Don't Lose Focus

                As the summer vacation officially comes to an end, teachers and college students alike are preparing for a new year with new opportunities. Most students are excited for what the school year will bring, wondering what they will achieve in the end, and how far they will go. But how many of the students that start out with a plan actually follow through with it?

                You know that hyped feeling on your first day with many new goals, ideas and excitement of what you wanted to get accomplished in the upcoming semester. You started the first day checking off all the things that you needed to do to start your journey to the new goals you set. The first day goes well and you go home feeling accomplished.

              Before you know it, the first week goes by and you manage to check off everything you needed to do. Perfect. Now the second, third and fourth week pass by and what tends to happen? You slowly begin to fall off. Each week that passed by you found yourself not being able to check off everything that you checked off on the first and second week. Eventually you find yourself losing track and falling off course. Flash forward and it’s the end of the year. It flew by and all the motivation you gave yourself and at the beginning is no longer there. Why? Because everything you told yourself you would get done, never got done. You beat yourself up and begin to believe that it’s impossible to set goals.

I don’t blame you. I’ve been there.

               I’ve had the same issue of thinking it was impossible to get anything done. I‘ve found myself repeating the same excuse “I’m too busy, and I just don’t have any time for it.” A favorite line that I would hear many of my friends and family say whenever they “failed” at getting something done. I encourage you to not think of it as failing, but rather that you haven’t yet found the solution. If you feel like you failed, reframe your mind to look at it as being temporarily stuck. Just like a exam: if you can’t answer one question, it doesn’t mean you failed. You can always go back to it when you have an idea of what the solution might be.  With that in mind, let’s talk about solutions to help us stay on track with our goals.

                Firstly, instead of saying that there is not enough, accepting it, and getting comfortable in that excuse, do your best to manage your time. The key to understanding time management is knowing how to use the free time you get to your advantage.

              Find some alone time to sit down for 30-45 minutes with a plank paper and a pen. On that plank paper, you want to outline your weekly schedule Sun.-Sat. Write down the days you go to school and the time you are in each class. Same for the days you work. Write down the days and time you are out with friends and for how long. Write down the days you dedicate to school work. Once you have everything written down, take another sheet or make a chart on your computer with 7 columns. Labeling the top of each column with one day of the week. On the left side make as many rows as you need, because this side will have the hours of the day. Make sure that the first row is the earliest hour that you wake up on and the last row is the latest that you go to sleep during the week. Now that you have your chart created, plug in the days and hours you wrote down in its rightful spot. Be sure you also add in the amount of time you spend traveling to and from school and work; when you wake up and go to bed. Once you have your chart filled in, you will be able to see all the free time you have in each day.

              This is a system I have found works for me and that have worked on many of the successful people that we hear and talk about today. Think of all the free time you spend on social media. Why not put that time to good use to benefit you with what you want to accomplish? Fill each free time spot with something productive that will help you move closer your goals. Think of small steps and doable activities that you can start with. Eventually progress to bigger tasks. You will be shocked by how much you can get done.

              The second thing that will help you stay on track of you goals is getting plenty of rest. Without the adequate amount of rest, you will be too tired to follow your plan.  Each day should be planned with at least 7-8 hours of sleep. You will be shocked with how much you can actually get done in a day. Just imagine what you can get accomplished in one month!

                It important to have control and stability with your day. With only 24 hours in a day, how much time do you spend actually getting work done and being productive? Plan out your day, write down your daily goals. Start out the day with 2 goals that are easy to check off and spread the rest of your goals through the day. Write no more than 7 doable daily goals and keep them in your pocket for a constant reminder of what you need to get done. Trying to keep it all in your head will eventually bombard your mind with too much information to process. Writing down your day allows it to get it off your mind so you can focus on one task at a time.

              Don’t feel bad if one or two days don’t go as planned. It’s only natural. Things happen, but just make sure that when they do happen, you refocus and pick your planning routine back up every night before you go to bed. It will take some getting used to, but once you have control of your time, you’ll have more control of your life.

“Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan”