One thing that I can say that I’m pretty good at is being productive and having good time management skills. I think this is something that propelled me in college and allowed me to do so well. It wasn’t easy though and good things take time.
I know at this point you’re probably self-evaluating yourself and your productivity. Honestly, you probably clicked on this post because you already know you struggle with it. Don’t worry! Today I’m going to share with you the essentials to staying focused and being productive. If I do my job right, you’ll walk away having the tools to be the most productive student in your class… or just in life!
First and Foremost: You need a To-Do list
My most valuable tip is to MAKE A TO-DO LIST! (Yes, this is my favorite tip but don’t stop reading! There are more juicy tips to come) To-do lists are literally my best friend and can make a stressful day so much better, very quickly. If I’m feeling overwhelmed and have a lot to do in one day or a couple days, I always write out everything I need to do and I try to put it in order of importance. So if there’s a task that needs to be done right away, then it’ll be at the top of the list and my more mundane tasks are towards the bottom.
A to-do list is my favorite because I love the feeling of crossing something off my list. I think they’re the most productive thing to do because you can make a list ANYWHERE. Nowadays, your phone can be the most versatile list maker because our iPhones now have the ability to create active lists that can be checked off as you go.
A prime essential to getting organized (in college, especially) is having a planner. Fun fact: I use to be all into planners and bought this really expensive planner by Erin Condren that I used and decorated for a few months and then realized I didn’t have time for the maintenance of the planner (It was a great planner, just not for me). I ultimately decided that while having a pretty planner is motivating and cute it’s really about how I’m using it.
I mostly use my planner for school assignments and readings that are due. A planner is basically a To-Do list but on a wider scale. You can plan out your whole month so you can see it at a glance. Not only that, it’s a great way to time specify certain task too.
I think a planner is definitely essential to be organized and these days it doesn’t even have to be an actual pen to paper type of planner. There are plenty of apps out there that can help you get organized in more areas than one.
Another thing that propelled me in college (and in life) is my ability to make time for what I had to do. In college, people couldn’t believe that I actually studied for 6+ hours every day (in one sitting). To me it was necessary and the only way I could learn. In doing this, I had to make time to be productive. I missed several events and parties but it all paid off when I got that A back in a class.
Not just in school but in day-to-day life, making time is important. For me, making time to write a blog post for you all is important to me. This being the case, some days I block my whole day out to get my creative juices flowing and to write a post, take the pictures for the post and then edit the post and create pinnable images. If I’m lazy that day this can take a few hours but I know it has to be done so I make time and I’m productive!
This is hard for some people but with practice and determination, it can be done. Trust me, once you make it a habit it’ll make life go just a little bit smoother.
Make a Routine
So if you have tasks that you know you have to do everyday… make it a routine! When I was in school, I came home from my classes, watched an episode of my favorite Netflix show while eating lunch (the whine down), and then started my studying process for about 4-6 hours until it was time to go to a meeting or something else. This routine helped me stay on track and have a set time for when I should be studying. I wouldn’t plan anything in that time period because I knew I already had a routine for studying in that time.
Some of you might be coffee drinkers in the morning. If so, you probably already have a routine of waking up, drinking your coffee, and surfing through your social media. This is comforting in the mornings because you know this is what you should be doing because you always do it! This is why routines work. They don’t leave you all panicked and flustered about what you could/should be doing because you already know what it is. ROUTINES = LESS STRESS.ROUTINES = LESS STRESSClick To Tweet
Get Rid of those Distractions
This is a big one that so many of us have a difficult time with. Social media, text messages, and phone calls can distract us from what we should be doing, all the time. It’s important to know when to put these things aside to get our stuff done! Too many times I’ve falling into the “I’m going to study for a few hours” and half of those hours are spent on my phone. This isn’t productive at all and I feel lousy after I realize what I’ve been doing.
It’s best to hide your phone, put it on silent and away from you, or turning it off completely until you’ve gotten what you needed to get done, done. I’ve done this a few times and was impressed with how well it works. I definitely recommend it, especially if you’re a social media junkie like me!
Wake up! Sleeping in Can Hurt You
Okay, maybe not actually hurt you but it can hurt your day! Sleeping in or sleeping too long can cause your day to be really lazy and super unproductive. Rise and shine and hit the ground running with your to-do list in hand! The faster you finish your errands the more time you have to relax and be lazy.
I love to start early because I hate the lingering and stressful feeling of having something to do. When I finish everything and know that I can just chill for the rest of the day… There’s just #NOBETTERFEELING
Did someone say Sacrifices?
Yup, I sure did. That’s right. The big S word. Many people don’t like to make sacrifices and the way I see it is… well, it’s LIFE. We all have had to give up something to do something else (this is where opportunity costs come from – sorry I’m fresh outta an accounting class). Making sacrifices is what ties all of these topics together, honestly. To be productive we have to minimize our distractions, make time, wake up earlier, and be willing to do it! Because without that… are we really even getting sh** done?!
Have a happy and productive day, my friends!
Until Next Time –