Efficiency 101

By: Kelly Vollmer

By now the New Years resolutions and predictions of increased productivity and getting more out of life have waned. What can you do to get back that time you seem to keep wasting and accomplish your goals? Here are some tips from successful people on how to get everything done and make the most of your time.

  1. Start to Finish

“The most important thing you can do to finish a job? Start it.” Josh Dean, a writer for GQ magazine, said. He refers to what psycologists call the “Zeigarnik effect”. Named for the Russian psychologist that found that people seek completion in their lives, the effect says that once people start a task there is an inner desire to finish it. Sometimes the hardest part of writing your term paper is starting it, but once you get over that initial procrastination hurdle, it will be much easier to get done.

  1. Action This Day

Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister and influential leader during WWII, was famous for marking documents on his desk “Action This Day” in red if they were urgent. Take this idea and organize your to-do list by prioritizing the truly urgent things that absolutely need to get done today. Sometimes the number of things we have to do is overwhelming so we try to put a little time toward everything and don’t really get anything accomplished.

  1. Shun Your Phone (Temporarily)

The co-creator of the hit show “Lost”, Damon Lindelof, says that phone use can pose problems for productivity. “We have a no-phone policy in the writer’s room.” he said in a GQ article. “That time is very momentum based… I’ve heard musicians say that you have to jam for a while until you can find the song, and I do not want to interrupt the jam session.” So to get more done, put your phone away or on silent so you don’t kill the momentum of a study sesh.

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