Productivity never comes naturally (well for me it never did). It takes perseverence, patience and most of all self-control. What productivity entails is doing a set of tasks within a reasonable amount of time without much distraction in order to utilize time saved for other projects. Again, that is what productivity means to me. See there once was a time where I would spend countless amount of hours on a single assignment that should not have taken me more than a couple hours to do. However being the person I was at the time, I was constantly distracted whether it was from my daydreams or my surroundings. That was until I started university and I was forced to prioritize my time, inspired to do much more than just study and motivated to get off my behind and get moving. I found myself juggling a full course load that included labs, assignments and constant midterms with my school activities.
As I look back, I realize that I had grasped the beautiful concept of prioritizing simply because I was thrown into a pool of sharks and had to learn how to swim fast. Through swimming fast, I have figured out what is needed to stay on top of things and that is what I will share with you.
- TO DO LISTS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND - USE THEM!I can't stress enough how vital to-do lists are to crank up productivity. To do lists should be used in a way that can help your prioritize what you have to do. Typically this is what my (short) to-do list looks like: - Assignment (3-5 hours) - Emails (1 hour) - Readings (2 hours)TO BE DONE: Saturday November 7thNot only does it make you allot your time appropriately but it gives you a date of completion. Also, the order in which each task is placed is crucial to know what needs to be done first.
- CREATE A SUITABLE WORKING ENVIRONMENT This does not mean to splurge on a new desk, computer etc. It means creating an environment that lets you be productive and organized. For me, I tidied up my workdesk, added my computer there and loaded up on some (cheap) stationary. To add a personal touch, I wrote motivational quotes on paper and stuck it to the back wall. Do what makes you comfortable. Personalization goes a long way with comfort.
- LOAD UP ON ENERGY WITH YOUR FAVOURITE SNACKS + WATER This doesn't mean binge on junk food and such. Productive working requires extra hard brain power for a short people of time. Have a small bowl of delicious yet nutrious - it will fill you up and give you the brain power to chug through the tasks you must do.
- GIVE YOURSELF REWARDS FOR MILESTONES As humans, we naturally look for incentives. If you set milestones for yourself with small rewards, you are more likely to finish your tasks. Beside your to-do list, have a list of rewards. If you finish one of your tasks, allow yourself to watch an episode of your favourite show or relax for 30 minutes. Instead of attempting to work on everything in one go, let yourself rejuvenate so you finish your tasks in a total time that is less than cramming it all.
- THINK BIGGER PICTURE Think of everything you do as a small piece of a jigsaw puzzle. No matter how far your dreams and goals seem, every step you take forward is step in the right direction. The pain of today will lead to your happiness of tomorrow.
Leading a productive day, leads to a productive week which leads overall to a more effective outlook. It is much moresatisfying to get things done consistently than to be sporadic.