the art of one at a time.

This world. Everything always in motion. My fingers moving far too quickly on the keyboard for me to type everything properly. I had seven typos just in that sentence alone because my fingers were shaking, high on caffeine. I sit not in silence as I type but with music blasting. Good music, but still. Not focus music. This is the first alone time I’ve had all day, and I’m using it to make noise. You’d think I’d learn. But no, I know that at night, I’ll have silence. Most people don’t like that, but my idea is that the day is for noise and the night is for quiet. Night owls don’t always hoo.

My entry today is more of a rant-style, journalism thing. I’ve been needing some peace in my life recently with finals and summer plans bombarding me. It’s almost my birthday and my life is everywhere. I need some single-tasking to get me on track.

This whole world is like one huge multitasker. It’s brilliant, really, how we can read a book and text our friend while we make dinner and listen to Frank Sinatra. Amazing. But there’s one issue… Doesn’t reading that give you a headache? It does for me. I start holding my breath when I read that. Like ohmygosh, everything is crazy and insane. When I have fifteen projects (exaggeration) to do, my instinct is to finish them all at once. But honey, that just isn’t realistic! Take your time. Separate.

Bullet journaling is good for this. I am able to get a lot done because it’s in front of me. A lot of work at the beginning of the month setting everything up and planning it out means that the only work I have to do during the week is the actual hard work. The studying, the cleaning, the practicing. When everything is everywhere and you’re not sure where to start, that’s where we go crazy. That’s where everything is upside-down.

Do you ever see a huge to-do list and try to get multiple things done at a time? “Hmm, okay so I need to do that phone call at three. I can respond to emails while I do that, and get dinner fixed too.” Before you know it, you’re writing a recipe to your correspondents and chatting with your client about the next research project at work. What? Since when in this world have we been able to multitask? Since when, as human beings, have we had the ability to separate our minds into three parts and function properly in all areas? Never. And we never will be able to.

Here’s the science. When you do multiple things, you don’t think about them all at once. Your brain switches back and forth to each one simultaneously and you process nothing completely. That’s why studying while you catch up on Stranger Things isn’t going to work. Sorry, guys. Maybe you disagree with me, you can watch TV while you study. Cool! That’s your background. Nice. But what if that bop comes on that always makes you want to dance? That’s your distraction. Find the things that keep you focused and save your distractions for break time.

I simply CANNOT have any type of hip-hop or lyrical music on when I study. Why? Because I’ll get up and dance. OR I’ll start singing. And doing either of those things make me lose focus, so I leave that for when I’m doing my exercise for the day or I need to relax. Right now I’m listening to some pop music to get me in the vibe. Any other time it would be something I actually enjoy, but because I’m not a huge fan of this genre, I’m not tempted to jam out. I’d also recommend some white noise or new age sounds. Either of those will help.

But I’m telling you! If you have something marked “study for test,” you’ll attempt to make flashcards, do a mind map, and rewrite your notes at the same time. So please, just take it one thing at a time. Set a pomodoro timer if you need, (25 min on, 5 off) if it helps, and switch between tasks that way. I’m the kind of person who likes to get into the flow of a project and just keep going until it’s done. Only then do I take a break. (Breaks are another thing I’ll cover soon!)

If you guys have any questions, PLEASE ask. I have people tell me that “I wanted to ask you this but…” No! Do it. I love answering any questions my readers have. Let me know if you liked this format better than the list or category format I normally do. I’m just a stepwise motion type of person.

-Wednesday ❤

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