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Monday rolls around, and suddenly I realize: “Hmm, I’m caught up on my school, BUT, ODDLY, I somehow continue to have FOUR ESSAYS TO WRITE. YET I also want to not only SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS, but continue to GIVE PIANO LESSONS and have FREE TIME to INVESTIGATE MY INTERESTS IN PSYCHOLOGY.”


“I have more schoolwork than I believe I have free time.  My solution is clear!”


I have a very specific response to time crunches and important events.  I suddenly become the Listmaster*, aiming for maximum efficiency in the minimum amount of time.

*note that the Listmaster is one of the lamer superheroes, notable only for the amazing ability he has to never forget anyone’s birthday.

So that’s what I did here.

These lists aren’ t time-sensitive, mind you–I don’t schedule my day THAT much.   They are things that need to be done, not a list of deadlines, because deadlines are scary.

Once I have this list, I then go down it one at a time, working on each and every task.  No procrastinating when I’m working on the list–just go straight into it.   I personally may not even go in any particular order–my goal is merely to achieve as many points on the list as possible in each day.

What this allows me to do is FOCUS.  I don’t allow myself to think about the other things on the list.  I don’t think about the things I’m going to do in my free time.  I don’t wonder what’s going to be for dinner or think about the internet. I don’t even think about how much time I’m taking.

INSTEAD, I sit down, look at something off my list, and do it.  I think of nothing besides the task, consider no variable beyond what I’m doing.

And something MAGICAL happens.

Not in the sense of fairies and rainbows.

But my sense of focus deepens and grows more accessible.  I get into my task faster and finish it more swiftly than I could otherwise.  It’s almost a meditative technique, this clearing the mind of one thing at a time.  Whatever the hell it is, whyever the heck it works, it does. And that’s nice, because I like nothing better than to sit down and blitzkrieg my homework out of the way.

SO that’s what I did this week. So far. And my list of things to do dropped from 18 items to 9 between Monday morning and Wednesday noon.  And it’s tracking to drop to zero by Thursday evening.

So occasionally focus is a good thing.  I suppose.


OBLIGATORY: note that everything I say works only for me, and not always even then.

SUCCESS IS NOT GUARANTEED if you choose to try this.

[But if you do try it and it works, tell me. And give me money. Or cake.]





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