On Productivity

This year, one of my new years resolutions was to be more productive. Whether you have a busy period in life, and just want to survive, or you want more time to practise your hobbies, productivity is always a useful skill. There are quite some things I have learned along the way, so I’ll list them here to help you.

1. Get your priorities straight

It’s so important to know what tasks you really need to get done, and which tasks are less important. I like to make a to-do list (or a bullet journal!!) and put a number before each task. 1 is most important, 2 less, and so on. Then start with on number one.

2. Clear up your workspace

To some people, this is really important, and others don’t care at all. I personally just can’t focus when my desk is all cluttered. So, take five minutes to tidy everything up.

3. Go offline

Mostly, the reason why I am not productive is because I waste my time watching YouTube. So, to up your productivity, switch off your Wi-Fi or put your phone far away. Or you could make a folder on your phone with all the apps you could possibly need while working, like calculator, timer, notes, … While working, only allow yourself to use the apps in that folder.

4. Get started!

This one is really simple yet really hard. When I come home from school I’m usually really tired and don’t feel like doing my homework. What I like to do is set a timer. Before it goes off, I can relax, but when it goes off, I head to my room. I also like to do something useful, but slightly more fun before I get to my homework. For example, after the timer goes off I practise choir, and then I do my homework. This makes me more likely to get off the couch, and after fulfilling the first task I gain some energy to get started on the next.

5. Take breaks

When people used to tell me this, I always believed it wouldn’t work. Until I tried it and saw for myself. I can’t stress this one enough. When you take breaks, working seems more fun because in 20 minutes, it’ll be over and you can have fun and you’re less likely to procrastinate. And taking breaks will up your energy level, causing you to spend your time more efficiently. A good way to take breaks is the Pomodoro technique. In addition you could use the app FocusNow, which works with the Pomodoro method and challenges you to not open your phone while working.

6. Listen to some music

Not all people like this one, but I can focus so much better if I listen to some calm, classical music.

7. Reward yourself

When you fulfilled all your tasks, don’t be afraid to reward yourself. You could use a system in your bullet journal, where you set up five goals for every day. If you accomplish all your goals in a certain week, you level up. At every fifth level you get to treat yourself to some new stationary, books, … whatever you want. By rewarding yourself you’ll be more motivated to be productive and you might notice you spend less money, which is always a nice extra.

How do you stay productive? Leave a comment!

X Anna



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