I have Gopi Krishna syndrome. It’s a great thing to have. Gopi Krishna was a Hindu who had a life-transformative experience: he underwent enlightenment through a physical bolt of energy that erupted throughout his spine during a Kundalini moment in meditation. As a result of the unwieldy power, he started going crazy and sought others who had similar experiences. But very few people in this world have had an actual Kundalini moment. He finally discovered how to hone the experience. Afterward, he saw the world differently: the sky and the mountains became living, breathing entities, overwhelmingly beautiful. He labeled his experience the next phase of “human evolution.”
But that’s not the point of this story. Before the Kundalini experience, Gopi spent much of his education not studying but reading library books unrelated to his academics. So, he failed academically, although his life was profoundly successful. In other words, Gopi’s academics were fraught with inefficient study habits. As Gopi learned how to tame his Kundalini experience, similarly, we must tame our inefficiencies with studies.
I’m writing this article because I need more efficiency in studying for a professional sales designation exam. I decided to do additional research to create a sales course I’d sell to a private college and write a sales book. These are grand ambitions. However, I’m doing massive research but hardly making a dent studying for the sales designation.
We all have moments where we could be more efficient. That is unless we’ve mastered the art of efficiency. So, I took the liberty to learn what it means to be hyper-efficient to maximize our productivity and excel at our studies. Here is what I found:
Schedule. When we get a project or assignment, we benefit from scheduling it thoughtfully with a calendar. That means indicating tasks with start and finish dates. Without scheduling, we might float and miss deadlines. And the planned end date must leave ample time before the actual deadline. That way, we can relax knowing that we’ll inevitably “nail it” while pushing hard to get the results.
Time and record every goal-oriented task so we can better schedule. If you’re like me, you have no concept of time: a half hour can float by and we think five hours have just passed. But some people are so intimately tied to time that they can tell the time within five minutes of accuracy without ever wearing a watch. However, we can train ourselves to be masters of knowing how much time our tasks take. Simply record and time each chunk of tasks. Run a stopwatch or mark the start and end times. But it’s essential to document the time to gain inevitable mastery of scheduling.
Set high expectations. This is essential for success. Whose more likely to get the A+: the student gunning for a C- or the student gunning for a 100%? I can’t stress this enough: whatever we think we can do, we can do so much more! Are we like the students who set out to accomplish ten tasks, and all ten tasks are completed just minutes before bedtime? Or are we the student who designates twenty tasks, and just minutes before bedtime, all twenty instead of ten are accomplished? Yes, that’s the power of setting goals with high expectations plus hard work: we’re destined to achieve big, plentiful dreams.
Journal a playbook. After each significant task during the day, open a journal, and write “What I did well,” “What I could have done better,” and “How I will improve my performance next time.” Also, whenever a thought, idea, or concern comes to mind, write it down immediately. These spur-of-the-moment thoughts are all relevant and can hold the key to unimaginable success. And take the critical thinking and problem-solving courses from ViAGO. I took the first level, which has helped me enormously with rapid problem-solving techniques for strictly win-win solutions.
Set SMART goals. They are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Smart goals are instrumental. For our studies, we might set a SMART goal that says, “Download thirty academic papers and sign out ten books that discuss ‘Maximizing efficiency’ within three days.” It’s also essential, for instance, to break down our essay writing into stages, starting with acquiring papers and books to reading and highlighting potential quotes in them, to creating an outline with these quotes (which can take the most time if done right), to writing the paper, to proofreading the document (at least three times two days or more apart), and so on. It’s important to quantify these steps with deadlines. And it’s essential to place these goals on a calendar, referencing the calendar daily to mentally mark our sure-fire progress.
Keep a neat space. I’m developing a hobby with janitorial skills. I bought a cleaning apron, two dozen microfiber cloths, nontoxic window and all-purpose solutions, bleach spray cleaner, and clothing organizers. I can’t begin to describe how many hours of cleaning these microfiber cloths alone save me. Thanks to these microfiber cloths, the whole bathroom now sparkles in a matter of fifteen minutes. In contrast, I would previously scrub for two hours with J-cloths, and the bathroom would look grungy. If we can, read a janitorial book on speed cleaning. The time and energy we save with proper cleaning knowledge and supplies are massive.
Focus our thoughts and actions on the most relevant tasks. For example, my most urgent and important goals this year are to clean, exercise, work, take and make courses, and get my sales designation. So, it’s important to focus my thoughts on these tasks. But whenever I have idle thoughts, I focus on giving unconditional love to everyone who comes to mind. And that, of course, includes terrific thoughts of us and our future of unstoppable success.
Be motivated, not deterred, by failure and success. When we fail, we should see it as a fun challenge to turn into a dynamo. I went from pathetically cleaning the house to cleaning it with the same joy and efficiency we’d give a loved hobby. In junior high school, I was the worst at every sport. Still, I would stay after school doing volley after volley and ended up with the bronze medal for top female athlete. And I know people who barely passed high school if they passed at all, who found themselves in a PhD program. There’s nothing we can’t do amazingly well if we “nerd out” or, in other words, become enthusiasts.
We may not have Kundalini experiences like Gopi Krishna, where we enter the next stage of evolution based on heightened spirituality. But we can grow highly efficient. With excellent efficiency comes the pleasure of hoisting our flags on the peaks of the highest mountains—although the journey and not the arrival is the most fun.