Thursday, September 29, 2016

Top 5 Necessities for Being Productive

College is a complete change of pace. I went from spending eight hours a day in eight different classes, two hours practicing for dance and then going home and attempting to study, sleep and eat with the remainder of my time. My high school schedule was definitely extremely fast-paced, but it was a good way to keep busy. But, it was certainly easy for me to become easily frustrated and stressed out over small things because there was constantly something going on.

In college I'm currently taking four classes (plus one other class, but it doesn't have outside work) and so far am not involved in anything on campus. I have plans to rush a sorority sophomore year and hopefully join a service organization, but I'm still getting acclimated with the school. I have a lot more time on my hands than usual, but it's so nice to finally be able to dedicate the time needed to succeed in classes, the time I didn't have in high school. In high school I often half-assed things because there was just always so much work that it seemed impossible to get it all done. Now, the workload is definitely heavier, but it's very refreshing being able to fully learn about a topic and reflect on the learning targets. 

Being productive is especially important because although there's more time available, I definitely do not want to waste too much time procrastinating and avoiding work. I pulled that crap way too much in high school. These are my top five necessities for being productive.

1. Make A List
Start off by using an agenda (let me know if you'd like to see how I organize my agenda!) and make a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish. This does not only have to include academics, this could be a reminder to do laundry, clean your dorm or workout. 

2. Get Rid of Distractions
For me this means blocking myself from going on YouTube, Netflix, reading other blogs, etc. I use SelfControl and this has seriously changed the game. It restricts you from going on your own set list of websites. No matter what you do, close the application or restart your computer, you will not be allowed to access any of the websites on your blacklist. This is especially helpful because I'm forced to finally focus.

3. Find Your Spot
I've actually enjoyed doing homework in my dorm, but recently it's been so hot that I need to get out of there. Also, the dorm is open for distractions because if my roommate or friends stop by the room I love chatting with them. Going to Starbuck's or the library has been very helpful for me because the risk of seeing someone I know is pretty slim (even though my school is pretty small). 

4. Prioritize To Manage Your Time
Jot down all of the things that you need to do in order of priority so that you don't waste time working on a project that's due in two weeks when you have a paper due in two days. Prioritize exactly which assignments you must accomplish on a given day that way you ensure that things that have sooner due dates are finished in a timely fashion.

5. Take Productive Breaks
Just because you're taking a break from studying doesn't mean you can't be productive. Get some of your work done, then take a quick break to have a snack. Or go throw a load of laundry in. Getting up and getting out of your seat and taking a quick mental break is often beneficial, but whatever you do do not go on YouTube or Netflix to watch "just one thing" because you will immediately be sucked in! 

What are your tips to being productive?