Managing Time and Being Productive

I’ve almost hit the midway mark of my winter semester of school, and I am really feeling the pressure of balancing weekly assignments, major projects, and prepping for midterms.

There are a few techniques I use to keep on track and stay productive. I’ll share them with you here:

Make a list.

Lists. Lists. Lists. Lists for EVERYTHING. Seriously, making lists is the best. I always start with a list at the beginning of the week to get my thoughts organized. I prioritize my lists by due dates and amount of time they will take. This helps me throughout the week to ensure that I have not forgotten anything, even the small things.

And let’s not forget just how satisfying it is to cross something off of a list. Ah. Just Do It.

Create personal deadlines.

Due dates can be stressful. I get it. I find something that works for me is to make my own deadline, prior to the actual due date.

For example, if I have an assignment due Sunday at midnight, my personal due date will be to have it done Friday. This ensures that I have time for editing and any unexpected issues.

Giving myself a little extra “cushion” before a set deadline is something that I have found reduces my stress around getting the task done.

Make sure your work environment is not distracting.

The environment you’re working in is crucial to how productive you will be. Yes, I love curling up in bed and working as much as the next person – but if we are honest, how productive are we really like this? Checking our phone, changing positions out of comfort, falling asleep…

To ensure limited distractions and more focus, sitting at a designated work desk with proper lighting and a comfortable office chair is important. I had a professor once tell me that during your time as a student, one of the most important investments you will make is your desk and chair. It is what will allow you to study properly and further succeed.

Breaks are good.

Don’t be afraid to take breaks during your work time. I mean, don’t take one every 5 minutes. But, don’t burn yourself out either. The longer you work without a break, the less productive you can be. In my experience, the quality of my work will go down as well as I start to lose focus.

So take a break. Eat a snack. Walk around your room if you have to. Just ease your mind for a few minutes.

Meditate.

That’s right. Meditate. Take a few minutes to ease your mind from stress. It can be as easy as setting aside 10 minutes, or even 2. Just take time for your mind.

You can do this on your own or you can even download apps to help you. My favourites are:

Headspace

Meditation Studio

I promise you, once you start meditating you will feel 100% more productive and focused than you did before.

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