11 Ways To Be More Productive In Your Everyday Life
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11 Ways To Be More Productive In Your Everyday Life

"How do you do it all?" "I honestly don't know."

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11 Ways To Be More Productive In Your Everyday Life

I often get asked, "How do you do it all?"

And, my answer? "I honestly don't know."

And, to an extent, that's true. Not only do I write Odyssey articles, but I'm also the president for my Odyssey community, hold down a part-time job, am a full-time student, am job hunting, and write personally on the side. After being asked so many times how I manage to manage my time, I started thinking about how I actually do it.

This isn't completely tried and true, these are just the methods I use to be productive, especially when I don't feel like it.

1. Prioritize Self-Care

This might seem like an odd start to an article about being more productive, however, the number one to be productive and remain productive is to focus on self-care. You can even do this while being productive. Write emails while wearing a face mask, keep a water bottle at your work station the whole day, listen to music as you work, etc. There are countless ways to take care of yourself and get stuff done at the same time.

However, this does not replace the relaxation and downtime you should do for yourself without focusing on work. Self-care sessions where you focus just on yourself are just as important to not burning out as the small things you can do while being productive.

2. Make To Do Lists

Honestly, this is the #1 way I hold myself accountable and am productive. I simply make a To Do List (for the week, the day, the weekend, whenever) in the Notes app on my phone and it becomes like a game to cross them off. This means that I get a slight rush as I eliminate tasks from the list, and often, the list sparks more ideas of things to get done. Prioritizing this list can also help.

Let's say you have a larger project on the list that isn't due for a week or more, it may be more productive to get ahead in your required reading at the moment, so that you will have more time for the project later in the week.

3. Utilize Your Free Time

It's common in college to have awkward time slots between classes. Even if you only have an hour, grab a snack and crack open a book. Instead of spending that time aimlessly scrolling through social media (although in certain vocations and moments this can be productive), work on a reading assignment or get a smaller task done. I often find when I utilize the natural breaks I have during the day, I often come home with very little or nothing to do, allowing me to either get ahead or relax that night.

4. Plan Your Meals

Many college students know the stress of not being able to eat for long periods of times due to back to back classes, work, etc., however, if you plan your meals accordingly, you can enjoy them, but also not take too much time away. Often, I allow myself to relax during meals and not work on other tasks (with the exception of if I have a short time to eat). This helps me relax before getting busy and makes sure that I don't forget to eat.

Protein shakes, trail mix, etc. can make great snacks that can get you through the day and allow you to be productive at the same time.

5. Schedule In Relaxation

Like I noted above, schedule in time to watch the next "Game of Thrones" episode or spend some time on social media. These periods where you just relax and allow you to do whatever it is you want to do are vital to not burning out and making sure you remain productive. I often watch some Netflix or read before bed or sometimes in the early mornings will linger in bed a little longer and watch a show I'm catching up on.

Schedule in a couple hours a week to be away from your phone or other devices and just relax. Whether you hang out with friends, take a long bath, or go for a day trip, is up to you.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Being productive is often synonymous with not getting enough sleep. And, yes, we've all been there. It's 2 a.m. the night before the assignment is due and you're frantically trying to get it done. Or, maybe, you were simply working and didn't realize what time it was. This happens and it's fine.

However, if I'm overly tired, I am not productive at all. So, I either schedule in a nap or I allow myself to go to bed at a decent time. And, hey, I'm not saying you can't work until 2 a.m., I'm just saying to sleep in the next day, so that you can be equally productive.

Once you get into a good routine, you may even find that you get ahead on your work and going to sleep won't put you behind at all. This is the best feeling and one I hope every busy person gets once in a while.

7. Use The Reminders App

This is crucial. I'm forgetful of small things and it's very likely I would forget to go grocery shopping for weeks. For these smaller or menial tasks, I often will plan a specific time and day to do it and put a reminder in my phone for that date and just before the time. I probably won't forget it in the first place because I did this, but in the event I do, it will remind me. This also works for large important tasks. This can help you remember the small things and make sure that you get the absolute necessities done.

8. Ask A Trusted Person To Help You

If you have a paper or test coming up, it might help to ask your roommates or friends to deny your requests to hang out until you finish it/ or are done. This can give you the motivation to study, but it also gives you the time to get these things done.

9. Focus On One Or Two Tasks At A Time

Don't overwhelm yourself. For example, at the moment, I am only working on this article. I only have one tab open and I'm making sure that I will finish writing this before I go onto anything else. Multitasking is possible, but it would be difficult to write this article, while also writing an essay. If you multitask, pick complementary tasks that you can easily handle doing at the same time.

10. Be Forgiving

If you don't get everything done or if you're not being as productive as you'd like, don't beat yourself up over it. We are all only human and we need to take breaks. There are going to be days, weeks, months, etc. where you are more productive than previous ones, and that's OK.

11. Overlap Tasks When Possible

This is different from multitasking that I mentioned above. Some tasks like laundry, washing dishes (in a dishwasher), etc. are tasks that contain a waiting period. Once you put in a load of laundry, go work on something else while it's doing it's thing, especially if it's something you can complete in around the time it takes the load to finish. This can help you accomplish multiple tasks at once. However, again, don't overwhelm yourself.

Being productive in a way that works for you is something that takes practice. Not everyone is productive in the same ways and that's OK. Learn what works for you and stick to it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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