As success becomes more tangible, greater responsibilities will follow suit, and being busy or having many tasks to manage may become the norm. As an undergraduate student, attempting to make the most out of my time at university, I find my schedule increasingly packed to the brim, and at times overflowing.
Being a part of various organizations, working part time or full time, studying with a full-time student schedule, and doing everything else in between can be overwhelming. Below are habits put into place that have helped me navigate through the storm at a better pace.
Plan Your Time.
As stated previously, my Erin Condren planner is used to help keep me organized and to know what tasks need to get done, and by when. Moreover, the use of the simple legal pad is an everyday habit. Write out the necessary lists and document the overwhelming thoughts and reminders. When you do this, however, remember not to get so caught up in planning that it becomes a tool for procrastination. Keep it simple. Write out your tasks and goals, and then get to work. Do not attempt to fool yourself into thinking a lot of work was accomplished, when in reality, only plans were made.
Have a Morning and an Evening Routine.
Get the grind going in the morning, and have your body practicing tasks habitually in order to minimize empty time. I enjoy my mornings, and my desire is to have a nice easy-going time to wake my body up, yet still get the productive juices flowing. Getting into a good flow will automatically signal your body to wake up in the morning and shut down at night. Moreover, a routine is useful in ensuring daily tasks are done and out of the way so that your focus can be on the million responsibilities.
Take Advantage of the Minutes In Between.
Every once in a while, I will get that professor that ends class early, but will have to still stay later because of a following class. During times such as this, there is the tendency to just snack, scroll through my phone, and simply waste those in-between minutes for my next class. Rather than doing that, use those extra minutes to check your email, turn out a couple of paragraphs for a blog post, begin writing the next day’s to do list, or put a small – but significant- dent in the required textbook reading. As a commuting student, while I’m on campus, every second is an attempt to be productive. When I’m not studying and completing projects, meeting with professors, or attending extracurricular events and board meetings, I’m burning the stress and fat off at the gym. Make every second worth it. You’re only young and energetic for so long. Do the most you possibly can.
Utilize Mel Robbins’ 5-Second Rule.
I recently discovered Mel Robbins and her tools for productivity and success. The five second rule is one in which I have utilized without really knowing what I was doing. To me, it’s as simple as this: Just start. Really think to yourself what you want to do, and just get it done. Give yourself five seconds, and at the end of that time, is the moment to buckle down and work towards your goals. **Disclaimer: The linked video is not mine and I possess no rights to it, but it is a Mel Robbins talk on productivity and the 5-Second Rule.
Plan in Large Chunks of Time.
Switching from task to task does not aid in getting massive amounts of work done. When I am at my best, it is when I am fully engulfed in the work. It may take a minute, but once I’m in, I’m in. For this reason, the Pomodoro Technique of setting a timer for 30 minutes and breaking for five minutes, does not work for me. I am the type of person to work for hours on end in order to see the desired results. When I plan out my week, I tend to list a task a least once in that one-week period. I used to try to do a little bit of everything every single day. This was more frustrating than beneficial, because seeing results, I believe, is a form of positive reinforcement. Now, I schedule about two to four tasks every day, of which has made me more motivated due to having more observable results.
These tips given are ones learned, for the most part, through trial and error by myself. With this, please learn now rather than later. Do what you need to do, and reach your fullest potential. We are all busy. Stop making excuses.
**Second Disclaimer: The featured image above is from Chic Planner Girl – Her illustrations are amazing, and I’m slightly obsessed.