There are countless of productivity and time management tips and tricks out there. I have tried some which at first seems manageable for me. However, something can be called effective when it slowly becomes a habit which then becomes a routine.
I don’t know about you but here are some things that I find works after trying it last semester and this semester :
- Pomodoro timer
As someone who doesn’t have a good sense of time, timer works for me. However, since I don’t often account breaks into it, I tend to experience burn out easily. Pomodoro techniques help me find my flow. You don’t have to stick to original timing of 25 minutes work then 5 minutes break, then continue again. I personally find 30-45 works best for my focus. Then, I take break for 5-10 minutes often doing other things that will help me remember I still have something to do. That way, I get so much done in a day than not timing myself.
- Focus on one or three things a day
Relating to the first technique, it is better to limit our focus to do several tasks a day and pour our energy into it. But keep in mind to know your personal capacity. If you can do 5 things in a day and get them all done,that’s okay. if not, do one or three things in a day but make sure you will make progress even just one percent.
It’s counter-intuitive but I don’t like scheduling these days. I was an avid scheduler. I have papers that tell me what to do, when to eat, etc. It works only sometime until I tried to implement anti-scheduling. I don’t schedule anything but I make sure I still remember basic survival skill : sleep, eat, and other things I do. But those two are something I tend to forget and crucial for my health. Anti-scheduling might work for you but first you need to know grasp the idea of time and urgency.
- Check e-mail first thing in the morning
I do check my e-mail the first thing in the morning and it stops there. Once I am on my computer, E-mail is the first thing to check. Then if there’s urgent message, I will reply. If not, I will mostly open it on Saturday -Sunday when I get to catch up with friends and family.
- Never work in bedroom and mix your device
This one relates to distraction management. Lately, I find that I work best and better when I am not using my personal device. So, I create separate profile : Tablet for my school, phone for the luz, and laptop for work, programming and interests. I do most of my school work from library school and often it’s done more than if I do it from my personal device. If you can afford to buy spare computer or laptop, do it. It will help you get things done faster and more effective than having one device to mix things. Also bedroom is for sleeping. Not for working, playing with your gadget or worse, eating.