It’s hard to always be productive, day in, day out. Our 21bis-reporter Janne made a list of things that help you focus on your goal and finish those tasks as efficient as possible.
Studying in a new country can be challenging sometimes. As an international student, you don’t always know what to do, where to go and how to manage your feelings. But Wellness Wednesday is here to help. Do you need a boost of energy, some quick tips on how to get your life together or are you in need of some good advice? Every Wednesday there will be a series of lifestyle articles posted on 21bis. Mindfulness, relaxation, food and exercise: we have it all. With our ideal tips and tricks, you will come a long way. Make sure to visit this website and follow us on our Instagram page: ‘weare21bis’ to stay up-to-date. Get ready to brighten up your day! And now onto the article: 5 tips to be more productive
- Get ready immediately
When your alarm goes off, start your morning routine as fast as you can. Don’t snooze and stay in bed, this only makes you less productive. Get up and get dressed so you can start your day. If you stay in your pyjamas, you’ll be more likely to postpone your tasks. Two handy tips to get you out of bed as soon as possible are to firstly, put your alarm clock far away enough from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off. Secondly, don’t fully close your curtains. Make sure that a little light can enter your bedroom in the morning, this helps you wake up.
- Do the prep work
Make a schedule of the tasks you want to complete the night beforehand, but make sure that you don’t set the bars too high. Be realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish. By overcommitting yourself, you make yourself live with a fear of not getting everything done in time. Which only makes you less productive. So when you’re making your schedule, take everything step by step and realise what’s realistic and what’s not. You can do this by prioritizing what’s important. When you’ve made your list of things to do, pick out the one that’s the most urgent. Focus on the most urgent task, but don’t prioritize four other tasks as well.
- Create a time block
A day is long and there are a lot of things to do. When scheduling your tasks, also create a time block. Look at when you’re the most productive: is it in the morning or later in the day? Find out when your productivity is the highest and completely block that time for working. In the hours that you’ve time blocked, whether it be 2 or 5, don’t do anything else like taking phone calls, chatting or being on social media. Only focus on the tasks you’ve set out to do, with no distractions. Keep your time block for working and working only. Always set out a time on how long you want to work on a task each day. Once you’ve reached that hour, let it go for the day. Unless you’re in your workflow, keep working then. Just don’t go overboard and work for too long, breaks are really important.
- Get a little bit done everyday
You have to realise that you have more time than you think. You don’t have to fill your day with one task. Start early enough so you can spread your task over multiple days. Do this with more of your tasks so you can make your days varied enough and things don’t become boring. This also means that you have to keep a good eye on your schedule. Look at the things you’ve completed and include all your different tasks in it, even when it’s only a small one.
- Take action
Everyone suffers from procrastination every now and then. Sometimes it’s hard to get over it. An easy tip is to break your tasks down as small as you can. Ask yourself what the smallest and easiest next step can be towards your goal of completing a task. For instance: if you have to write a paper, start by opening your laptop. Open a Word document and type your name, the date. Small easy steps. Then ask yourself, what’s the next easiest step? This way, you’ll create a workflow for yourself.
- Bonus tip!
If you can study or work with music in the background, look for music that’s made to help you focus. On Spotify you can find different playlists, like this one:
If you like our Wellness Wednesday series, be sure to check out our previous article: How To Survive Your Exams
Text and photo: ©Janne Schellingen