Brace yourself: summer is coming…
So, summer is fast approaching and many of us, if not all, have begun planning every detail of how we intend to spend our long summer nights. In preparation, we may have renewed our gym memberships, changed our diets, stocked up on discounted sunscreen, or even started to save.
But whatever your plans might be, and whatever you’re looking to do with your time off from work or education, now’s as good a time as any to plan, and prepare for it.
To help you get work out what needs to take precedence (and what needs to go) here are a few of my top tips for getting your priorities sorted. And, of course, with us it will always begin with you, your studies, and your career.
First things first, you need to spring clean your priorities.
Over the coming months, many of us will be facing up to our objectives. Whether you set them at the start of the academic year, or you left them to your resolutions (the ones that statistically less than one in ten of us actually stick to).
But just because you’ve been working on them for a while, it doesn’t mean your goals should be set in stone.
It could be deadlines and hand-ins that urgently require your attention, or dealing with the stressful exam period. Whatever academic, career or even personal challenges you’re facing right now, use them to reassess your priorities and realign your focus in the short term.
That doesn’t mean you have to forget your original goals completely. You just need to think about what’s important to get done right now. Ask yourself, A) what you need to accomplish, and, B) what you’ll gain from accomplishing them. Then adjust your workload accordingly.
Remember, it’s not how you start but how you finish…
Cut the distractions
Assess your daily routine and then identify what activities will help you to reach your goals, or prevent them.
For example, those studying for exams. If you want to achieve the best grades, then your revision time needs to reflect the effort required. Which might mean that other distractions, such as work or nights out, need to be put on hold – at least on a temporary basis.
The same principle can be applied if you’re working towards a business objective or goal. Without a clear, structured routine, you’re unlikely to keep focus and achieve the results you really want.
Ask yourself this question: ‘what needs to go?’
And it doesn’t necessarily need to be as drastic as a drop in hours, or a complete ban on nights out. Part of it could even come down to cutting down on procrastination, whether it’s your phone, social media, or any other activity that gets in the way of getting your work done.
My piece of advice is to cut out or cut off anything that possesses the ability to become a distraction – and know when to take a break, if you need to. Once done, revert your attention back to the things that really matter.
Remember, no situation lasts forever, we all go through seasons and each season will require something different. Don’t misuse the season of hard graft for playing hard.
One of the main ways to underachieve, lose focus and lack proper priorities, is to be inconsistent and undisciplined.
However, if you combine a structured plan (in this case a clear routine), with discipline and consistency there’s nothing you can’t achieve.
Once you’ve put in place your plan the next thing to do is, stick at it. Will you ever hit the famous ‘brick-wall’? Of course. In fact, you’ll probably hit multiple.
But, it’s at these points, where you lack motivation and willpower, that you really need to muster up the strength to push through. Trust me, the results will be worthwhile.
So, this summer why not prepare the reed.co.uk way. Spring clean your priorities, throw out the junk. Reorganise your routine, but most importantly stick at it.
You won’t only feel better – you’ll be better.
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