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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Kat's Top 6 - Ways to Be Productive

You have work, or homework, to do... And you've been procrastinating it all weekend.

Then, there you are: The night before, cramming in everything you possibly can into those few hours before it's due. You know you're not sleeping at all until you finish what you have to do. 

Then the next day drags on until you finally reach your bed that night...

Unless you procrastinated something else.

I've been there, and definitely done that many times.

I've finally learned my way out of those habits, and I'm going to share with you what I did to get there :)

6 - Make A Schedule

You need a foundation, somewhere to start. 

If you're feeling disorderly and disorganized, you'll never get anything done. And that's where schedules and to-do lists come into play.

I usually feel better when I know what I'm going to do and when, instead of having 10 hours of freedom with a huge list of things to do... I usually end up wasting time and procrastinating when I give myself that empty time-frame.

Make a schedule. I'm going to work from 9am - 5pm, and then when I come home, I'm going to exercise for an hour, eat, shower, and then I'll give myself two hours to work on my to-do list. After that I have the freedom to do whatever I want or just go to sleep.

5 - First Things First (Prioritize)

Do the most challenging things first. It pays off in the end and you'll start to feel more and more relaxed as times goes on and things get checked off in your schedule. 

You've got a huge list of things to do, you need to organize and prioritize from most important and most challenging to the easiest and simplest tasks.

Organization is your best friend, and in this case, so is prioritizing correctly.

4 - Finish One Task First Before Moving On

So you've finished listing your priorities, from most challenging to easiest... Now, you need to stick with them. Don't move onto the next task unless you've finished the first one. 

This is really important. You don't want to overwhelm yourself by multitasking. You want to make sure you give your full attention to one task, get it finished and done well (so you don't have to go back and fix any mistakes or things you missed), and get the list finished quickly.

When we multitask, we have a million thoughts and tasks in our heads and we tend to forget the little details. "I forgot to do this in my first priority because I was working on that thing for my second priority... Which I also messed up on."

Clear your mind, work on one thing right now and don't think of anything else.

If it's really too challenging, then taking breaks should help you clear your mind before taking on the task again.

3 - Pomodoro Is Your Best Friend

I mentioned this last week as well, it is the best tool I've found. I use it so much, and for everything.

Use the Pomodoro technique, or the Promodoro app on the iPhone. Give yourself enough time to finish the tasks on your list, one by one, and also time in between to relax... But not procrastinate.

2 - Pocket Everything

Stick with the schedule, "pocket" distractions for later. You do not want to use your breaks as a way to get completely distracted, forget about your tasks, and procrastinate.

During your breaks, do something that relaxes you, not distracts you. Leave those stressful emails or long articles for later when you're completely done. I recommend meditation, yoga, or snack breaks in between.

1 - De-stress

A lot of these things coincide with the blog post I wrote last week on how to relax.

That's because you really need to be in that calm and peaceful mindset. If not, you'll never be able to focus on what you're doing because you're too busy worrying about everything else.

That's the main culprit for me, trust me, I worry about everything. But knowing that I have a schedule to keep, time for breaks, and I'm only focusing on one task at a time, I am able to finish my whole to-do list without breaking a sweat.

The days that I mix things up all together are just chaotic, and I fix that by doing yoga before hand or something that relaxes me (music, reading, meditation, etc), and then working on these 6 steps.

Now that this blog post is done, go be productive with your day and don't leave anything for tomorrow! Today's the day to get thing's done. If you leave it for tomorrow, then tomorrow will turn into the next day and so on. Go do what you need to do, you've got my encouragement for sure :) Love you all!

Kat <3


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