Do you ever sit down to get work done, and hours have passed without you getting anything completed? I’ve been there. With the current pandemic, a lot of us are working from home, and staying productive during this time can be tough. However, there are a few easy things you can do to get more work done. In this post, I’ll be sharing ways to boost your productivity as a student, or whatever you may be!
1. Start your day by setting attainable goals
While you’re sipping on your morning coffee, create a mental to-do list. Really think about what you need to accomplish that day, and be specific and start small.
Do you need to read a book chapter? If so, which one? Do you need to send emails? If so, to who?
Don’t write big tasks done like “write a manuscript” instead write down “find at least 5 articles to include in introduction section.”
2. Create a schedule
Now, write it down. This is my biggest productivity hack.
Use a planner or even a scratch piece of paper to jot down your to-do list! Writing these down will get those thoughts of needing to do it out of your head. It will keep you from being less distracted and more productive throughout the day!
As things come up throughout the day, don’t be afraid to change your to-do list and schedule accordingly.
3. Remove distractions
This is obvious, but definitely very difficult! Interestingly, one study that looked at work productivity in people on flights with no internet connection found that one hour of uninterrupted work equated to 3 hours of work in their normal environment!
When you have an important task that requires your full attention, turn off all distractions for a specified block of time. Put your phone in another room, silence your emails, and turn off notifications for social media. There are also apps that can help you remove the distraction of your phone, such as Forest.
Start with removing distractions for small chunks of time (30 minutes) then begin to increase the time blocks (45-1 hour). You will be surprised by how much work you’ll get done!
4. Complete the most dreaded, toughest, or most urgent task first
Start your day with the hardest or most urgent tasks! Those big, dreaded projects can distract you with the guilt of needing to finish it throughout the day. Even if you can finish it all in one day, at least get working on it. Let the satisfaction of crossing it off your list help you stay more focused and productive for the rest of the day.
5. Don’t multitask
Multi-tasking is counterproductive. While it seems like it’s helpful to multitask, it actually takes longer for us to complete various tasks at once. This is because our minds have to shift back and forth between different tasks. Whether you’re completing review questions, doing flashcards, or watching lecture videos, do them one at a time so you can give it your full and undivided attention!