I think this semester I have become more and more of a nerd. I love waking up early to get a lot accomplished and could argue that one of the best feelings to have during the week is the feeing that you've been really productive. These past few weeks I have had a lot going on as the days left in class for the semester begin to dwindle. For the most part, I've been pretty productive when it comes to getting all of my work done and while unfortunately sleep is usually sacrificed it feels good to get things done.
If a semester were compared to a marathon I would definitely consider November to be the beginning of the home stretch. Let's face it, December is the sprint at the end where you can't catch your breath and feel absolutely exhausted. In November however, you realize how much is still left to be done but realize how far you've come and know that the end is in sight. By the end of either circumstance, you just can't wait to get enough sleep and eat good food (hello Christmas break) while taking time to relax.
Before we can reach that ultimate reality it's time to focus on the countless assignments that are waiting to be crossed off of your agenda and the tests that won't study for themselves. Due to my adoration of feeling productive I thought it could be helpful for me to share my tips on how to be more productive.
I know lots of people who work best under pressure. By giving yourself a time limit to complete a task you will pick up the pace and feel more motivated to get it done. Chances are your phone has a timer capability so just set yourself up with a specific amount of time and race the clock (but make sure to do a good job with your work).
Workout and then Study.
Elle Woods said it best… "Endorphins make you happy" and personally, I feel more energized post workout. If I workout and then study I am more focused and the energy I've gained helps me to really power through some of my assignments. (Here are my favorite workouts)
Listen to Classical Music.
Spotify is the best. Whenever I am really hoping to focus and be productive I put on the one of their focus playlists to drown out any background noise that could potentially distract me. This station is great because I find myself attempting to do work along with the tune of the music and most of it is fast paced enough for me to be more efficient.
Cut Out Distractions Entirely.
Don't need your laptop or phone to study for something? Then don't bring them. Study breaks become more frequent when these devices are present so by leaving them in your room you aren't allowing yourself that distraction. If it is crucial for you to bring them set your phone on airplane mode and get the app self control on your computer so you aren't confused as to how you ended up on Pinterest.
Make a Prioritized To-Do List and Follow It.
To-do lists are my best friend. The satisfaction I get from crossing a task off is almost embarrassing. Listing your tasks in order from most important to least allows you the most energy while completing your highest priority task meaning you will do a more thorough job! Although, if you're feeling particularly overwhelmed and unproductive completing a couple of the least time consuming tasks on your to-do list will help you to feel more motivated when it comes time to tackle whatever is at the top of the to-do list!
Change Your Scenery.
While it is always a relief to see that your favorite study spot in the library is unoccupied sometimes I work best when I mix up my surrounding. Last week I was feeling so bogged down by work and what I had to do that I went to a coffee shop off campus and that change in scenery allowed me to refocus and productively accomplish many of the tasks on my to-do list.
Have a Study Snack.
By snack I definitely mean drink and by drink there is no doubt that I am referring to coffee. This year I have become completely dependent on it and don't plan to slow down as the hectic part of the semester approaches. Whether you need to bring a granola bar or grab a coffee I feel more productive and focused after consuming those things.
No, I don't mean altogether but when I am trying to be productive and am multitasking at the same time I feel torn in many different directions and don't feel like I am accomplishing anything. Limit yourself to one thing at a time in order to avoid the frustration of doing a lot at once but feeling like none of it is getting done!
What are your best tips when it comes to being more productive?