A day has only 24 hours in it, of which some 8 hours are used up for sleep, with the rest that needs to cover work, study, play, and personal time. Poor time management and a lack of routine are perhaps the main causes of many losing out on active hours of a day, leading to stress, anxiety, sadness, and disappointment. A productive day not only brings out the best in oneself, but it also brings with it a feeling of accomplishment and joy, apart from, of course, ensuring that the good old ‘to-do’ list is completed. Here are a few tips for a productive day:
Tip 1: Set Realistic Goals
Be it study, assignments, or a project, be realistic in setting goals. If any, with an eye on deadlines, prepare a practical schedule with sensible timelines, break them down into smaller tasks, and add them to the day’s task list. Some who prefer to finish a particular task in one go can fill up the day’s task list with smaller components of that main task, making it possible to complete the whole of it within the day. For weekends, a different schedule can be cast that has to do with attending to chores, shopping, hanging out with friends and family, indulging in pastimes and hobbies, etc. Making a realistic timetable is the first step for a productive day, and one could also use apps such as ‘Timetable‘ to help.
Tip 2: Clear the Clutter
Before setting out for the day, it is important to create a workspace free of distractions, with adequate light, fresh air, and desk space. Only the essentials are best kept for the workspace, which helps the mind be sharp and focused. Before starting with the day, pull out only that necessary and tidy everything up at the end of the day by keeping things back from whence they came. A clutter-free environment goes a long way in improving workflow and productivity.
Tip 3: Wake Up at a Consistent Time
Remember the adage, “the early bird catches the worm”? There is a reason why such a saying came about, and decades later, scientific studies have shown that waking up early and at a consistent time can indeed improve focus, energy levels, and productivity. Waking up at a reasonably early hour, spending some time for mandatory ablutions, and then following up with a cup of brew or juice, or just plain water is almost certainly an excellent way of kickstarting a good day. For those who are up for a bit more pep, having a potter in the garden, stretching with light aerobics, or amping things up with a brisk walk or workout at the gym should get the body and mind jogging and up to speed.
Tip 4: Update the Task List
All through work or study, keep the task list up to date by checking off all the items completed. This will present a sense of fulfillment, bringing with it immense joy and happiness. It is also a good idea to rearrange or postpone tasks that seem to be consuming more time than they should. Depending on the urgency of the task, delay them by shifting them to the bottom of the day’s schedule or to another day that is not well dotted with enough activity.
Tip 5: Take Regular Breaks
Our human body is not designed to sit for hours on end on our posteriors. Spending extended time seated to read, write, or work on the computer can affect posture and the eyes. Take periodic breaks every 45 minutes to an hour and use them to stretch the arms and legs, rotate the wrists, walk around within the room, bend forwards and backward and focus on the farthest point possible (preferably out of a window) for the eyes to shrug any strain. Splashing some cool water on the face, particularly the eyes, is always refreshing.
Important: Mobile Phones are a major source of distraction. FOMO or the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ plagues most students, who are drawn to their phones like moths to flames! Breaks should not be used to pick up the phone because it is very easy to get carried away and lose track of time. Set aside a reasonable hour at the end of the day to connect with friends and social feeds.
Tip 6: Eat Right, Eat Healthily
Eating on time, eating in portions, and eating wholesome foods are necessitated for healthy living. Toss greens and colored veggies into the meal and stick to low-fat food and lean meat while abstaining from deep-fried food, processed food, and foods rich in trans-fat. Avoid binging and snacking on packaged food and sugary sodas, which almost always increases the chances of obesity and obesity-induced lifestyle diseases. Eating sensible portions and eating on time will keep the mind and body in good health, thereby increasing productivity.
Tip 7: Use a Stress Buster
Once the day’s schedule and to-do list have been completed, it is essential to deviate the mind into activities that serve as stressbusters. Each person, of course, has his or her way of dealing with stress. From playing a sport to doing some gardening, painting, reading a book, listening to music, cooking, and strolling in the park, stressbusters are unique to each person. Find one and make it part of the daily routine. Staying stress-free is important for a sharper focus on studies, and it staves off anxiety and depression.
Tip 8: Wind Down & Sleep Well
Winding down before retiring to bed is just as important as getting the day started. Read a book, watch some TV, listen to podcasts or the radio or spend time with family and friends. Always make sure to hit the bed on time and be consistent in doing so every day. A comfortable mattress, pillow, and quilt or blanket, coupled with the right room temperature, will ensure sound and restful sleep. Set aside gadgets or stop watching television at least an hour before going to sleep because the blue light emitted from such devices affects the quality of sleep.
Discipline, Attention, Routine & Time (DART)
The long and short of having a productive day largely hinges on a routine that one can set for oneself. Once the formula to that routine is tried, tweaked, and final, it is essential to stick to what is known as DART or Discipline, Attention, Routine, and Time. Being disciplined about rules and regulations set for oneself, being attentive and mindful of what needs to be done, sticking to one’s routine as much as possible, and effectively managing the time available daily is sure to help make every day productive and fruitful.
At Online Masters Colleges (OMC), we understand the importance of time and time management. We also know that students are time crunch all the time. To reduce time spent on research about master’s Degrees, we created a comprehensive Resources Guide for all Master’s Students. While you are at it, check out our Most Affordable Online Masters Degrees page too.
Universities around the United States have faced significant funding cuts because of the COVID-19 outbreak. In California, for example, higher education services have been slashed by $1.7 billion in order to address a $54.3 billion budget deficit. It is no secret that colleges and universities across the country are facing budget cuts. What is a … Read more
Attention college students! Are you looking for a way to make some extra money? If so, consider working on campus. There are many great work-study jobs available that will allow you to gain experience in your desired field and make some money too. This blog post highlights 25 of the best work-study jobs on campus. … Read more