It can be hard to find a work/life balance in uni as it’s sooo different from high school, especially if you’ve had to move and settle into a new place. It’s so easy to get distracted with social media or hang around doing nothing for most of the day.
Even if you’re not in uni you’re are struggling to find work/life balance or are struggling to be productive, here are 10 things you should do to increase your productivity.
1. Block social media
We all spend wayyy to much time on social media. I’m guilty of this, especially shutting the Facebook tab on my laptop and then opening Facebook on my phone. There isn’t anything new to look at, it’s just a bad habit. There are heaps of websites that block social media on your laptop, for different times, and however long you want. Make blocking social media a habit, and you’ll have so more time in the day. Build up the habit, and pretty soon you won’t even miss it.
2. Turn it into a game
There are heaps of apps designed like fun little games in order to increase your productivity. Write or Die lets you choose a writing goal, and it also lets you choose how to punish yourself if you don’t meet that goal or if you start to slack off. It even starts to delete your words!
If you love animals and want some positive reinforcement, Written? Kitten rewards you with a cute picture of a kitten, puppy or bunny when you’ve reached your word count. So, find an app that suits you—whether you like the fear of death or cute pictures of animals or something in-between.
3. Take regular breaks
It might sound weird to say in order to increase productivity, take lots of breaks. But it works.
Tony Schwartz, the founder of The Energy Project, has conducted a study to show that humans should take a break every ninety minutes. Ninety minutes is how long it takes for our brain to go from fully focused to feeling fatigued. These breaks will renew your energy and improve your attention span.
4. Complete the hardest task first
This works really well for me with assignments. If you complete the hardest task first or the one you just absolutely dread, then you get it over and done with. You’ll feel happy because it’s out of the way and you’ll feel like you can achieve anything else that comes your way. It makes the rest of the tasks seem like a breeze and super achievable.
5. Write out to-do lists
Breaking down a massive, intimidating task makes it look less daunting and more achievable.
Having a written list of everything you have to do for that day makes it easier to plan and visualise what you have to do. A to-do list is also a great idea to break down those big, daunting tasks. I like breaking everything down into really small, simple tasks instead of a big task because it means more ticking and it feels like I’ve accomplished so much.
Sitting down for too long can increase your risk of dying early as stated on Psychology Today. So it’s vital to get moving in order to reduce these negative health effects!
There are heaps of quick exercise routines online, so find one that suits you. Self has a ten-minute workout you can do without getting too sweaty. Exercise will clear up your mind, and you’ll get fresh ideas.
7. Focus on one thing at a time
Don’t multi-task. Multi-tasking gives you the illusion you’re being super productive and getting lots of stuff done, but you’re just wearing your brain out. You’re stressing yourself out switching between different tasks and losing your mindset. Choose a task, stick to it and smash it out. Give it all your focus.
8. The 5 Second Rule
I discovered this rule when I watched a YouTube video (get this, while I was procrastinating on an assignment). This rule was created by Mel Robbins, and you can read more about it here. Basically, if you notice yourself procrastinating or getting off topic, count down from five seconds and then jump right back into the task. It may take some time to build the habit, but once you do, it’s a really effective habit.
9. Have someone hold you accountable
If you respond well to peer pressure, then this is a great way to turn that weakness into a strength. Tell your friend, housemate, or parent your goal. E.g., You’ll write 500 words in half an hour. If you don’t do it, they’ll be disappointed in you. We don’t mind disappointing ourselves, but we usually fear letting someone else down.
Or you can find someone who has to do the same task as you, meet up to work on it together and hold each other accountable.
10. Reward yourself
We’re all suckers for rewards. Our generation is all about self-care and rewarding ourselves for the smallest of tasks. Set up a goal/reward system. For example, every 500 words you write, you get to eat a small chocolate bar or get a 10 min social media break. Maybe build it up to a big goal like you get to go out for dinner with a friend or you get to go to an event.
Do you do any of these points? Which of these tips will you be trying? What are your favourite productivity tips that I haven’t included?
Featured Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/505eectW54k
Julie is currently studying s Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) at Deakin University in Australia. She's a hardcover book and journal collector, she owns way too many planners, and she keeps telling herself that one day she will go to Paris.