Being a University student & blogger means that I have a lot of strict deadlines and schedules to stick to.
This means I’m always struggling to make sure my days are productive and that I’m getting things checked off of me never ending to-do list. Over the past year or so, I’ve managed to learn some simple tips to help boost productivity and since I’m always fielding questions about it both on my blog, Instagram and Tumblr, I thought I’d write a post sharing what works for me.
For me, this is probably the one thing that’s helped the most. I was never a big goal setter, mostly because I hate failing and the simple task of setting a goal and setting up myself for failure, meant I never stuck to them. I have since learnt to work around this by setting small weekly goals. Things like:
- Draft assignments or essays.
- Study 1 hour for a quiz.
- Draft upcoming blog post.
- Spend 15 minutes commenting on blogs I love.
Starting small made the goals easy to accomplish and that gave me a bit more confidence in my goal setting skills. Now my goals are a bit bigger but aren’t beyond my reach. The point of goals is that they’re not meant to be too easily attained but they also shouldn’t be so hard that you’ll never succeed.
Stop Making Excuses
This was my biggest hurdle. I’m a massive procrastinator. I’m the person who does other work, like cleaning or laundry, to procrastinate doing the important things, like studying. The only way to work around procrastinating is to stop making excuses. No more “I’ll start at three” and then watching three o’clock fly by and suddenly, you’re watching another episode of your favourite show on Netflix and putting off studying until four o’clock.
Just do it.
Stop making excuses.
Remember that waiting for motivation leads to procrastination.
Plan your week
I’m addicted to my planner. It’s all over my Instagram account. I take it everywhere with me. I would probably sob uncontrollably if I lost it because it contains my entire life. It has been a lifesaver in helping boost my productivity.
I know exactly what’s due, when I have to work, what blog posts are going up when and when my classes are. I can see when I have time to squeeze in some study, time to work on the blog or even just time to relax. It’s all laid out in front of me. I can schedule in time with friends and family, or study groups. I basically use my planner to plan out my days and because I do this, I tend to procrastinate less.
You only get 24 hours in a day. Sometimes it’s simply not possible to get absolutely everything done. This is where prioritising comes in handy. If you’ve got an action-packed week and a to-do list that makes you want to cry because it’s so long, you need to prioritise.
My favourite thing to do when needing to prioritise is to use Eisenhower matrix. This simple task is a visual representation of your to-do separated into four boxes – urgent and important, urgent and not important, important and not urgent, and not important and not urgent. Doing this at the beginning of each day will help you to prioritise tasks and get the important and urgent tasks out of the way whilst not forgetting about the smaller, not important or urgent tasks.
Get Up Early
How productive can you be when you spend half the day in bed, probably lying there on your phone scrolling down an endless timeline? Answer: Not very productive at all. Getting out of bed at a reasonable time means you have more time to get things done and you’ll feel more energised to actually get started!
Create A Routine
Routine is the key to motivation. Why? Because eventually you stop relying on motivation and you do things out of habit. Not relying on waiting for motivation means that you’ll procrastinate less. All it takes is dedicating some time each week to accomplishing tasks on your to-do list and sticking to it for a few weeks and before you know it, it’ll be routine.
You’ll never wait for motivation again!
Get Out Of Bed
Your bed is the worst workplace. In your brain, your bed is associated with sleep and relaxation, so when you collect your books and get ready to study in your nice and cozy bed, you’re basically confusing your brain. This does two things, messes with your sleep because you’ve told your brain that the bed is no longer somewhere to turn off and relax and it messes with your productivity because you’re trying to work somewhere your brain doesn’t associate with studying or working.
Multitasking is the devil when it comes to productivity. You feel productive because you feel as though you’re getting so much done but you’re probably not putting in as much effort or energy into that task as it requires – you’re making more mistakes, not completely finishing or excuse the language, half-assing it so you can just get it done and move on.
These are all the tips I use to keep myself motivated and productive to get everything done! Do you have any particular tips to boost productivity?