Sunday, March 18

How I've Been Productive: The College Life

The college life is a bit more complicated than high school, let me tell you that. The schedule isn’t always the same, as the lecturers are busy too. The homeworks and tasks are weirder... than high school homeworks. The syllabus is sometimes also a mess, tends to not go in order. You get my point. And that’s only uni.

Outside of uni, I have organisation matters like meetings and events to attend. Besides that, I sometimes have extra work load like conducting interviews or being interviewed, important phone calls, creating pamphlets and posters, just all the things you can imagine.

Due to the confusion and sudden classes and crazy load of work, as a student I would need a pretty decent productivity method. At least that will work for me. When talking about productivity, we immediately think of getting our activities done easily, efficiently and on time. To get productive, I like to combine handwritten and digital platforms, because not only is it fun, but also mobile. I think my productivity methods are pretty great because it keeps me ahead for almost all of my activities and makes me a bit more peaceful on crowded days.

Wake Up Early and Create a Morning Habit
Most people don’t believe in a morning habit. It’ll seem like the things Youtubers film and everything is aesthetically pleasing. Well, I don’t think it’s always aesthetically pleasing, but it works. Building my morning habit has been fun and it makes me feel like I’ve got my shit all together for the rest of the day. Waking up early is also the key to being productive, as we try not to waste even a second of the day. Here’s my morning habit:

All these habit might seem too much, but I personally haven’t feel pressured by my habit. What’s great about creating your own morning habit is that you get to modify it as you want, whatever works for you. I wake up at 6.30 am every day, therefore I manage to put all these habits before going to class. Fun fact: The earlier you wake up, the more things you get to do. This is why productive people wake up early.

I like to use a weekly planner to make sure all my tasks and activities don’t bump into each other, and I’ll have the time to do everything not in a rush. I usually do short essays and tasks at least two days before the due date. While for bigger tasks, I like to start at least two weeks (drafting) before the due date. By doing that, I won’t be in a constant rush, and have more sleeping hours. I’m currently trying to make my meal plan (meal prep). That way, I won’t have to figure out what I want to have for lunch or dinner, because I’ve planned them out according to my diet. Creating to-do lists is also in this planning section, because creating a to-do list means you’ve planned out the things you need to get done in a matter of time. I add appointments to my planner as well, to avoid overlapping activities. I think planning really increases your productivity and excels your management skills.

Tidy and Clean Desk/Workspace
Tidying my desk is a new habit I’ve been doing. I like to put my planner, books, laptop, speaker and cables at their own space. I also have a free space for me to write or doodle. By having a tidy desk, I don’t have to think about tidying it up in the morning, or before I actually need to study. Super tip: A tidy and clean desk will also make sure you work on your desk, rather than on your bed. Working on your bed isn’t efficient, as it’ll make you want to stay lazy for the whole day. Work at your desk, sleep at your bed. (PS: Also clean email inboxes!!!)

Not Opening My Phone Right After I Wake Up
This is a very hard thing to do, but it’s possible. Although I use my phone as my alarm clock, after I wake up I would stop my alarm and not take my phone to my face. Instead, I would drink a glass of water and start my morning habit. Super tip: Airplane mode your phone when you sleep. It will make your morning so much better. Scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Line and Pinterest can take up so much of my morning time, I would suddenly be in a rush to shower, and do my skin care, and eat breakfast. By not opening my phone, I would prioritise the things I actually have to do first, and then open my social medias when I’m ready (I'm usually ready when I'm eating my breakfast).

Multitask, little by little
I know, I know. Multitasking isn’t as productive as people thought it is, but it works for me… A bit. I like to multitask the brainless tasks. For example, while I’m reviewing my plan for the day, I would also use that time to do my skincare routine. While I’m writing this post, I would also boil some hard boiled eggs for me to take to class. Multitasking those small bits is okay, as long as one isn’t as brain-taking as the other.

Turn On the Right Notifications
If you own a smart phone, I’m sure you understand how annoying notifications can be sometimes. The smart people will turn off the unimportant notifications to keep their phone clean and tidy. The not-so-smart people will ‘accidentally’ or ‘carelessly’ click Yes to notifications from tens of apps, that their phone will be filled with it. The only notifications you need to turn on is your email account (inbox and unsent messages), synced calendar, one social media you use, and messages. Okay, maybe some extra social media notification is alright, but the unimportant notification shouldn’t overlap the important ones. Notifications are basically reminders.

Sundays Off
On Sundays, I like to wake up a little more late than usual. But still categorised as morning (before 10.30 am please). I like to make Sunday my lazy day, or a day to go out with my boyfriend and friends. Anything but work. At least for the day. At night, of course I would prepare some materials and my backpack for class. But before that is all pampering and being lazy. I rarely have anything planned on Sundays, because I’m not supposed to plan anything for that day. Creating a time off for myself is a great way to stay productive and ready for the upcoming weekdays. (Of course, this method doesn’t always work because some times I actually do have to work on Sundays.)

Healthy Body, Easy Days
I always, always, always look out for my body and my health. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything. Therefore I always make time to exercise. I’m currently coaching some first year students for the swimming class, and it actually makes me feel healthier because I’m moving. I’m also trying to eat healthier by cooking more from home, and healthy snacking. Out of all the habits I do to make myself more productive, this is the most important and effective one. 

There are still so many way of creating a productive day. For inspirations and ideas, I like to watch Lavendaire and Rowena Tsai on Youtube. They have so many videos mainly on self care, productivity, organising, and life, basically. I hope by this 'guide', you guys can start practicing being productive on a daily basis. Nothing bad ever comes from being productive ;) 

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