Some days there’s just so much to do that it seems impossible to know where to start. If you’re in university or trying to catch up on a large list of to-do’s it can feel like there’s simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Over the years I’ve managed to find a method that helps me stay productive. Not all these tips may work for everyone but I have found them genuinely helpful and they help keep everything in a manageable state so you can still have some time for fun in your day.
- Start the night before
If you’re looking at this article trying to be productive right now, then this tip comes too late, but this is my number one tip because planning ahead can make all the difference. Before you go to bed, make a list of the things you would like to get done the next day and write them down. Having a visual list with things you can physically cross off is incredibly satisfying and it’s been proven too give a mini dopamine boost to keep you going! Personally I prefer writing things down on paper and getting to check them off as I go. This is not the most environmentally friendly option however. If you’d like to go digital with your list, Evernote is a great productivity app with note features which you can check off as you complete your tasks. Better still, it’s free.
2. Make your bed
This tip is all over the internet for a reason. It seems like such a silly step but it really does work. Making your bed is a simple quick way to complete a task as soon as you get up. This gives you a quick little sense of accomplishment before you even leave your room. Having already accomplished one task makes it much easier to start working on your other to-do’s. Plus, having a clean and tidy space it much easier for focus and motivation.
3. Listen to some music
Cleaning or doing work in complete silence is incredibly dull. You can make the whole experience so much more enjoyable by turning on a playlist. The key to not getting distracted by the music however, is to play more mellow playlists like indie and folk. I find it helps me focus if i’m listening to songs that I don’t already know the words to. Spotify has some amazing curated playlists for getting “in the zone”. If you enjoy indie playlists, I highly recommend the youtube channel alexrainbirdmusic. They come out with new playlists for the coming seasons and it’s an incredible way to find new music you may have otherwise missed. Their playlists are perfectly cohesive to keep the vibe going from each song to the next.
4. Start with the hardest task first
Starting with the hardest task first doesn’t always seem like the most desirable way to start your day, but it really does work. When you get your least favourite task out of the way first, you don’t spend your whole day dreading it. Once the hard work is out of the way all the other jobs you have to do seem easy-peasy. By completing the most difficult task first it also ensures that if for some reason you can’t do everything today, you only have a simple task to complete tomorrow.
5. Take mini breaks
You can’t expect yourself to work all day without taking any breaks. You’ll feel completely drained by the end of the day. Allow yourself to take some breaks between tasks to reward yourself for completing them. I like to treat myself to a cup of tea between tasks. The key here is to give yourself enough time to unwind, but not too long that you have a hard time getting back into productivity mode. Try for breaks between 10 and 15 minutes. Make sure to get up and walk around the room and have a nice stretch if you’ve been sitting at a desk. Maybe go for a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air and clear your head. Most importantly, don’t forget to have a snack. You’re brain works best when you’re not hungry or thirsty.
6. Reward yourself
Like the tip above, you want to reward yourself for completing tasks. Once you’ve completed your task for the day it’s time to relax! Enjoy some Netflix without guilt or go visit a friend for a nice walk and some coffee. It’s important to maintain a level of self care even when you’re busy because being productive for one day won’t help you if you burn out later that week. I’m a big fan of having a bath with a relaxing bath bomb from Lush after a long day of getting everything done. It helps me wind down and get ready for bed so I can have a good night’s sleep and do it all again tomorrow.
Did any of these tips work for you? What are your favourite tips to stay productive? Share them below and I’ll give them a try. Thanks so much for reading, now you’re armed with all the tools you need to get stuff done. Go forth and be productive!