If you are feeling overwhelmed rather than accomplished after another day of handling lots of tasks, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your approach. Productivity is an art that comes with experience, planning, and management. In this guide, you’ll find the best productivity tips that will help get things done.
The first rule to managing lots of things is focusing on what is important. This is particularly essential for college students that might be juggling education, work, social life, and entrepreneurship. The way they set priorities for all those aspects is going to influence the entire approach to work.
To do that, one needs to:
- Set clear goals for a specific period (month, semester, and year);
- Understand how the success of these goals can be measured and achieved;
- Create a system of importance by marking tasks as urgent and important, urgent but not important, not urgent but important, or not urgent nor important.
- Break big projects into atomic tasks.
It is important to understand that priorities might change depending on the situation. For instance, if you are running a small business while in college, the focus may shift sometimes. If you need to work on the brand’s website this weekend, the college essay is not on the spot. For such cases, you need to have a clear plan for how to approach that.
Students that do not have time or lack specific skills can always opt for a professional paper writing service like WritePaper with professional paper writers to keep up with written assignments. It is an amazing platform that offers assistance with all types of college papers, even on the shortest notice. So you can delegate the task to experience authors that do writing, editing, and proofreading. As a result, students can focus on what is important at the moment and still get a masterly-written paper due by the deadline.
Setting importance and priorities is a tricky task, but it shapes the whole workload, so one needs to keep it in mind.
The human brain thrives on routines. They help you get into a specific mood faster and stay productive. So creating a work routine is essential to stay concentrated and diving right into tasks.
The routine usually includes the following:
- Designated workspace with all necessities from good lighting to essential devices;
- Steady schedule with specific hours of work;
- Morning ritual before work (making the bed, drinking coffee, taking a shower, or having breakfast);
- Writing a to-do list for the day;
- Setting designated time for breaks.
The more you stick to it, the easier it will be to switch to a productive mood.
Daily to-do lists are amazing. But it is also crucial to have a schedule for a month ahead. Create a digital calendar that integrates with your email, social media, and text messages. It will keep all the essential deadlines in places, such as doctor appointments, a friend’s birthday, or presentation day.
As for the goals you set for yourself, give them deadlines as well. This will create fake pressure to finish the task by a specific date. Some people perform better under pressure so use that power. And it is always easier to do something when it is due next week rather than “I just have to do it soon.”
Gamification means turning your work and goals into a game to keep the motivation high. The crucial part here is the reward after you complete something. It gives a sense of accomplishment and helps you stay in good spirits.
The rewards do not have to be huge. Some might use apps like Forest (rewards uninterrupted work time by growing trees) or Habitica (helps establish good habits). Others might create a personal system of rewards – after you are finished with a task, do something you like.
If you are among people who prefer to listen to music when busy, choose the right type. Of course, the right means the one that works for you best. People are different, and their preferences are varied as well.
However, usually the repetitive and simple tunes work best. It is also good to choose something without lyrics, as our brains will still get distracted from processing them. Some of the good options are nature sounds, lo-fi, or classical music.
Set a time for when you check your inbox and clean out the emails. For example, give it 15 minutes a day. That is enough to see what is important and what can go to spam.
A valid option is to create a filtering email system where you can separate all the inbox messages into categories.
Sometimes it is easy to get distracted or procrastinate. Maybe you were writing a long text, then got a message and ended up doom-scrolling Twitter. This happened to everyone.
There are several ways to beat that, namely:
- Turn off notifications when you are working;
- Limit social media use manually or by using special apps;
- If you live with someone, set ground rules for when you are busy to not disturb you;
- Always set deadlines for each task, so there is pressure to finish it in time;
- Do one thing at a time; multitasking never works and is actually harmful.
If you already use deadlines for everything, try cutting the usual time significantly, for example, in half. This will create fake pressure and motivate you to work harder.
This is a simple yet very effective tip. Always start with the most difficult and daunting task for the day. This way, you’ll approach it while fresh and energized.
And when you are done, all other things will feel so much easier. Plus, you’ll have a great sense of accomplishment as the worst thing is out of your head now.
This doesn’t mean working 24/7. Taking breaks is essential for staying in good mental and physical health. But it means re-considering the time you didn’t previously utilize.
For example, commuting or sitting in traffic. This period can be used to read or listen to audiobooks. Or you can sort out emails and update a list of goals or tasks. One can make appointments or write answers to messages.
Also, consider making meetings remote. It is often more comfortable. And you won’t waste time going somewhere. So when applicable, choose online meetings.
Automation can be a true lifesaver for any busy person. When it is possible, automate the manual things you have to do.
This includes setting up email responses for invoices, tasks, or client onboarding. It is also good to automate your business apps with tools like Zapier. For growing businesses, automation means the implementation of CRM and project management systems that take care of manual and repetitive things.
But even if you do not need a CRM, you can advance your workflow with drafts and templates. For example, if you write a lot of papers or documents, create templates for them. So the next time you do it, it will be faster and easier.
It is essential to have a healthy work-life balance. Everyone needs regular breaks, good sleep, and physical exercise. Do not let yourself get overwhelmed and burn out, as then you won’t be able to work at all.
Productivity is an art that anyone can master with the right mindset and effective approach. Use these hacks to enhance your system and become more accomplished.