How focusing (aka. not multi-tasking) changed my study life
I had heard it occasionally - that multi-tasking was actually not good for the quality of whatever task I was doing. It made sense, but I loved mult-tasking so much. It gave me the illusion of productivity.
Until I actually tried focusing for a while, did I realise how much I was actually losing by multi-tasking - educationally and emotionally. Scrolling through tumblr during boring parts of a lecture seemed fine, since there were notes and it probably wouldn’t be tested in such depth anyway. Eating, while scrolling through social media, while watching a tv show, while messaging someone on facebook seemed ‘productive’.
It turns out it was the opposite. It may seem fine, and at times it may actually be okay, but what matters is the principle. Dedicating your whole being to one task, focusing on it, produces much better results. It’s a quality over quantity thing. It also helped to calm me down emotionally - I used to always feel rushed, like there was so many things to do but not enough time to do them. Focusing on one task at a time - though it was hard at first - helped slow me down because I did everything properly, and didn’t have the feeling like I needed to go back and do things over again.
Focusing on one thing wholly is also a form of practising mindfulness. Mindfulness ‘meditation’ isn’t something that requires you to sit down and meditate - it can be applied to our daily life.
Since I started practising this mindful skill of focus, I’ve become much calmer, it’s been so much easier to stay on top of my work load and meet deadlines, I don’t feel rushed, I don’t feel unprepared or unorganised, and I do more quality work than when I used to multi-task.
There are times for multi-tasking and times for focus. Find the right balance and enjoy the task in front of you.
look I know you’re tired, and I know you’re scared. scared of that daunting task, scared of screwing up that daunting task. I get that you might be mad at yourself for procrastinating or letting the work with seemingly far away deadlines pile up and suddenly it’s 1am and you realise your thesis for that essay is horrible and you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. but all of that is in the past, all of those decisions in the past and you can wallow in anger and self loathing and continue to put off things you know are important, or, you could utilise the time you have right now to do as much of it as you possibly can as soon as you can. so go onto google calendar, or grab your planner, or a scrap of paper or hell, a napkin, and figure out the time you have on your hands in the next 24 hours, estimate how long you think those big horrible, breath shaking and head-in-hands inducing tasks will take. if you get it done in that time, great. if you don’t, move on, you have other shit to do. it’s better to have 85% of most things done than 98% of one thing done and 2% of another thing done that will turn out to be equally as important. save yourself further stress, do the napkin plan thing, block social media sites, write down what you’re feeling if you’re feeling anything immense, because emotions tend to take your mind off things, and get it done. Whether it’s %100, %85 or even %10, get some of it done.
gel pen: when are you most comfortable? ballpoint pen: tell me about the day you’ve just had fineliner: what’s your greatest achievement? highlighter: what are your best qualities? greylead: what is something you want to try for the first time? felt-tip: describe your aesthetic crayon: your earliest childhood memory scrapbook: something from your childhood that makes you smile sketching pad: describe yourself from a stranger’s point of view notebook: what’s your favourite quote? paper: what kind of book would you write? stapler: out of all the people you know, who do you think you are closest to? glue stick: what do you look for in a lasting relationship/friendship? tape: tell me about your longest friendship ruler: what line will you never cross? eraser: what do you consider to be your biggest mistake? scissors: ever had a bad break-up? calculator: list fifteen things that make you happy protractor: an unpopular opinion/angle you have on an issue sticky note: something about yourself you’d like to change stamp: a date that’s special for you and why bookmark: a book that means a lot to you and why folder: describe your family whiteboard: tell me your plans for tomorrow blackboard: tell me about a memory that has affected who you are today pinboard: what are you focusing on in your life right now? tablet: tell me your plans for the future stencil: who are your role models? envelope: tell me a secret
I have been away for such a long time. My productivity & motivation have decreased so much, exams are only getting closer & stress levels only building. I have been so unproductive this Easter: back with a passion to make the most of the time I have left: new regime commences with nailing my Latin set texts 🤞🏼
People will take your photos, re upload them, use them without credit. They’re going to delete your captions. It’ll piss you off. Its downright disrespectful. You’ll want to leave. Platitudes like ‘the internet is a free space’ will not dull the swell of anger. But don’t let a few fools ruin a good thing. Remember all the messages of support, the funny tags on the reblogs, the kindness oh god the kindness.
Stand up for yourself. Whether it be your study methods, your study philosophy or your style. Be firm, but respectful.
You’re no hero. You can’t help everyone, and your advice may be useful to some and useless to others. That’s ok. Find your own support network within this huge ass community and make it a positive experience for yourself.
Tumblr’s text formatting is a nightmare.
Be vulnerable. Writing about your personal experiences will be cathartic. Giving advice will be cathartic. In guiding others you will be guiding yourself. In doing so, you’ll need to be brutally honest about your own failures, your own doubts and misgivings. You will feel vulnerable, a twisted form of quid pro quo you’re not sure you love. Share your stories of success, your stories of failure so that others will step forward and share theirs. Cheer at other’s success; lend a shoulder to cry on when they don’t. Reach out and start a dialogue.
People won’t believe that you use natural lighting. They evidently haven’t spent Summer in Australia before.
The number of notes or reblogs your posts have does not reflect the impact that they have on a person’s life. Who the fuck cares about reblogs when you’re sitting in the exam hall the next morning.
There’s going to be a pointless debate about 'aesthetic’ vs 'effective studying’ which will make you groan and smack your forehead against the closest wall. And then you’re going to remember livejournal. And then you’re going to feel old.
You’re going to meet people who are kind, lovely, whose opinions differ from yours - and that’s ok. There are going to be people you’ll be able to have long3am conversations with, whose music library you’ll want to freaking raid, and others whose tags will always brighten your day. There’s going to be people who consistently pop up on your activity feed, shadowing your every move and you’re not sure how to express your appreciation but trust me, they’ll know.
+ You started this project in a midnight ramble not expecting anything out of it. You’re going to be in for one hell of a ride. There is no reason to be afraid.