If you’ve read my last couple of blogposts you might already know that I am currently in the process of doing a graduate internship and writing my bachelor thesis. Whether it’s writing a thesis, doing your homework, working (from home) or doing everyday chores, it’s best to get things done in a productive and efficient way. You don’t want to spend extra hours on a project because you’re not spending your time right. Think about the sun that’s shining and all the other things you could be doing, don’t you want to be productive? Well, if that wasn’t convincing enough, let me share some ideas with you to make most of your day. And I’m sorry this is such a long blogpost, I just really had a lot to say about this!
Start the day with a routine. I’m the first person to tell you that I am in no way a morning person. I feel tired, I just don’t function right before 11 o’clock. What’s helped me through the years is having a set routine for those early hours. When my alarm clock rings, I sit up in bed and take 5-10 minutes to start the day with my daily devotional book and I take the time to get mentally ready. Then I put on a morning music playlist and get dressed. The music helps me to feel more awake and the clothes I put on are ones I picked out the night before. I make breakfast (either oatmeal, yoghurt or fruit) and sit down behind my laptop to watch the Shaytards on YouTube and eat my breakfast. When I’m done with this routine all I have to do is pack my stuff, brush my teeth and head out of the door. I don’t have to think about it at all, I know what I’m doing.
Set your alarm clock and get out of bed. Set your alarm at a reasonable hour. If you set it too early you might feel like you have all the time in world which makes you act slower and in fact might get you late, or you might have time extra that you don’t know what to do with (when does that happen?!). On the other hand when you set your alarm clock late you feel rushed and chaotic. Either way is fine if that’s what you like. I know I need 45 minutes to do my morning routine, which helps me figure out at what time I need to wake up. Don’t hit the snooze button, if it’s not the weekend train yourself to get out of bed when that alarm clock rings. Those ten extra minutes won’t help to make you feel less tired.
Make a to-do list the day before. This can also be first thing in the morning but I usually make a to-do list the night before. That’s when I’m still in the workflow from that current day and thus I know what needs to be done and how to prioritize things. I’d like my to-do list to be specific. The most important item is on top and the least important item is last. That way I know what to do first. Make smaller sub items for the big ones, so that you can tick off small steps on the way to accomplishing a big task.
Make your bed and clean your workspace. A study has shown that kids who make their bed in the morning do better in school. I find that easy to believe because when you’ve already accomplished a task for the day it makes you feel good, it gives you power. Also a clean workspace (whether it be your home, office or anywhere else) will help you to concentrate more and be less sidetracked. I know some people like working in chaotic workspaces, but think about it, your mind has to register all the things around you and try to figure out that project your working on. Note: there’s a different between a creative/personal space and pure chaos.
And finally ‘know yourself’. Figure out how many hours in a day you can be really productive. If that’s 3 hours, then plan those 3 hours carefully. Make sure you get through the most important items on your list. If you’re easily distracted, figure out what makes you distracted. Some distractions are easily fixed. Limit your facebook visits, don’t read your e-mail every five minutes etcetera. And always take breaks. You’re more productive if you take breaks, your mind and body need that time to reset and relax. Go outside, listen to some music, talk to someone or make some tea. Whatever you do, enjoy the break and make sure you feel relaxed when you get back to work.
That’s it! These are, obviously, my opinions and advice, so if you don’t agree or if these don’t work for you, don’t worry about it. Figure out what works for you and you’ll do great! Have an awesome productive day!