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“I feel like I haven’t been very productive today. I wasted so much time doing nothing.” Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Even me. I’m a full-time college student with a part-time job, so when I’m not at work or in school, I find myself wasting very valuable time. I like to put off my work until the last minute and procrastinate for hours at a time. The free time I spend sleeping, surfing the Internet, or playing video games could be used for better things – like schoolwork.
Knowing this, I decided to step up my game by changing up my daily routine in order to maximize my productivity. I tried to incorporate a few easy and simple habits to increase the number of things I’d be able to accomplish in a day. Surprisingly, it worked. I was getting a lot more done during the day and was able to reduce a lot of stress.
Here are 5 quick, simple, and easy tips to improve your productivity:
1. Wake up earlier
This is self-explanatory. Instead of sleeping in ‘til noon, you should strive to wake up earlier. Even an hour makes a whole lot of difference. It’s an extra hour you could use to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast to start your day. If you find that waking up early is difficult, take it a day at a time. Try going to bed earlier so that you won’t be as tired in the morning. Start by waking up a half an hour earlier, and then gradually increase it by an hour. Challenge yourself to become a morning person. I’ve found that there are a lot more things I could do in a day when I start before noon. It’s always nice if you’re able to catch a sunrise every once in awhile too. If you are not a morning person and need more motivation, here are 4 simple ways to get motivated in the morning (and the rest of the day).
2. Eat, eat, eat!
Eating is important and is definitely one of my favorite things to do. Your brain and body need fuel to function, and you can get that by eating healthy meals throughout the day. Incorporating a variety of different fruits and vegetables into your meals will give you a great energy boost! Try to aim for at least 3 meals a day and avoid unhealthy and fatty foods – those will only make you feel more sluggish and lazy. Don’t forget, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
3. Avoid distractions
I always find myself distracted by the Internet and social media while I’m trying to be productive. It’s definitely hard to focus on work when my phone and laptop are constantly calling my name every few minutes. To combat this, I make sure to turn off all my electronics and put away all my devices while I’m working. I even use an app on my MacBook called SelfControl to block Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, and other distracting websites. Try it! It’ll help you stay focused on the task at hand. Once you’re done, you’re free to go back to your memes and messages.
4. Tackle the hardest tasks first.
You’re probably thinking, “why would I want to tackle the hardest tasks first? I wanted to start my day off easy.” That’s definitely a valid question. The thing is, when you tackle the hardest tasks first, it paves the way for the rest of your day. For example, say you need to write a 5-page term paper by end of the day. By starting it earlier, you’ll finish earlier - which will give you more time to do other things during the rest of the day. You’ll be able to relax better knowing that you’re on top of your productivity.
5. Plan ahead!
It’s a lot easier to be productive when you plan your day ahead of time. Personally, I like to create a list of things to do the night before so that I know what I want to accomplish the next day. Having a to-do list really helps to keep things organized. Set a time frame for each activity and do your best to complete it. Create a schedule, stick to it, and try your best to get everything done. Try not to overwhelm yourself, and don’t try to put things off for the next day. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
By implementing some of these tips into your daily routine, you’ll be sure to find yourself a lot more productive in no time (here are 15 more habits that will transform your productivity). A few things like waking up earlier or finding time to plan ahead may be more difficult for you, so just give yourself time to adjust. You really don’t have to try them all at once. Some of these tips may work for you while others may not, so it’s up to you to find out what will work best.
I know it may seem challenging to change a few steps in your normal routine but give it a shot! You will create a lot more time to do more in your life! Start using that extra time to check out ProSky’s online training courses that will teach you productive skills like social media marketing! Do you have any other tips for improving productivity? Leave them in the comments below!