Guess what?! I survived my first day of step 1 studying. As you know, I finished my last pre-clinical exam of medical school and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I am weirdly excited about this journey (probably more excited than I should be). I love seeing all the topics come together and I decided I wanted to try to be as positive as I can throughout the next several weeks. I’m excited to see what my final step 1 exam score will be and I’m confident my hard work will pay off.
Recently I’ve been feeling like I don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish my to-do list and get personal tasks done. Here are some solutions I found to maximize the hours of my day and to ensure productivity!
Solution #1: When feeling like you don’t have enough time then REASSESS/ REPRIORITIZE your to-do list.
This means actually going through and making sure you made a realistic set of goals. I’m not saying to be a slacker/ underachiever but in reality there’s only 24 hours a day and we have to realize that WE CAN’T DO EVERYTHING (something I have to remind myself everyday) and honestly trying to do so will drive you crazy. After looking at my list I felt that I planned a manageable set of tasks for each day so I continued with my assessment on what went wrong with my productivity and why I was feeling like there wasn’t enough hours to do what I needed to do.
Solution #2 : When feeling pressed for time then BE REALISTIC with how long it takes to complete a task
Be honest with yourself. You aren’t a pro at everything and some projects or tasks take more time. Also sometimes this also includes factors that we have no control over. For instance if I say I’m going to Trader Joes and Target I know for a fact I probably won’t be able to get that done in under 2 hours during rush hour in LA no matter how hard I try. I can’t control traffic and sometimes even driving the couple of miles to school takes 20+ minutes. So please just be honest with how long it will take you to do something. It’s important to consider things like your strengths and weaknesses. For example, reviewing cardio takes way less time than for me to review neuro and as a result, I designate time to each subject accordingly. But don’t forget other factors like kids, traffic, weather, etc that may affect your time as well.
When I realized I didn’t get as much done today, I did all that I said above. Except I couldn’t figure out where I was going wrong. My to-do list was manageable, I factored in realistic time goals for my tasks, and I even factored in travel time (including potential traffic), meals, workouts, church, and time to FaceTime family and friends back home. But then I realized the issue wasn’t my list, the issue was me. I was EXHAUSTED from the night before. I stayed up on Sunday night to do some laundry, fine-tune my to-do list, send emails, and just get ready to study that I didn’t get much sleep, which leads me to…
Solution #3: REST and REFUEL.
We can have all the motivation and drive in the world, but if you’re running on empty you really won’t get anywhere fast. For me rest means more than just sleep. I also refuel from spending time writing (journaling & blogging), praying, talking to my loved ones back in NY, and working out. In this instance I was just tired, but it’s important to remember that sometimes we get some of our energy from sources other than a good night’s rest. It’s really important to remember this because you don’t want to deprive yourself for too long of the things that fill you up because then you’ll get burnt out. In the moment’s where we need to be the most productive, rest and refueling are usually amongst the first to take a backseat on our priority list. Burn out is real and can be a real leech on productivity so by addressing our needs (I’m talking the mental, emotional, and spiritual needs) up front, it makes it less likely for us to feel burnt out later.
Have you been pressed for time recently? Try some of the tips I stated above. Remember:
1) REASSESS/ REPRIORITIZE, 2) BE REALISTIC, and 3) REST AND REFUEL.
Also, I promise I really didn’t try to make everything start with R… it sort of just so happen to work out that way. With that being said, I am writing this post way past my bedtime so I think I should end here. But definitely let me know if this method works for you!