Productivity might be subjective, time management is not.
Amidst all the fields of work, one of the most common and crucial skills is time management. We all have 24 hours in a day. The part that makes the difference is how we choose to spend them. Without time management, it is difficult to get things done with satisfaction. As a student, you have to juggle a lot of stuff at once. Studies, exams, social life, maybe an internship- it is imperative to manage your time efficiently. When all this lays on you, you need to clear your head and get to work.
As I said, productivity is subjective. You don’t have to conform to some set standards to feel good about yourself in a day. This is precisely where the problem lies. We compare our productivity goals to the ones we see among influencers, YouTubers, or even our friends. Getting inspiration from them is a far cry from feeling pressurized. Everyone leads different lives, and comparing your day to someone else’s doesn’t even make sense.
Today, I am compiling a list of five things that have helped me to manage my time better and increase my productivity. I hope it helps!
Find your zone
This is something that has helped me tremendously. I am aware that I do my best work in the early hours of the day. As the day proceeds, my motivation to get work done decreases. So, I modified my schedule accordingly so that I get sufficient time in the morning to work and get ahead of my list. This is the time when you complete your MITs– the most important tasks for the day. What precisely are those tasks, depends on you.
Your zone doesn’t have to be early morning. Everyone has asunder personalities. Some people do their best work during the night. It works for them. Find out what works for you.
Section your To-Do List and Prioritize
I am the person who needs to know what stuff I need to do in a day. I need to plan my day ahead to feel good and be productive. If you’re not this person and you just roll out things as they come, that’s okay too. But, one thing that I have learned is to prioritize and section.
I separate my tasks into those which have to be done today and those which can or maybe done if need be. They are not crucial at the moment and that if I don’t get to them today, that’s fine. Without sectioning, a big to-do list with fifty things can be extremely nerve-racking. For your day to be productive, you have to feel good and supportive of yourself.
Time limits can help you to boost your productivity by a lot. Sometimes we have tasks that are dreary and dull, yet have to be done. Case in point- a college assignment. Generally, we tend to procrastinate a bunch during tasks like this. It can be done and dusted in an hour but due to its monotony, we work for 10 minutes, take a break for 20 minutes, and repeat. This kills productivity like nothing else. So, for tasks that are arduous for you to complete, set definite time limits for them, and get them out of the way. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by procrastinating them.
Take small breaks
Sitting on your desk all day long without any relaxation is not a good state. Bouncing off from the previous point, after you complete a few tasks- take five minutes, get off your workplace, and walk around. Stretch, drink water, and rejuvenate. This seems like a not-so-important thing to do, but believe me, it is needed.
However, these breaks sometimes turn into distractions. If you take a break and go on your phone, chances are you’re going to stay there for long. So, what I try to do is, instead just get up and go outside for 5-10 minutes. Because I know that if I get on my phone, it is going to be a hard chore.
If you don’t take breaks, your brain begins to feel exhausted and lazy and starts mindlessly thinking and contemplating, which wastes a lot of time. A beneficial thing to do here is to get up and do 50 jumping jacks. Honest to God, it works. Whenever you know you have low energy, just do something physical for 5 minutes. You’ll feel charged and pumped instantly.
Combat your distractions
Last and definitely not the least, get your distractions away from you. Your phone, TV, YouTube- whatever it is that gets you off your game, get it out. Distractions are something which lead to ‘half-work’. You are working, you are in the zone, and you just pick up your phone randomly. All your concentration is lost and your work loses its quality. Try to restrict your distractions as much as possible.
And of course, stay positive. Don’t get disheartened if you’re not ‘productive’ in a day. It’s healthy to take a break– make sure you utilize it. Productivity is real only when your mental health is productive along with your physical work. If you spend your day just cranking out work without any downtime, it won’t be good for you in the long run. So, make sure you take care of yourself at every step of the way.
Thank you for reading!
Keep the productive vibes flowing,
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