One of the most common things I hear(and I complain about) is not having enough time to get things done. Being back in school, i’m forced to spend time catching up on the forgotten concepts, theories and equations while trying to still spend time thinking and doing stuff to pursue my outside interests. This past couple of weeks has only reinforced one thing:-
“You can only wish for more time. But really. The problem is that you’re not using your time right.”
I don’t have much time to complain anymore. You just have to try to focus on getting more done. So I just wanted to share how I’m trying to do that.
1. Stop Complaining.
Focus on finding solutions. The time(and energy) spent complaining is way better spent on just trying to do the next thing on your list. Complaining is like worrying – it expends energy and brings you nowhere.
2. Start your day early.
It’s amazing how much more work one can get done when you start your day at 8am. I’m not sure why but I’d like to think it’s because there’s no one around and you can really just focus on getting some work done without interruptions(maybe everyone is still trying to ‘wake up’ so no one really bothers you)
3. Spend some time mapping your day
Other than waking up early, it might be good to spend that early morning crafting a list of things you must get done that day. It doesn’t have to be like some huge detailed plan. Just list stuff regardless of how minute they may be. I usually do this while I’m on the bus or having a cup of coffee in the morning.
4. Keep interruptions to a minimum.
We live in a world that’s full of interruptions(Instant messaging, text messaging, phone calls, email alerts, etc) While I think my generation of people have a higher bandwidth for multi-tasking, many of us take it too far resulting in a lot more ‘switching’ work then actual work being done. I’m learning to just keep my IM up, clearing my emails and microblogging alerts at fixed intervals. Some people have the opinion that even the IM should be shut off but that’s really up to you. Know where your limit is.
5. Set up mini reward systems for yourself.
I think setting up punishments for oneself is really hard to do. But little rewards like going for a snack or awarding yourself some gaming time after a certain number of tasks are done are a great way of focusing. Personally, I set out to watch some videos or play some games after every couple of tasks I set out to do are done.
6. Get sufficient sleep.
Ok. A lot of people think I don’t sleep and have been trying to drum the importance of sleep into my head. My response has always been along the lines of , “Sleep is for the weak.” Truth is, they’re right. Lack of sleep makes you weak. Since school’s started, I’ve been clocking around 4 to 6 hours of sleep regularly as compared to my usual 2 to 4(and the occasional zero sleep days). The results are amazing. You focus better and you get things done a lot faster. I can almost say that your emotions will be more stable too(but I have no way of truly measuring this) So yeah. Sleep well and wake up early.
7. Spend some time with like-minded people every week
I think this is really what keeps the energy level up. Every week, I make it a point to meet people who are as enthusiastic about living their dreams as I am. The energy is often infectious and it really keeps you motivated to rush your plans. I also find that the knowledge that someone else is going through similar struggles as I am(or have achieved more than I have) provides some sort of inspiration. This ‘inspiration’ somehow makes one work harder and in a more focused way too!