Alright, so you are a premed student in 5 different organizations who works a part-time job. How the hell do you handle all of that work?
The most common thing you hear from college students is “OMG, I’m so busy. My life sucks.” Most of the time, this is just nonsense being said to get a reaction, but there are obviously situations where this is the case.
If you are legitimately busy, or even legitimately overwhelmed, the basic tactics in getting stuff done described in the Basic Study Skills section probably won’t cut it. The principles still hold, but some additions are needed.
The good news is that there are college students with crazier workloads than you who are very successful. Two girls I interviewed when gathering the information for this site take over 20 credits a semester. One is an engineer, the other premed. Both have GPAs above a 3.8 and still have enough time to run their own businesses and be involved in organizations (one is in a sororiety, the other does political activism).
There is nothing special about these two girls. Neither of them were born on the planet Krypton, nor are they exceptionally “book-smart.” All they do differently is take the “work smarter, not harder” doctrine to the max.
They do this in two ways.
College students who are the most successful in spite of their busy workloads have habits and systems that allow them to AUTOMATICALLY generate high quality work in the least amount of time
In the Goal Setting… On Steroids article, I talked about “inevitability thinking” and how the best way to get an outcome is to develop habits that make that outcome inevitable.
Well, this is doing just that.
The second way comes about when you think about the definition of a “heavy” workload.
The definition of a “heavy” workload and a “light” workload is entirely dependent on your perspective. If I asked you to bench press 500 pounds, you would probably say that doing so would be next to impossible for you to do.
Now, imagine that I asked the Hulk to bench press 300 pounds. I suspect he could do it pretty easily.
Same task, different levels of difficulty.
The lesson of this metaphor: heavier workloads become lighter when you become “stronger” physically, mentally and emotionally when doing your work.
We now have our two ways to deal with heavy workloads:
1. Implement habits that generate high quality work quickly (“Work smarter, not harder”)
2. Do things to make yourself “stronger.”