When you’ve got tons of work to do and you just have no idea how to fit all the hectic work in a day, you’ve come to the right article. I sometimes used to have a really hard day, completely messed up with my schedule and lagging behind my plans. Maybe, if you’re like me and trying to increase your productivity, I have found a few really cool working methods which can make you a better productive person!
I would like to classify these hacks into simple models which are really easy to follow:
- Mental hacks
- Time management
- Smart study
- Health and environment
- Stop Multi-tasking!
Oh yes! Are you a human being or a robot? Human brains are found to be more efficient when focused on a single task rather than many. You can take up a simple task, finish it and then carry on with another task. Multitasking will definitely keep you busy. But, your ability to finish short term goals will likely to deteriorate over time. As mentioned by Daniel Kahneman in his book, “Thinking fast and slow”, our brains consume less energy while we are focusing on a single task.
If you’re not satisfied with the explanation, watch the video and you’ll notice why multitasking is the enemy of productivity.
- Set Deadlines to your tasks.
If you want to complete a particular task in a certain duration of time, you can increase your productivity by setting deadlines for the task. By doing so, your brain automatically creates a neural mechanism which makes you focus on the task.
- Reward yourself
Start enjoying the pleasures of your life after you finish a particular task. Maybe you can allow yourself to watch an episode of your favorite TV show after finishing an assignment or a tedious task. This way, your brain starts getting small amount of dopamine surges right after you finish your tasks. Soon, you’ll be more addicted towards the completion of your work
- Fit the big rocks in a jar first.
Suppose you have an empty jar and you start filling it with small stones. After it’s done, start filling it with sand. And then proceed with filling it with water. Now, start filling it with huge pebbles. Oh wait. There’s no enough space in the jar right? Exactly. That’s the point.
Here, the huge stones represent the most important tasks and the small stones or sand represents minor tasks like checking facebook, twitter and playing video games. To fit all the types of stones in the jar, start with the big stones, then small stones and then with sand followed by water. This way, you can fit all your tasks in a day.
You can check the video below. This guy illustrates the above example very clearly.
- Plan your day the previous night.
Did you know that successful people usually plan out their day the previous night? This is a great way for your brain to get ready by having a map for the day. Make a habit of planning for the next day before you go to bed.
- Try waking up early.
Do you remember when you were going for a trip in the morning and you had to get up early? You were excited about the trip right? Try replicating the same amount of excitement with your life goals and you will surely succeed. Waking up early gives you more time and you tend to be more productive. I have written another article about getting up early. Make sure you check it out.
3] SMART STUDY
- The Pomodoro technique
Do you study two hours straight and finish off a subject or a book? Well, you’re doing it wrong. Never study continuously until you drain your brain’s capacity. Try using the pomodoro technique.
A single Pomodoro session comprises of a standard 25 minute study/work and a 5 minute break. You keep a timer for 25 minutes and focus on one thing at a time. For example, if you’re studying, don’t touch your cellphones or switch on your TV during the session. After 25 minutes, you can stretch a bit for 5 minutes and then again start another pomodoro session. You can allow yourself to take a 15-30 minute break after completing four or five pomodoro sessions.
This way, your brain starts to process the information in small pieces rather than cramming up the entire syllabus at a time. Since you are taking a 5 minute break for every session, your brain gets relaxed and it gets ready to take up new information.
This is one of the most effective methods which I’ve found. You can try this using pomodoro apps available on the app stores.
Be Focused app- iOS- Click here to download!
Clear focus – Android – Click here to download!
- Small notes
Sometimes, when we study our books, we feel so confident about the topics. They just feel so easy. But during the exams, we screw ourselves up by trying to recollect the same topic which we felt confident.
There is a big difference between recognizing and recollection. When we are studying, we usually just read the topics right? How many of you actually try to recollect the topics? Here’s where small notes come in handy. You can write down all the key concepts/formulae briefly on them and you can start looking at them whenever you are free. This makes sure that the recollection process is carried out in your brain.
[PS: I hardly use small notes during my exams. Don’t be like me! I use it to write ideas which are usually not so related to college]
4]HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
This is one of the frequent topics which I write in most of the articles. Exercising regularly improves your physical and mental health. But how can you make time for it when you’re too busy with your study/work?
When you’re having a busy day, you can try a 7 minute workout. It involves high intensity training for seven minutes. Perhaps the science behind it is that it keeps people moving. The only way to break out of the lazy lifestyle of a lot of people is by getting up and getting active.
You can check out the following to know more about 7 minute workouts.
- Go outdoors
This is my all-time recommendation for people who like to study/work in the same environment for hours. Try going out during your break time and see the difference for yourselves. Give your brain some fresh oxygen and let it relax for a while.
[PS: Don’t play Pokémon Go while you’re taking a break. Nature is better than Pokémon]
Being productive is all about having a high efficiency. As Tim Ferriss, the author of 4 hour workweek rightly said, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
Either you run the day, or the day runs you.