Have you ever walked around the office, the library, the classroom, wherever… and wondered how everyone around can be so focus and so invested in what they are doing? Honestly, I think this every single day walking around a college campus. There are thousands of students and professors hard at work everywhere. They are doing homework that is do a month from now. They are cleaning and organizing themselves. They are getting so much done and accomplished that they have all of this extra time to do whatever they want, and for the life of me, I do not know how they do it. It kills me!
I am the kind of person who makes a massive to do list at the beginning of each week, and I tell myself to go through and cross everything off of the list, and by the middle of the week, I am so overwhelmed and tired that I lose my motivation and do not feel like doing anything. Great, right? Sometimes I feel like it is just me who experiences these struggles, but I know that is not true. Plenty of people struggle with being productive and staying focused.
In life, there is no wrong answer. There are so many ways that you can answer questions in life, so there is bound to be quite a few different ways to remain productive. According to Forbes, one thing that you can do to remain productive is to make a to do list the night before and only include THREE important things that you want to get done for the day. Now that I think about it, it does make a lot of sense. I will fill out a large tablet paper, front and back, full of things to accomplish. Even for a week, that is WAY overdoing it. Avoid the exhaustion and avoid the hand cramps, and limit your to do list to a three most important things.
Another suggestion from Forbes is learning to say “no.” As someone who is always trying to make everyone happy, I constantly find myself saying “yes” to invitations, even if I know that I have something important to focus on that day. We have to be strong and learn to limit our distractions. If that means ignoring that phone call from mom or telling your friend you can not hang out that night, then that is what it has to be. We need to hold our own and learn that tiny, but powerful word.
This next tip is one that I need to learn to do, and that is to take proper breaks. It is understandable that we are going to get tired and overwhelmed after pushing through the stress that comes with finishing a task, but working for two or more hours at a time with no breaks is unhealthy. Time spent does not equal productivity. We need to remind ourselves to take breaks between our work. Forbes recommends taking ten to twenty minute breaks if you are working for about two hours. This gives you plenty of time to get your blood pumping and new ideas flowing. Also, setting an alarm to go off every thirty minutes is a good idea to make sure you are staying on task. After the alarm goes off, take a one minute breather, restart the clock, and push through the next thing.
There are so many things that we can do to become more productive. The feeling of accomplishment feels so great. You feel like you can take on the world and everyone it. It makes you feel confident and successful, and who doesn’t want to feel that way. If you struggle with staying productive, try these tips, and explore the other possibilities online and from the people around. Expand your ideas and ways of thinking, and become more productive.