“Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil. It’s more about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.” – Gary Keller
I often find myself locked up in my room with books and assignments scattered all over, but at the end of the day the amount of work I have actually completed is less than a handful. I’m sure this is the case for most of you. We tend to prioritize working hard over working smart and we fail to achieve the results we want. The key to being productive throughout the day is effective time management. Time management is a skill that needs to be learned and improved. It also requires adapting to new behaviors and disciplining yourself. It might sound like a tough route but once you adapt to a productive lifestyle, your success will be closer than you think.
Assess how you spend your day
Before rushing into creating a schedule, you have to assess how you spend your day. Think about which time of the day you are most productive, how many hours you separate for studying, how often you take breaks while studying, what are the personal commitments you have, how many hours you sleep, and what are the distractions you come across. Evaluating your current lifestyles is the first step for effective time management.
Create a schedule you can stick to
The next step is creating a practical schedule that you can follow through. Schedule your work during the time you are most productive and align other personal commitments accordingly. For this you can use a scheduling app that notifies you about the upcoming tasks for the day. Some people find paper planners work better. It’s up to you to figure out what’s best for you.
Identify your priorities
Make a list of work that needs to be completed within the week. Then categorize the work as urgent, important, not important and make sure you schedule the urgent work before the rest. That will prevent you from being stressed out throughout the week. Keep your priority list visible all the time so you can keep track of your progress.
Taking a break is a must
Always make sure that you allocate a healthy amount of time for relaxation and enjoyment every day. Having a harsh schedule with back to back work will drastically minimize your work efficiency. Separate time in your schedule as free periods so that you can resume your work with a fresh mind.
Get rid of your distractions
The worst enemy that hinders our productivity are electronic devices. If you feel that you are reaching out to use the mobile phone every time you feel bored, keep your phone in a place that is not easily accessible. You can also put time limits to apps so that you won’t spend too much time unnecessarily on social media. Identify what distracts you the most and find a way to break free from it.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. At the beginning it might seem hard to follow these steps but with time you will train your mind and body to become productive. Visualize the future you want to have and do anything to make it a reality.