Deal with Disruptions: I find that the best way to deal with disruptions and changes in your plans is two-part: 1. Embrace the change and 2. Think about the big picture by remembering your end-goal. These two things go hand-in-hand. Embracing change is hard, especially when you had a future planned out. Your goal to be within that field is more important now than ever. Spend a few moments thinking about why you are on this journey. Remember that your goals can help you see that this is just a step in that process. Embracing and finding your focus now will continue to set you up for those changes that you will experience throughout this career. Change is a big part of being successful. This means that you need to keep adapting. It’s both a survival skill and a success skill. However, change is difficult for people.
Take small Steps: When you work on the concept of embracing change, the first tweak is to just take small steps forward. There is nothing called as full overall change in overnight, so just find one small thing that you can do at a time, then do it and then, do another. If you can start with an end goal, work backward and break your goal into small action steps until you can get to the very first one in the path. This is usually something that you can control or do yourself. Once you accomplish that milestone, then you can tackle another. These small steps make change palatable and easier to accomplish.
Be willing to go back in order to move forward: Visualize trying to jump across a creek. You can’t just jump standing from where you are. You have to physically move backward in order to give yourself the momentum needed to run and take that leap forward.
Fail Correctly: For some reason, most of us were never taught to fail. Our entire school system is set up so that success is given a gold star and failure is ridiculed. This is unfortunate because failure, when done properly, is a good thing. It’s required for taking on risk and pursuing entrepreneurial endeavours. That is, if you do it the right way.
Write it all down on paper: Writing your goals down forces you to crystalize what exactly you hope to accomplish. This simple act has a way of making your goal stick in your mind and gets your brain working on the details of making it happen.
Brainstorm what needs to happen: You know what you want to accomplish; now you should begin strategizing what needs to happen to reach that vision. You’ll need to do some brainstorming to identify the main steps and tasks you need to accomplish along the way. Are there certain steps you need to prioritize? Are there any time-sensitive tasks that must be achieved in a certain order? Start determining what needs to happen when.
Come up with an action plan: An action plan is the road map you can follow that will get you to your goal. This will help ensure you don’t miss any important steps. Think of this as creating mini-goals, breaking bigger objectives into smaller steps, until you have “bite-sized” chunks. By doing this, your goal will seem less daunting and more attainable. Be specific about what you want to achieve each step of the way.
Make it Measurable: Along with your action plan, you need to set benchmarks for yourself in order to ensure that each step you accomplish is steadily building up to your bigger vision. You’ll need to set milestones and make each mini-step measurable, so you know if you’re getting off track. This means setting deadlines that are reasonable, but also keep you moving forward. What is your target time frame for completing the overall study? Work backward from that and start setting target dates, which may be weeks, months or years from now.
Take Action: Don’t wait for the pandemic to get over. There is no time like the present. You’ve got to start somewhere, so dig deep, find your courage and go for it. Your study will never happen if you don’t take action. It may seem scary to take that first leap. Maybe you’re still working on the details or are worried you’re not ready. Jump in, and you’ll start figuring it out as you go.
Consider your talent and expertise: Think about what it’s going to take to accomplish your entire study. This includes taking a hard look at your strengths and weaknesses. Do you have the skills and expertise necessary to accomplish all the steps? Are there areas you’ll need to strengthen, or should you consider seeking help with some tasks? What areas are you most passionate about and which steps are your talents and abilities best suited to accomplish? For time being you can keep aside your tasks where you seek help. Once the pandemic is over you can stress on your weaknesses by taking help from your tutors.
Build a Success Mindset: Success in reaching your goals is often determined by mindset. A positive mindset is a “success mindset,” meaning you’re confident in yourself but also able to learn from mistakes. Due to pandemic there is high atmosphere of negativity. You need to neglect them and concentrate on positivity.
Hold yourself Accountable: Define your responsibilities and make it clear to yourself about what your responsibilities will be for completing your studies during pandemic.
Find Your Inner Motivation: Presently there are so many events taking place which are highly negative in nature and therefore it may lead to lack of motivation. However, for completing tasks one needs to constantly maintain your inner motivation.
Seek Feedback: Seek feedback from your parents, friends and teachers. It will help you understand your progress. Physically you cannot meet friends and teachers, but they can be consulted through various mediums. This interaction will also help you to get rejuvenated and get the requisite guidance about your progress.
Studying at home during this time may also be difficult. You may have been used to working in a particular study location, and now that location is closed. You may find yourself trying to focus while being surrounded by any number of distractions. So, how do you keep focus? Control what you can; make goals you want to achieve and recognize that there will continue to be unexpected changes. As you study, identify given question as whether you know, you know but you need to revise or you do not remember and needs repeated revision. This process helps your own knowledge to gain more information and study strategically. The use of multiple choice questions as a challenge and really reviewing the content of the questions you struggle will allow you to test your exam-taking skills, while actively studying for the exam. This process doesn’t eliminate distractions, but it can allow you to focus on one topic for a short time in the manner most-like the exam before moving on to your next task
One must remember the basic rule in cricket. When the baller is good you are not expected to make runs, it’s expected to just remain on the crease by playing patiently. Similarly, the present phase of pandemic can be considered in such a manner where you will not be able to attain school, classes or actively work on your studies. You just need to patiently move towards your goal.
The author Dr. Shivaji Bhosale is Assistant professor in the Department of Physics, Sir Parashurambhau College, Pune.
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