A new year means a new opportunity for you to accomplish things you might haven’t gotten to from the year prior. Maybe you’re aiming for better grades this semester or wanting to finish the app that’s been in development for a while. Any of your goals can be accomplished with dedication and proper planning. Read on below to discover how to be more productive so you can have more time for things that matter most in your life.
1. Ignore the To-Do List, Try Scheduling
Too often, we create a to-do list, only to realize in the end that we can’t finish everything we wrote down. We’re limited every day by the amount of time we have and are willing to spend to do tasks. So don’t trick yourself, hoping that you can accomplish an impossible amount of things with limited time. Instead, have a planner and schedule what you need to do so you’ll be certain and committed to what you can accomplish.
2. Declutter and Organize
Where did I put my calculator? My notes are somewhere in this pile… I lost my laptop charger for the third time… Losing things in unorganized chaos costs us precious time. Becoming organized can help you save your time. Don’t let a messy desk or disheveled papers get in your way anymore. When you know where everything is, you won’t have to waste any more time finding things so you can get right to work.
3. The Two-Minute Rule
Being a student, there are a lot of small tasks that pop up throughout the day. Things like texting your group for a project, or finally emailing your professor your homework shouldn’t be delayed. If you have two minutes, and a task can be completed in two minutes, then you should complete it right away. Don’t let these small tasks chip away at your focus, and no more waiting only to forget about it in the end.
4. Phone Off, No Email
It’s hard to study when you’re phone is blinking with notifications every 2 minutes. Even if you have Facebook and Gmail open on your laptop, it’s really hard to resist scrolling down just a bit more or checking that new email that lands in your inbox. Avoid distractions like these by simply closing the tab or flipping your phone with the screen down. Doing this will let you focus on your work and avoid interruption.
5. Exercise in the Morning
It’s been shown that exercising in the morning can improve your productivity throughout the day. After a workout, you’ll experience a boost in overall focus and energy. Exercising also leads to better general health and less stress, which can help you feel like a better overall student. How great is it to feel healthy and productive when you’re studying instead of tired and sluggish.
6. Take a Break
There’s no point in rereading the same page over and over right? That’s when you know you need a break. Try the Pomodoro technique (apps are available for this) where you strategically set a timer at 25 minutes, work in a “sprint” for those 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break.
7. Your 3 Most Important Things
As we said above, a long to-do list does not really promote the importance or urgency of tasks. You should begin to prioritize your work. You can do this simply by asking yourself early in the day, “what are my most 3 important tasks that I must accomplish today?” Setting priorities will ensure that you finish your work that matters most, like completing your essay on time, instead of doing tasks that aren’t as urgent or important at the moment.
8. Batch Your Work
Learning to batch you work could just be the one tip you needed to become more productive. Separate your tasks by similarity and do similar tasks one after the other. So if you have a Chemistry midterm to study for plus a lab report that is due, and a speech to prepare for in your Communications class, do your Chemistry work together. This way, you’ll only have to focus on Chemistry for now, and Communications later.