More than once a day, I get asked, "How do you get so much done?"
And for the most part, it's because I like it.
Everyone has their own hobbies. Mine just happens to be writing books, blog posts, and reading.
But in reality, I don't get that much done. In my eyes, I am a normal 19-year-old who blogs and plays excessive amounts of animal crossing, and I'm usually running late to things because I lose track of time petting my cat and sipping my coffee. And, let me tell you--I watch so much Youtube that it sometimes seems seemingly impossible. I usually have a video in the corner of my desktop while I'm working because I admit, I like multitasking. (Call me a hypocrite, that's okay.)
As a full-time college student, a part-time employee for a magazine, semi-bookstagramer, author of two books, an avid reader, and girlfriend (a full-time job sometimes, aha), I sure know a thing or two about productivity. In this blog post, I'll show you 7 realistic ways to be more productive, short-term and long-term.
Let's get started!
1. Write a minimal to-do list and stick to it
(and write it at night!)
Only write down your most important tasks. They can be work related, or chore related. My to-do list currently looks like this:
2. submit essay
3. blog post
4. 5 staff awards for president speech
5. Spanish task
And when I'm done with these tasks and still have a full day ahead of me, I can add more.
I love to-do lists. I really do. I always include them in my weekly bullet journal spreads, too!
And make sure to stick to your to-do list. Try writing it at night so you can't slack the next day. You know what you need to do, so do it!
But of course, don't overdo it if you feel burnt-out, and try adding tasks to other days. Orsimply....
2. Manage your time wisely
If you find yourself spending hours a day on your phone and avoiding tasks, then maybe managing your time will help you to be increasingly more productive.
If you look above at my bullet journal layout, I like to time block each day, like this:
7 - workout
9 - Spanish
11 - coffee & read
1 - philosophy
3 - sexual behavior
5 - work
7 - relax
9 - blah blah with blah blah
11 - get ready for bed
This helps me to look at my entire day at a glance and know whether I have time for something or not, or if I'm spending too much time fooling around (do people still say that?)
I also use Google Calander to time-block. At the beginning of each semester, I add in my classes and work schedule so I get reminders on my iPad and phone. I totally recommend.
Sometimes we can't always be going, going, going, so to be productive, it's equally important to...
3. Take breaks
If I didn't take two to three breaks a day, I would be suffering from burn-out. And I did last semester--I've learned from my obsessive, overly-productive habits.
This semester, I made it a point to give myself me-time so that, in the midst of it all, I could still enjoy myself and get personal tasks done, like reading.
If you want to read more, then maybe giving yourself breaks to read is the first step.
Every MWF, I give myself an hour break for a coffee pick-me-up and a good read. Sometimes, I work on my blog.
And Tuesday, between work and my night class, I have an hour and a half break for reading, homework, or my blog.
Today, I'm going to a yoga class after work!
And this isn't to spill out my daily routine on ya, but to show that even a somewhat productive person has time for herself.
Breaks and time to ourselves to unwind and relax are vital for productivity, so we can avoid burn-out, feel comfortable with ourselves, and we can use that time to...
4. Get in a good mental state
If you start the day in a funky mood, it could put a damper on your productivity. There have been many times when I plan to be productive but because something knocks me off balance, I remain in a low mood and end up half-assing my tasks or not doing them at all.
Start each day in a good mindset by doing morning pages, meditating, tapping, or just repeating affirmations, affirming that it'll be a great day.
It may sound silly, to just get in a happy mood and BAM you're productive. But it really works.
Try getting excited for your day ahead, for that book your writing, for the work you have to do, for the lined-up chores and homework. Smile, dance around and have fun doing what you do.
If you're still in a funk, try reading Little ways to quickly uplift your mood, or...
5. Start using a promodo timer
One of my favorite things right now is the Tomato Timer. It's a cute little promodo timer that helps me manage my time when I need to get something done fast, or I can't find the motivation to get it out. I also use it for writing.
Using this timer will help you get things out faster (try to beat the clock!) while also giving you little breaks to refresh and recharge in between projects!
If you have a lot you want to get done and you don't know where to start, then maybe you could also...
6. Start a habit tracker
I LOVE my habit tracker. I use it all the time, every day, to make sure I'm getting in my reading, writing, meditation, and more. I make custom ones in my bullet journal, but I believe the promodo timer also has one online!
My current habit tracker is a little messy, but hey, it's mine!
At the beginning and end of each day, I look over it and complete what I need to. But then again, as you can probably see, I miss a few days, and that's okay!
What's important is I'm still making an effort to get daily tasks done.
A habit tracker is good for when you want to start writing a book, start reading more, or begin yoga, and instead of writing it down in each to-do-list, you can keep in one page to do consecutively every day!
And last, but not least...
7. Close your hundred tabs, and stop multi-tasking!
I'll admit that while writing this, I checked my phone a few times, and maybe read a blog post or two (I like supporting fellow bloggers!) I swear, though. My mind is like a monkey.
But to be productive comes staying focused. Try keeping three tabs open MAX, and keep Youtube and your personal email out of reach. Knock out your important tasks now, and save fun, you-time for your scheduled breaks!
Declutter your life and space a little, too, by pushing aside conflicts and funky thoughts (for now) and cleaning up your workspace. Then, get to it!
You've got this, dude!
The truth is, you're not always going to be productive. You're going to have off-days--you're not going to feel like yourself, and you may not get anything done. You may find yourself sitting around, eating a little too much chocolate. Maybe the only running you do is in animal crossing.
And that's okay! That's me EVERY Sunday--breaks are important for college students!
But when you do have things to do, or when you set long-term goals for yourself, it's time to get up, put these tips into play, and get things done!
And of course, I'll always recommend starting a bullet journal.
I wish you all a blessed and productive day!
If you liked this post, give it a like, maybe a share, and help a friendly blogger out!
Also, just for you, I made my productive day check-list!
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Question ~ How do you stay productive during the day? Let me know below!