There are three things I know. As a college student, I know how important it is to plan ahead and not fall behind in my school work. I also know how important it is to manage my time correctly so I’m not stuck doing two assignments in one night. Being more productive at school or when I’m working is a great goal and there are many people who have the same goal. Here’s the third thing I know: planning to be more productive instead of preparing to be more productive is setting myself up for failure.
I plan to be more productive all the time. That doesn’t mean I am more productive. A plan is an intention, it’s the awareness that you want to do something. Preparation puts action to your plan and can provide more incentive to get things done.
Whether you're a student or you are looking to be more productive in the workplace, these tips will help you get started and stay on track.
1. Get organized and Stay organized
Organizing your workspace (or your backpack) is a great way to get started. Having everything in place can really inspire you to get more done. It’s a great feeling to know that everything you need is right there and you don’t have to go around digging for it. Now, organization will definitely be a great boost but, as with all things, it requires maintenance. There’s no point in being organized for only a week. I like to use the Two minute rule where if it will take you less than to minutes to organize, then do it! You’ll find that you’ll never have days when you can’t find something or you have to have a massive organization day. That’s not a great use of your time.
2. Get a Schedule Going
Create a schedule for yourself. Your schedule can be in to do list form, a planner, or any other way you choose. It doesn’t really matter as long as you use something to help you keep track of everything you need to do. Our minds get so cluttered sometimes. For example, if I don’t write things down, I’ll spend so much time worrying about remembering certain things that I’ll most definitely forget other things. As my good friend Jess says, “If I don’t write it down in my calendar, it doesn’t exist.” Schedules aren’t a crutch for those who can’t remember things, they are a tool for the most productive people.
3. Get the Tools
Speaking of tools, make sure you have everything you need. Whether you’re a student or an employee at your desk, you shouldn’t find yourself wasting time trying to find things like pens, or trying to calculate how much time you’ve spent on a particular project. Get all your tools ready to go. There are many apps out there that serve as excellent productivity tools. Invest your time in trying to find the best one for you.
4. Get Some Rest
Remember not to go so hard that you burn out at the end or even in the middle. It’s important to know your limits and find time to recharge. Sleep- deprived does not equal more productive so be sure to get enough sleep. When you’re not sleeping, find the time to hang out with your friends and loved ones. And make sure that you laugh a lot! They say that laughing is the best medicine and they are right. There’s no better way to de-stress.
When you're researching the tools to use, be sure to check out TimeTag, the simple time sheet app we've developed. It's free to use and can help you manage your time better!