A Scatter-Brain Girl's 6 Tips To Getting Sh*t Done

A Scatter-Brain Girl's 6 Tips To Getting Sh*t Done

A guide for those of us who just can't seem to focus in.
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I am forgetful. I can't get anything done in one sitting. I am easily side-tracked. I lose my train of thought. I am a scatterbrain.

While all of the joys of being a scatterbrained human can sound like there is no way you can be productive, they are merely obstacles. I have three jobs, I am taking 18 credits, and I am even in a club, yet I am able to manage all of my responsibilities. These are my tips on how to keep your life straight when your thoughts are not.

1. Live by your planner

Whether you have a calendar on your phone or stick to old-fashioned paper, a planner can help you keep all your ducks in a row. I forget things the second they enter my brain, so it is important that keep a planner with all my appointments, deadlines, and important dates. If you take the time to really fill out your planner, fewer things will fall through the cracks.

2. Write EVERYTHING down

We have a tendency to forget things very quickly, but paper doesn't! Writing things down as soon as you identify you need to know this or remember it after will help you remember and it gives you something to reference. I keep a little notepad with me and colored notecards on my desk for scribbling down reminders. I post them on a corkboard, and then I cant ignore them.

3. Find a to-do list style that works for you

For those of us that are easily distracted, traditional check-off to-do lists don't always cut it. Personally, I tend to jump from task to task and chip away at things, instead of completing each task from start to finish. Using a progress bar to-do list helps me see my progress on each task and allows me to see exactly where I need to pick back up to finally be able to cross that item off completely.

4. Incentivize your to-do list

Behavioral psychology says, in order to shape actions, you reward positive behaviors. You know that cheesecake you have in the refrigerator? You can have one bite for every task you complete. Those shoes you have been dying to order? Only order them after you complete everything on your list for that day. By being disciplined with yourself, you can use operant conditioning to check more things off of your to-do list.

5. Tell your friends things you need to do

This can help us in two ways. First, saying something out loud boosts your chances of remembering whatever it is that you need to do. Second, telling a friend or family member can help keep you accountable for that task and they may even remind you that you said you need to do it.

6. Take a second to clear your head

When my mind is racing and I can't seem to stay focused, I take a moment for self-care. Depending on the day, this could mean going to the gym, doing a facemask, meditating, writing in my journal, or anything else that forces me to slow down and focus on me. Taking some time to recenter yourself can help you be more productive and prioritize the things you need to do.

Cover Image Credit: Kassandra Mendoza

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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