Any break is welcomed at uni. But sometimes those breaks aren’t a always a "break". I know this is the case with Easter for a lot of you. They are often filled with uni work and deadlines, due for when you are back. Throw in being at home and wanting to spend time with family and friends, sunny garden BBQ's and chocolate hangovers when you just want to Netflix binge. Distractions are everywhere and it's hard to stay motivated! But there are a few little things you can do to increase productivity, stay focused and get s**t done:
1. Website Blockers For The WIN
When I was doing my dissertation, website blockers were my saviour. You know those very frequent moments when you get stressed or bored and want a distraction, off you go to The Daily Mail, Buzzfeed or ASOS. But not with a website blocker. You can add a list of websites you want to refrain from visiting and the amount of time to block them for. I recommend designating a morning of hard graft (9am-12am), I call these the power hours. Put on a blocker for that timeframe and I promise you will be so shocked at how much you get done!
2. Shut Down Social Media
We can block certain websites, but having your phone is probably the main source of distraction. Let’s say you have designated your morning to some serious get-your-head-down-graft, the websites are blocked so now we need to sort your phone.
I like to put my iPhone on Aeroplane Mode or Do Not Disturb Mode (as you get no notifications but calls still come through), SIGN out of all social media apps and put my phone out of sight. If you look at your phone 4 times an hour within your 9am-12am power hours, you have lost a serious amount of time.
3. Project Retail Therapy
Okay we all love shopping. But I especially love taking a little trip to get some bits that will help me stay organised and focused. Folders, a new note book or a new calendar, always make me feel motivated about starting a new project. But you don't even need to leave home; do you know that we have a shop filled with things to help you get motivated? Check it out here.
4. Start With The Hardest
Starting the day with the hardest task is the my fave way to tackle a scary workload. Whatever it may be; once it is done and out of the way you are on track to a productive day. I am always more alert first thing in the morning, so I like doing the tricker tasks (or the ones I am least looking forward to like banking and finance ha!) first thing in the morning.
5. Create Your 3 MIT’s
AKA Most Important Tasks. We like to create ENDLESS to-do lists for a day. Most of the time it is unrealistic to compete ALL tasks and if you haven’t completed them, you end up feeling a little down about yourself by the end of the day.
So before you touch anything (social, emails, laptop), start your day by creating your 3 Most Important Tasks. This will help you understand what to really prioritise and focusing on just 3 things makes it more likely to get those done. Meaning you will feel all that more productive in the process! I like to write the 3 different tasks on 3 separate PostIt’s and put them on my computer screen. Once one is done I like to screw it up and physical throw it away. It's so therapeutic! I also like to do this, give it a try for optimum motivation:
Create my 3 MIT’s before I go to bed, so it’s ready for me in the morning. Having a plan for when you start your day will give you clarity and provide some serious focus to accomplish your goals.
You know that feeling when you have been working all day and feel like you haven’t accomplished much? At the end of the day, I like to write down all the things that I have accomplished that day. It could just be clearing emails! I promise once you start reflecting on your day you will have done so much more than you think.