During this semester and during my collegiate experience, I’ve had to balance classes, working a restaurant job on the weekends, visiting family hundreds of miles away, finding time to do laundry, grocery shop, make it to the gym and eat well. All while trying not to break out, bite my nails, or stress about how soon after college I’ll have a “real” job.
College as a whole has been a huge self-discovery project. But through all of the late-night study sessions, breakups, football games and hungover mornings, we all have to find the energy to face the day. So here are some tips and tricks that I’ve used throughout college to meet deadlines and get a jumpstart on my own productivity.
- Don’t wait to start
This is the hardest part, but whatever it is, just don’t wait. Whether it’s going to the gym or writing a paper, the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll finish.
- Wake up an hour earlier
Everyone loves a lazy morning. I personally can’t do anything until I’ve had my coffee, skimmed Twitter and read a few articles. But the sooner I get to wake up and do this, the sooner I can start my day.
- Make a short to-do list
I used to wake up and make a super long to-do list, and by the end of the day I would be beating myself up for not getting halfway through my list of 25 things to do. Every day, write down only three things you want to get done that day. By keeping your lists short, it keeps things organized and attainable in your mind. Once you’ve made your list, do the hardest thing first. The rest of your day will seem so much easier once you’ve knocked out the big things. And if you end up doing more, yay!
- Put your phone on airplane mode
Or just turn it off. There are so many apps and texts aiming to grab your attention. Don’t let them. Buckle down and focus on the task in front of you. If you’re like me and like to take Facebook breaks, you can also try installing a plug-in to your browser that will block these sites for as long as you like.
- Set aside planning time
I know it may seem excessive to schedule a time to plan ahead, but trust me it is worth it. Sunday night is usually the best time for me to do this. Right after a relaxing weekend, I have to mentally prepare for the week ahead. This isn’t the time to make a to-do list, but a time to write down events you have committed to attending, and a time to set clear goals for the week. Whether that means sticking to a gym routine or planning to call your mom. For this, Apple’s calendar app is my best friend.
- Routines, routines, routines
If productivity is your goal or you really don’t have a choice, you have to follow a routine. Wake up at the same time every day, make a to-do list, and plan your week before it starts.
Remember that when you get bogged down by all the things you have to do, just go back to the first tip here and don’t wait to start.