Why and How to Stop Multitasking

Reclaim Your Productivity; Increase Enjoyment of Your Time Off

On the surface, it seems as though multitasking would make a great productivity tool. After all, if you can book a plane ticket and quickly shoot off an email while you’re on a phone meeting at work, why not? Haven’t you just masterfully killed two birds with one stone? Shouldn’t you be congratulated for being a brilliant time manager?

Research says no.

multitasking

Multitasking will drop your I.Q. faster than smoking pot.

One study showed that workers distracted by incoming email and text messages saw a whopping 10-point drop in their I.Q.s.

What’s the effect of a 10-point drop in I.Q.? It’s the same as losing an entire night’s sleep, and more than twice the effect of smoking marijuana.

Multitasking slashes your productivity by as much as 40%. 

We delude and fool ourselves into believing that we’re getting more done by multitasking. In reality, a day of multitasking results in less accomplishment, less productivity, and at the end of the day, something perhaps worse than mere low productivity.

Multitasking skyrockets feelings of stress and anxiety, eating away at the enjoyment of free time.

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Is It True You “Can’t Look At Your Kids’ College Grades”?

You’re bleeding money to pay for your son’s college. You hope he’s attending class, studying for exams, and getting help when he’s stuck. But is he? Some people say that you can never know for sure, because, “parents aren’t allowed to look at their kids’ college grades.” Is this actually true, though?

college grades

Nope. It’s not true at all.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It is true that because of FERPA laws enacted in 1974, colleges can’t show you — or tell you — any academic information about your child. But here’s what can happen. Your child can tell you himself. The college student you love can log you in and show you that he or she is OK.

“But what if my kid doesn’t want to show me his college grades?”

Here’s my suggestion. Wait until he asks you for money.

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5 Things Parents Must Know About “Senioritis”

And 4 Things Savvy Students Can Do About It

You’ve nursed your child through bouts of the flu and strep throat, but “senioritis” is different.

“Senioritis” symptoms include not doing homework, “forgetting” to study for tests, and getting oddly low grades on homework assignments, papers, and projects that your child would normally ace.

senioritis

“I can just slack off and relax a little now,” your 12th grader reasons. “My college applications are all in, so nothing I do now will matter.”

Here are 5 truths every parent must know about “senioritis.”

1. Colleges look at all four years of high school grades.

Every college your child has applied to will require a final transcript that shows both first and second semester grades from every class taken in 12th grade. Why? Because the college needs to make certain that the student has actually graduated from high school. If senioritis leads to a streak of poor grades on the tail end of that transcript, that can derail every goal the student has been working for.

2. Colleges do rescind acceptances due to poor senior year grades.

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1-Minute Trick Helps Overcome Laziness

You’ve got a mountain of work in front of you, but no energy to tackle it. You’ve already slept well and eaten energy-producing food, so exhaustion’s not the problem. You’re just feeling lethargic, avoidant, and lazy. We’ve all been there. Some of our kids seem to live there. Want change? A simple Japanese principle can help anyone overcome laziness in just one minute.

overcome laziness

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5 Questions to Ask Every Kid Every September

This article was originally published on September 12th, 2016. It was updated and republished here on August 26th, 2017.

There’s one thing parents long for far more than straight A report cards.

Parents want kids to do their own homework in a quality manner without the parent needing to prod, nag, oversee, or push.

Want to increase your chances of having academically independent children and teens at your house?

Ask each of your children these 5 questions every September.

High Grades

Before you have this conversation, be sure your teen has a calendar, planner, or special notebook for recording assignments and due dates. Then — keeping this particular student’s personality in mind — provide some individualized teaching on the subject of workflow process management.

5 Questions:

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How to Inspire Underperforming Students

This article was originally published on September 21st, 2015. It was updated and republished here on August 23rd, 2017.

Your middle schooler or high schooler tends to underperform in school — and it drives you crazy.

What’s a caring, involved parent to do? You know how high the stakes are. Is it your duty to strictly supervise and control homework so that your son or daughter gets higher grades and has a happier life ?

Sadhomework

Dr. Charles Fay of loveandlogic.com says no.

In a newsletter article published here, Charles gives parents a far better idea. “When your children get resistant,” he says, “allow them to learn through their refusal. Refusing to do a homework assignment can serve as a more important life lesson than the content of the assignment.”

Here are three additional strategies Charles recommends:

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Key Difference Between Teens Who Succeed in School and Teens Who Don’t

This article was originally published on February 1st, 2016. It was updated and republished here on August 17th, 2017.

You desperately want your teens to succeed in school, but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

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7 Reasons Your MIDDLE SCHOOLER Needs A College Study Skills Class

And Where to Find One

To get straight to my online college study skills class information, scroll to the red writing below.

LIve class coming August 27th!

Something magical happens when a middle schooler takes a college study skills class. I’ve seen it a thousand times.

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What Should Students Eat Before Testing?

If you’re about to take the SAT or the ACT, or a final for a class, or the LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, or GRE exam–and you just want fast advice on what to eat before testing, zoom to the bolded type below, now.

It was my happiest phone call of the day. “Guess what!?!” said the excited voice on the other end of the line. “I did it! I got my scores back–and I got a 514 on the MCAT! The 91st percentile! Better than 91% of the population! I am ecstatic!”

“Whoo hoo!” I almost shouted. “I knew you could do it! I’m not surprised one bit!”

This happy phone call was a far cry from the call this same girl and I had had the previous April, when she’d contacted me in tears to ask for my professional help with her med school application. On that day she’d told me in a quavering voice that even though she’d done the best, most thorough MCAT prep she could and had scored high on multiple practice tests, she’d pretty much bombed the actual MCAT exam. “Now I’ll have to pay a ton of money to take another MCAT class,” she said, trying not to cry. “It’ll take me months to prep for the MCAT all over again. My med school application won’t be in until late–”

“Hold on,” I said.

“What did you eat before testing?”

eat before testing

“Eat?” she’d said, bewildered.

“Yes,” I said. “What did you eat that day? Do you remember?”

“Well,” she said, “I don’t usually eat breakfast–but I think I had a plain bagel, and some orange juice. Why?”

Over the next 30 minutes I explained to her how what she ate and what she didn’t eat before testing likely affected her testing experience. I suggested that she sign up to take the MCAT again, as soon as possible, with only minimal additional prep, and simply eat better on the morning of the test and during the breaks. The result? The overjoyed phone call you read about above.

What to eat before testing

In the 23 years I’ve been doing med school admissions consulting at GetIntoMedSchool.com, I’ve had this same discussion with hundreds of pre-med students.

Here’s the nutrition advice that has proven to be a game-changer for every one of them.

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Could Your Kid’s College Texting Habit Cost You $28,000?

A Simple Way to Make Sure It Doesn't

texting

Quick. Picture your son sitting in a college class.

Got that picture in your mind?

Let me guess what you just imagined. You pictured him absorbed in his college lecture. You pictured him paying close attention to every word the professor is saying. You pictured him diligently filling page after page with carefully organized notes.

You may have just imagined wrong.

The typical college student squanders one-fifth of his class time doing this.

Texting. Emailing. Checking Facebook. Surfing the web. Playing games on a phone, tablet, or laptop.

A 2015 University of Nebraska-Lincoln study of 675 college students across 26 states reveals that nine out of ten students report that texting is “their main diversion during class.”

About 75% of students polled admitted to emailing or checking the time on their phones. 70% reported scrolling through Facebook and other social media during the time they were supposed to be learning. Nearly half surfed the web during class, and one in 10 spent class time playing games.

What’s the cost to parents? Let’s do the math.

Let’s say your son attends a private university that charges $5,880 for a 3-credit course. If your son texts, emails, checks social media, surfs the web, or plays games during just one-fifth of his class time, which is a lowball estimate, that diversion will end up costing your family $1,176 for each class he takes. If your son takes 18 credits per term during every term other than his first one on campus — as I advise students to do in order to graduate faster — this seemingly innocuous habit will cost your family $7,056 per term. $28,000 or more over the course of an entire four-year college career.

Not to mention the cost to your son when that knowledge base isn’t available to him when he tries to enter the workforce later.

It’s no wonder today’s college students are having trouble getting real jobs after college.

I have a magical way to solve this problem.

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