As exam time and coursework deadlines approach, I thought it would be good to compile a list of my top 3 motivational and productivity tips. These are basically a combination of various bits and pieces I have read in recent years, but I hope it helps.
1. Perfection leads toprocrastination
If you really think about it, a lot of the times that you postpone doing something it is because you were hoping for an enlightening moment that all knowledge will just pop into your head and you will want to do the work. Well, unless you are actively working on the project, the chances your brain will think about it are quite slim.
Solution: If you really don’t feel inspired or feel lost when doing a project, just start reading about it. Make an outline of the things you might want to talk about, start compiling quotes, notes or bullet points. It might help if you pretend you have to give it in in 1hr and you just need to put a bunch of notes together. This may not be the best work, but at least it will get you thinking about the project and the chances that you will feel enlighten are much higher! Besides, even if that moment doesn’t come, at least you have some stuff written done, so you won’t feel so guilty.
2. Making useful To-do lists
This is straight from Getting Things Done, by David Allen. The best way to reduce stress is to know exactly everything you have to do, and know that there is no way you will forget what you must do. Ergo, TO-DO list! The problem with to-do lists is that people tend to just write general projects, such as “do essay”. Well, that is not really a single action. The essay is a whole project with various tasks involved. So when you write “do essay” you are not actually thinking the whole project through.
Solution: Make two lists, one for projects and one for actions. Under projects you just write down all the things that are going on in your life, be it a trip or a course work. For the actions list, write the break down of EVERY LITTLE THING you have to do. Read Getting Things Done by David Allen if you need more details.
3. Proper Breaks
The brain, just like any one muscle, needs to take breaks in order to charge and be fully functional. However, many people take breaks by going into social networks or browsing the net/watching videos. This is not an effective break time as you are still using your brain.
Solution: When taking breaks get off your computer and take a 5 minutes walk, meditate, exercise, anything that you take pleasure. Chores are also not a good thing to do during the break. You must truly stop! I hope you find this useful.
There are many other tips and tricks, so watch this space!
GOOD LUCK & KEEP WORKING!