Do you want to be more productive with your day? Do you want to be that person that everybody looks to and thinks, “damn, they seem like they have their life together”? Of course you do! Here are tips that I use in my own life to increase daily productivity.
1. Cut out all distractions
- Laptops (if it’s not needed for your work)
- Music (yes.)
- Social Media
- Anything else that is not pertinent to what you need to get done
Here is a protip: unless you know the person you’re working/studying with will be dead silent for the entire time you’re trying to work, you will get distracted by them. Don’t be afraid of some alone time with your work.
Phones are a huge distraction. Social media and texting makes it easier than ever to get distracted by others. Do yourself a favor and power your phone off for 30 minutes. You’d be amazed how much time 30 minutes truly is when you’re not texting, watching Netflix, or checking Facebook every 5 minutes.
If you need to concentrate on writing an email on your laptop, TURN OFF YOUR WIFI! Open up Microsoft Word (or any other notepad where you can type) and spend time drafting your email on that WITHOUT the temptation of the internet.
2. Plan Ahead
Those who appear successful appear so because they plan ahead. I’m not saying they plan their days out months or years in advance. But they do probably spend time to plan their entire weeks out.
At the end of your week, take 10-15 minutes to sit down with your planner and think about what you need to get done for that week. Be realistic. Don’t over-schedule yourself. Under each day of the next week, write down checklists of what you would like to get done.
Post this weekly plan somewhere that you’ll see it every day. That way, you’ll constantly remind yourself of what needs to get done and be more likely to get everything done.
3. Make your checklists specific
There’s nothing more unproductive than being vague with your checklists. How do you know you’re getting anything done if you’re so vague about what you NEED to get done?
Here’s an example of what your checklists should NOT look like:
- Study chemistry
- Study biology
- Cook dinner
- Read papers
- Respond to emails
- Plan vacation
Here’s an example of what your checklists should look like:
- Finish chem lab #1 writeup
- Study functional group flashcards
- Read Ch. 2-3 of Bio textbook
- Create flashcards for bio ch 2-3
- Defrost chicken
- Finish reading Hantman et al.
- Email Academic Advisor
- Email [Boss’s name] back
- Research flights to Portugal
- Pick top 5 activities to do while in Lisbon
The more specific your checklists are, the better. Even though they might be substantially longer than vague checklists, they’ll help you remember exactly what you need to get done. They’ll also make you feel more productive when you get to check more things off your list!
4. Just do it
Stop making excuses. There will always be things that we don’t want to do but need to get done. So just start.
5. Get up Earlier
There’s a reason why people decide to wake up earlier as they get older, and that reason is because they realize how much more productive they can be with those few extra hours. If you have a busy schedule and need to manage your time efficiently, getting up earlier will definitely help you get more accomplished during the day.
6. Stay Hydrated!
The worst thing you can do for your body is to deprive it of water! An average adult is comprised of 60% water mass, and their brains and hearts are comprised of approximately 70% water. If you keep hydrated, you’ll find that your ability to focus for a long period of time will increase. Additionally, when your brain is operating at a level of optimal hydration, you’ll be able to think much more clearly.
I hope you find these tips helpful!