to the brim. I suppose this is why David Allen suggests against a daily to-do list, however this technique has been effective for me and if nothings been working out for you I definitely recommend to just try it for a couple weeks. At first scheduling your time may seem ridiculous and completely absurd. But after you do it you’ll realize how much it helps you do all the things you need to while still having time to do the things you love. I find the key to making this work is that you need to prioritize the things that are most important to you. Very similar to the story about the professor and a full jar we need to prioritize our life! Using a time priority chain I developed a system to help organize my life;
My Health > My family & Friends > My Education > My Job > Extra-Curricular Activities/ Side Business
Sometimes, my extra-curricular become more interesting over everything, but I still have school work, and my job to attend to, which is why prioritizing is so vital to your success. It’s so that you don’t forget the important things like taking care of yourself and seeing your family.
Those are the basics to getting you started and keeping you going! Remember your time, resources and energy are extremely valuable so you should treat them as such. Everyone has time so don’t think about saying “I don’t have enough time” when all you do is watch Netflix on your free time. Just remember to take baby steps, schedule everything and prioritize!
You can do it! Believe in yourself! Work hard, hustle, stay motivated and most importantly never give up!
“What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.”