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Getting Things Done…in Chiro School

Chiropractic school is easy, right? It’s not like you have a never ending list of midterms, seeing patients in the clinic, reading lab analysis reports, learning a new chiropractic technique. Oh, don’t forget taking your NBCE board exams in the last year while you’re trying to find the perfect chiropractic office to preceptor at and whether you want to open up your own chiropractic practice or associate for the first couple years. Easy peasy, right?

All jokes aside, earning your doctor of chiropractic degree can be the most challenging thing we do.

It can be overwhelming, and it can really test our time and task management skills. One of our top productivity books is "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. This book is truly a timeless guide that offers a systematic approach to organization and efficiency. In this blog post, we dig into the core principles and actionable tips from Allen's methodology, tailored specifically to empower chiropractic students. If you’re looking for enhanced productivity, stress reduction and academic/clinical and personal accomplishment and development — keep reading!

How to Get Things Done (GTD!)

Here are 12 steps that David Allen outlines to getting things done.

1. Capture Everything:

  • Establish a central holding tank, whether it's a digital tool like Todoist or a physical notebook, to capture all your tasks, ideas and commitments. This ensures nothing falls through the cracks.

2. Clarify Tasks:

  • When you identify a task, break it down into actionable steps. Clearly define what needs to be done and articulate the specific actions required to complete it. This clarity prevents ambiguity.

3. Organize Tasks:

  • Categorize your tasks based on context, priority or the project they belong to. Utilize folders or labels to organize digital tasks. This approach helps you quickly locate and prioritize your workload.

4. Use a Trusted System:

  • Select a productivity system that aligns with your preferences and habits. Whether it's a digital tool like Trello or a physical planner, ensure it's accessible and reliable. Consistency is key.

5. Prioritize:

  • Identify tasks that are both important and time-sensitive. Consider using the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize tasks as urgent and important, helping you focus on high-priority items first.

6. Weekly Review:

  • Dedicate time each week to review your tasks, goals and projects. Reflect on what was accomplished, what needs adjustment and update your task list accordingly. This regular review keeps you proactive and in control.

7. Delegate/Automate When Possible:

  • Recognize tasks that can be automated. Technology is amazing and utilizing tools and apps as graduate student can make your like so much easier and your to do list that much shorter. Something as simple as using a Reminder app for due dates or recurring tasks can be extremely helpful.

8. Context Matters:

  • Organize tasks based on the context in which they can be completed. Group similar tasks together, such as practicing chiropractic adjustment set-ups, writing a patient narrative or completing your Chiro AlignEd Learning review course videos. This approach streamlines your workflow and minimizes context-switching.

9. Keep a Someday/Maybe List:

  • Create a list for tasks or ideas that are not immediate but might be considered in the future. This prevents them from cluttering your main task list, allowing you to revisit them when the time is right.

10. Eliminate Distractions:

  • Implement strategies to minimize interruptions during focused work periods. This could include turning off non-essential notifications, using website blockers or practicing time-blocking to enhance concentration.

11. Utilize Waiting For List:

  • Maintain a list of tasks or projects that are pending input or action from others. Regularly check and follow up on these items to ensure smooth progress.

12. Continuous Improvement:

  • Regularly assess and refine your productivity system. Be open to experimenting with new tools or techniques based on changes in your workload or personal preferences. Adaptability is crucial for sustained productivity.

Productivity is not a one-size-fits-all thing — each chiropractic student's journey is unique. By embracing the principles of capturing, clarifying and organizing tasks and incorporating strategies like the weekly review and effective automation, you can get things done faster, better and more easily. Remember, the your chiro school journey may be different in your first, second, and third year so things that work as a “freshman” chiropractic student versus a “senior” chiropractic student may be different. Adapt and refine your approach as you see fit. We hope this was helpful! Check out our other blog posts to get more study tips.

Still stuck on how to study for your chiro board exam?

Check out all of Chiro Aligned Learning’s products, follow us on Instagram for what to expect during your exams or reach out to us with questions via email at [email protected]!

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