A Mental Marathon and a Dedicated SingleTasker.

When you’re a “full-time” student and you ski for 5 hours the day before a difficult information systems exam is due, you end up doing a mental marathon.

This VBA midterm was the hardest of the semester and I knew today would be intense, but I focused on what I could control and tried to find the flow that I talked about a couple of days ago.

As soon as my first class ended at 10:50 I got to work. I practiced with the TA’s and watched review videos and slowly made progress on the final problem that was giving me trouble.

With a short break from 5-8:00 for my Entrepreneurship class, I finally finished just after 11 pm. It was like skiing 15,000 ft mentally, or finishing P2P when everything in you body wants you to stop.

And now it’s over.

I stayed mentally strong today, and I’m really happy about that! I focused on using positive re-enforcing tones in both my thoughts and words. When I was walking into the one of the buildings on campus I said out loud “I’ve got this” and I said it in a believing tone. I wasn’t sure I could, but after strongly telling myself I could it became possible.

Something else I was thinking about was the power of “single-tasking.” This is something I’ve been struggling with a little bit more recently. It’s super important to stay focused on one thing at a time. No matter what people tell you, it’s impossible to do two things with our conscious mind at once. You can’t write two papers at the same time. But people try.

They’ll have a movie up, while playing a video game, while doing math homework. It’s a recipe for ineffectiveness and inability to enjoy any of the experiences. The reason is because you’re not actually experiencing them all at once, your conscious mind has to constantly switch between the stimulus, and it doesn’t know what to focus on.

With how difficult the assignment was yesterday, I knew I would need to be especially careful to single task. If I was stopping every 10 minutes to check my phone and respond to a text, or look at Strava, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I needed to.

My Dad likes to say that he’s a dedicated “single tasker.” I like that.

Obviously there are times when we’re making dinner, watching the baby, and on the phone with Mom, but if possible, I recommend finding times when we can be a dedicated single tasker.

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