To put it simply, life gets crazy sometimes. Last weekend, for example, I felt like I was running nonstop (literally at one point, since I was running in the Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City Race for the Cure). Of course, it all paid off in the end – Grantham University's Commencement Ceremony was a huge success and I set a new personal best race pace – but now I feel like I’m having a bit of a hard time coming back to reality.
Chances are we’ve all run into this issue at some point. Maybe you’ve been away on vacation, you’ve been sick or you’ve just plain zoned out. It happens. The trick is being able to refocus after the fact. This is very possible with some preparation, and can help busy online students succeed in school and at work.
When life gets crazy, try following these three focus tips and see if they make a difference. When it comes time to return back to life (and yes, '80s music fans, back to reality), you may feel more prepared, energized and ready to take on the day's challenges.
Focus tip No. 1: Impersonate your favorite home makeover TV host: organize.
OK, so you might not be nearly as bad as those people on the TV show “Hoarding: Buried Alive," but if you’re heading back to your daily life at work and/or in school and are not organized, “you’re gonna have a bad time.”
I know we’ve talked about organization in the past, but when you’re just getting back to reality, it’s crucial. Make a list of what needs to be accomplished by when and then prioritize. Once you have a game plan, you should have an easier time moving forward again. Just make sure you follow through with it - otherwise you’ll fall back to square one.
Focus tip No. 2: Take a time out when needed.
Have you ever tried to cram for a big test by studying non-stop the night before? While burning the midnight oil might work every now and then, you’re probably going to have a harder time paying attention to the information you’re trying to absorb (and no, osmosis of information by laying your head on your book won’t work either).
Rather than trying to work for hours on end, take a break periodically. Doing this will help you better comprehend what you just read. And, of course, when it comes to exams, understanding the material is always better than trying to remember information you don’t “get.”
Focus tip No. 3: Quit trying to multi-task.
As a notorious multi-tasker, I found this shocking: When we multi-task, we only think we’re getting more accomplished. In actuality, multi-taskers aren’t getting nearly as much done as those who focus on one thing at a time.
For example, the next time you find yourself trying to write a text, listen to music and get your fitness on, stop it. Focus instead on one goal at a time. Remember our prioritized list from earlier? Refer back to that, and you won’t find yourself re-doing all of these tasks.
With the proper tips and tricks, you can minimize your zoning time, take a hold of your busy schedule, and succeed in class and at the workplace.
Photo credit: stock.xchng
About the author: Lindsey Leesmann, Communications Specialist at Grantham University, received her Bachelor of Science – Print Journalism from Missouri State University, Springfield. Prior to her current role, she served as a student advisor in the Multidisciplinary Studies and master's degree programs.