Why you should throw a bus at your problems

Hey everyone!

This week I’d like to talk about the idea of throwing the whole bus at your problems.

I have a short break between semesters at the moment and I have a lot more time to work on projects that I’ve been putting off for a while (YouTube, studying ahead in med school, practicing violin, etc)

When there are so many things to do, it’s easy for me to split my attention over many different domains in an attempt to improve them simultaneously. An excellent example of this is when I’m practicing violin.

I have a violin exam coming up (wish me luck!) and there are infinitely many things for me to focus on. I could improve my intonation, tone, bow control, dynamics, vibrato, phrasing - the list could go on forever.

When I am practicing, this endless list encourages me to split my attention amongst many things. When I play a piece, I might focus on my intonation, my phrasing and my bow arm all at once, but this encourages me to do all of them mediocrely.

What I’ve found is that if I instead focus my attention on ONE of these things - for example, just playing in tune - this improves my playing much faster. Interestingly, this doesn’t just improve my in-tuneness, it also tends to improve everything else without me thinking about it.

The lesson from this is that when we have many things to improve at once, it’s probably best to just pick one aspect of what we are trying to improve and committing to improving that thing with 100% of our effort (throw the whole bus at it).

In relation to medical school, I know that I wanted to improve my note-taking, revision and clinical skills - but these holidays I’ve decided to only focus on improving my note-taking.

In relation to your studies, if you want to improve your focus, note-taking, sleep, procrastination and habits simultaneously, I’d really encourage you to pick just one and dedicate a lot of effort to improving that - you might find it lifts everything else up!

Have a go applying this to your life and let me know how it goes!

- Emil

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