We’ve all been there. All of a sudden realising it’s week three and that we’re already behind on work and motivation is quickly going down the drain. If you’re in a similar position, here are a few tips to help boost your productivity and make your day a more useful and worthwhile one.
Planning your week. Having a well thought-out and realistic plan of your upcoming week will increase your productivity and make it easier to get on top of work when you can see what your week has in store. Schedule any deadlines or tutorial work that needs to be done and carve out time for your social life and when you need a break. This will stop you having that horrible realisation on a Sunday night that you have a deadline tomorrow but instead allow you to spread your workload more effectively.
Sticking to a routine. Establishing and sticking to a routine can really help with productivity. Making sure you get up at roughly the same time each day and set up a sleep routine. It would also be useful to be aware of your natural body clock in terms of at what time of day you are most productive. You can start to work with your body and use nature to your best advantage.
Working with friends. When possible, organise to meet up with friends to study. Even if it’s just someone to walk to the library or King’s Buildings with, this will keep you from giving into the temptation of staying in bed for that extra hour. Similarly, knowing that the people around you are all working will help you to increase your own productivity as unfortunately, guilt is a powerful motivator. Taking breaks with people can make sure you are taking proper breaks, especially needed if you’re spending your day staring at a screen. It is also important that you always try to get some fresh air during your day as this will greatly help your focus.
Rewarding yourself. As important as studying and getting work done is, it is equally as important to make sure you have regular breaks and reward yourself when you do get things done. Planning breaks with friends and having fun things to look forward to can stop you from getting overwhelmed and burnt out, and can help you make the most of the time you do spend studying.
Give study apps a try. Make the most of technology and download a few apps to help boost your productivity. A useful one is Forest, an app that allows you to plant a tree which only grows when you aren’t using your phone. You can set the timer and grow your forest throughout the day as you get more done. Similarly, the latest iPhone update has introduced Screen Time, which tracks phone and app usage, and can even be used to block chosen apps for periods of time. This is invaluable for those of us who struggle with distraction from our devices. If you don’t like working in silence or listening to music, apps such as Headspace and Noisli provide white and background noises to centre your attention.
Hopefully these tips will help you give you some ideas for boosting productivity and getting over that week three slump. And, crucially, don’t forget that everybody is in the same boat, bouts of unproductivity are completely normal.
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