I read Study Hacks, a blog by a (now graduated) college student who strategized his college career more efficiently than I certainly did. I wish I had his advice then........... your mission? respond to this post with your own "scatter shot" attack to the really tough stuff. How do you get it done? I need to know by March 5, 2010.
The Scatter Shot Attack
As I explained in my original post on hard focus, learning to concentrate when you don’t want to is a practiced art. A lot of students, however, are so turned off by hard work that they can’t even muster the small blocks of hard focus needed to start building toward something more substantial.
I have a time-tested solution to this issue. I call it the scatter shot attack because it’s comprised of a large number of small tactics — not one magic bullet.
For example, here was my advice to Ron:
* Use Your Autopilot: Make sure your dreaded work is tackled within a trusted autopilot schedule. Having to decide each week when to do this work is an extra hurdle that you want to avoid.
* Use Location: Identify a unique isolated location for each type of dreaded work. When in that location all you’re allowed to do is work. Absolutely no Internet will be tolerated. If you want to go online, or otherwise change mental gears, you have to physically leave the location. No exceptions.
* Be Reasonable: Make sure that you’re scheduling more than enough time for each dreaded task. If your schedule is unreasonably tight your mind will recognize this reality and summon intense resistance.
* Embrace Specificity: Throw out your vague plans to “do reading” or “work on a problem set.” If you want your mind to cooperate, you need to reduce your work to a set of unambiguous and specific actions that will clearly fit into the time set aside.
* (Wo)Man Up: Finally, you need to recognize that throughout life you’re going to have to do work that you don’t want to do. This is perhaps the defining trait of being an adult. College is as good a time as any to recognize this fact, man up (or woman up, as the case may be), and just do it, even if you don’t want to. You’re not sixteen and living at home anymore…