Peter Drucker, a well-known business writer, shared the following insight over 50 years ago: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all” (Managing for Business Effectiveness, 1963). Many of us tend to cram in more and more tasks into our diary, rarely thinking about what we could cut out. Do you ever ponder what you could take out of your schedule? Do you ever reflect on what tasks do not really need your attention? Answering such questions can create more revision time, just for starters.
Distractions keep you from focusing fully on the task at hand. You can be distracted by phone calls, texts, social media updates, e-mails or browsing the web. A recent TNS Global study found that millennials spend 3.1 hours daily surfing the net. The numbers add up to almost a whole day each week just for browsing online!
Look at each item on your to-do list carefully. Could you drop any of them, or even not do them at all? Could you complete them at a later time? Before you cross anything off, though, make sure that you think about the consequences of dropping or delaying the task.
Brian Tracey, a leading expert on productivity, suggests that we should all start our day with the most daunting task. Intriguingly, Tracey calls this activity a ‘frog’. In his book Eat that Frog, he argues that starting your day with the scariest task at hand will make you more focused. For some of you, that might mean completing an academic report or revising a complex chapter from your text book, or maybe you might need to write half of an assignment or complete a project.
When you start with the most challenging task in the morning, you gain momentum. You experience a boost of motivation and confidence. When you are focused on your work, you accomplish things in less time and the quality of your work increases. Such are the ways to create more time for revision.
Henrietta Nagy is a seasoned portfolio worker with over 10 years’ experience in the UK education sector. Henrietta writes educational content, designs academic courses, delivers university lecturers, mentors entrepreneurs, and provides career development coaching. With 9 years of higher education studies internationally (including an MBA), she has worked with CEOs, academics, scholars, managers, women entrepreneurs, academic administrators, and other consultants.