Hello beautiful people!
If you read my 2018 resolutions post last week, you’ll know one of my resolutions was to be more productive. Next week, I have the last exam of my degree and I’ve adopted some new behaviours to be as productive as possible.
It’s important to remember that every person is different. The tips that work for me, might not work for you. That’s why I will recommend you read my tips and then try to find how they might help you to find what’s best for you.
Let’s get started with my top 3 tips to be more productive!
Be careful with distractions.
Everybody has its own weaknesses. For me, it’s my phone and my own mind.
Who doesn’t get distracted by the phone? My solution has been the app “Forest”.
I love this app as I can set a work time and the counter goes down while a seed grows into a tree. If you leave the app, the tree dies. You accumulate trees and build a forest.
And when you get enough rewards you can actually donate them to plant a real tree. I’ve been significantly more focused since I started using this app. I’m very competitive and I can’t let myself lose to an app.
My second distraction is my mind. Sometimes when I’m studying I get all of these thoughts of things I need to do, like for example: ‘I need to send an email to X’. Because I have a quite obsessive personality, my brain won’t let go unless I write it down. So that’s what I do: I have journal close and whenever this happens I write it down so I’m able to carry on with my work and I check the list when I’m done.
It’s important to focus at once thing at a time, so don’t let any distractions take your mind off your focus.
Manage your time smartly
Everybody is more productive at a different time of the day. There’s only a couple of hours when you’re really productive, that’s why I think it’s better to do two very good hours than 6 where you’re constantly distracted and not really focusing at all.
The time of the day when people are more productive usually is in the morning, as it’s our peak concentration time. That’s why I’d recommend getting the hardest bit of work before lunch.
Also, there are people who would rather have a schedule of every single thing they need to do at every hour of the day. Others do better with a ‘to-do’ list they tick at their own time. I would only recommend being realistic about what you can do. Not being able to do what you had set for the day will make you feel like a failure.
Finally, my top tip to organise your time wisely is to take breaks through your working hours. I usually work for a period of 45 mins with a 5-10 break. Sometimes I take longer breaks and I go for a walk. I use my breaks to grab something to eat or meditate. Remember that’s important to clear your mind!
Mess is stress
It’s key to organise what you have to do before attempting to do it. Remember: Mess is stress.
How will you know what to do if you have messy notes from uni? A messy workplace and not knowing what units you need to study won’t help either. It’s very difficult to make a start or even know where to start if you don’t have an idea what you need to study.
So first of all: make sure your workplace is organised. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to look for something in a messy drawer or than a pile of papers from different subjects. Declutter and make sure you know where the things you need are. You’ll have more space to work and it’ll make harder to lose important papers.
Secondly, I’d recommend spending the first day of revising getting what you need to study ready and deciding how much time you’ll spend on each subject. It takes so much pressure off the way when you know exactly what you need to know and by when. It’ll help you focus and increase your productivity!
So these are my top 3 tips! Obviously, I’m not productive every day. But you know, “do as I say not as I do”. This is a journey and some people get there easier than others.
As I mentioned before, the important thing is to find what works for you and then stick to it. Nevertheless, I really hope these tips help you in some way to be more productive help you (so know you’ve read them, go back to work!).
I hope you’ve had a great start to the year! See you next week,