Submitting work at the last moment, postponing important tasks, running out of time, and being in constant stress – does this sound familiar? It’s time to learn how to organize your timetable properly. Where to start planning, how to motivate yourself and stop procrastinating? We study all this below. Read on to learn how to get more done during the day.
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2. Set A Clear And Achievable Goal
If your goal sounds like “to finish the thesis in the near future”, “to write a test well” or “to hand in presentations this week”, then let’s agree that nothing of this sounds specific. Be more detailed. Let the goals be “write 20 pages of the thesis this weekend”, “view the notes for the English test on Tuesday evening” and “send completed presentations to the head of the department by 5 pm on Friday”. They are easier to achieve, right?
When it seems to you that the goal is unattainable, don’t change the goal – change your action plan.
3. Make To-Do Lists
Hand in the essay, buy groceries, listen to a lecture – we keep a lot of tasks in our heads. Because of this, it may seem that you don’t have time for anything. But it’s not – your brain is just overloaded. Constantly scrolling through tasks in our heads, we experience great fear. Therefore, it is super important to transfer to-do lists to external media. Then, you will be finally present at the moment, doing what you have to, and not getting ahead of yourself.
To get out of the vicious circle, take a diary or notebook and make a list of all the tasks that you have. Be specific: instead of “learn Spanish,” write “read a book in Spanish for 30 minutes every day.” Also, prioritize tasks: what needs to be done urgently, and what can wait a bit.
4. Divide Tasks By Day
Start planning your time small: take a week, for instance. Gradually, you will move on to long-term prospects – from a month to a year.
One of the biggest mistakes students make is to plan ten things a day and only get two or three done. Obviously, you rewrite the tasks for tomorrow and feel dissatisfied. To avoid this, write down only those things that you definitely need to do on that particular day. Make a to-do list for the week and refer to it when you have the time.
Indeed, the main thing about planning is to give yourself the inner peace and free up time for creativity and relaxation. But how? The answer is simple – just allocate resources throughout the day more effectively.
5. Use The Calendar
A calendar is a fundamental step toward managing your time. If you use Microsoft Outlook, the calendar will be part of your mail. Alternatively, rely on Google Calendar and sync it with your mobile gadgets (smartphone, tablet, etc.) so you can update your tasks anywhere and anytime.
6. Learn To Say “No”
Don’t take on more than you can handle. Is your grandma asking you to come to visit her? Reschedule your visit for the weekend. Are friends asking for help organizing a party? Explain that you don’t have the opportunity to do this right now, but you will be part of the team next month. The world will definitely not end if you distribute the load evenly.
7. Give Up Multitasking
Students often try to do everything at once – and in the end, they don’t have time for anything. Choose the most necessary task and focus on it exclusively. Close all browser tabs and programs that aren’t relevant. Mute your phone. Don’t try to listen to a lecture and do tests in another subject simultaneously. There is a high probability that your brain will not remember anything as a result.
8. Avoid Distracting Factors
By distracting factors, we mean phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite sites. You know what to do – just turn it all off and do your job. Nothing bad will happen as the news can wait a couple of hours.
Also, anticipate your needs in advance. Bring coffee or tea, your favorite chocolate, headphones (what if you decide to listen to Lo-Fi beats for concentration?), and a blanket to the workplace. Otherwise, looking for these things in the process will distract you from work.
9. Make Pauses
Download an application, for example, Egg Timer or any Pomodoro and start the countdown. Be sure to work for 50 minutes in a row. Then, rest for 10-15 minutes: go out for some fresh air, do a warm-up or dance to your favorite song. We guarantee you – such a break will help you be more productive.
10. Don’t Be A Perfectionist
Don’t get too focused on the little things. You are still unlikely to be completely satisfied with your work. We are all people who make small mistakes. The main thing is not to let them define you.
11. Record How Much Time You Need To Complete Each Task
For each task, write an approximate time for completion, so you will learn how to evaluate your resources and plan your day more efficiently. Some tasks require three hours, while others will take 15 minutes only. After some time doing this, you will learn exactly how long each thing takes and will be able to plan your days much more efficiently.
To Wrap It Up
How to force yourself to start doing something? Motivation and a sense of pride in the work done will definitely help you tune into the right mood:
- Think about the final goal and why you are doing it. Print inspirational phrases or pictures and hang them on the wall. For example, you want to defend a thesis, get a diploma, and start your own business thanks to an already completed internship and established connections;
- Think about what you have already finished and thank yourself. Keep a gratitude journal and write at least five “thanks” there before going to bed;
- Give yourself gifts and rewards. Did you pass the test perfectly? Then, buy yourself cozy candles or go to the spa;
- Share your plans with a friend. For example, say that you want to hand in all literature essays before the end of December. That’s how your motivation will increase.