When you live in a world that moves as rapidly as the one we live in, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with so much work and stuff that crowds your head, that you never actually get anything done. Probably even right now as you read these first two sentences you have at least five other things swirling around in your head that you need to do. If you’re always thinking about the next thing, it is impossible to clear your head and give 100% of your attention to the task in front of you. I’m here to give you some ways that I use to clear my head and organize my thoughts, and hopefully that can help you out too.
1. Get a notebook.
I carry a Field Notes guide with me at all times. Now I know, this probably makes me some kind of a hipster, but the information I write down in there is invaluable, and allows me to visually see my thoughts and just get my ideas on paper. I have everything in there from video and project ideas, notes, logo designs, and even tiny house plans that flood my head when I can actually find some free time. I would never remember any of this and lose some great information if I didn’t have this notebook.
2. Get an organizing app.
If I don’t write something down, or I can’t visually see it, I won’t actually get it done, or remember to do it. To help with this dilemma I have downloaded tons of productivity apps, and finally found the perfect one for me. Handle organizes my to do lists, calendars, and emails all in one place. Having all of that information combined into one space allows me to see it in comparison to everything else and began to check things off the list. There is something very rewarding about being able to finish a task and check it off, and that positive reinforcement helps me to get work done. This app might not be the best for you, but there a hundreds out there, see what works.
3. Wake up early
Now I know, after seeing this one, you are all about to close the tab, but hold on. There is a lot of evidence that points to productivity being the best in the morning. Especially as a college student waking up early allows me to get most of my work done before 9 am, and then I have the rest of the day to be creative and do the other stuff I want to do. Every day of this semester I have gotten up at either 6 or 6:30, and my productivity has skyrocketed. The world is quiet, there is nothing else going on, I can really focus on the tasks at hand and complete them. If that wasn’t convincing enough, check out what Brett over at the Art of Manliness has to say. Even if you don’t agree with what he says, he has an incredible mustache.
4. Find a space/ Turn it off.
I have found that it is almost always impossible for me to actually get work done in my dorm room. There are too many distractions. Finding a place where you can go and get away from everything can really help push your creativity and productiveness forward. Another part of that, is getting away from your phone. Constantly checking your phone KILLS productivity. The constant dinging of notifications, texts from your grandma, whatever it is, if you want to actually get something done, set your phone to the side (where you can’t see it) and do your work first.
5. Separate work and play.
I think one of the hardest things for creative people to do is to turn off from thinking about their next project. I am awful at this. I will go from one thing to another with the thought of the last thing in my mind. This is horrible for your productivity, and also for your social life. Being actively engaged in the moment helps you to be able to do better at that specific task. Once you leave a meeting, or a class, stop thinking about it and prepare for the next thing on your list, including spending time with friends and family. If you are always thinking about work and never live in the moment, you miss some of life’s best experiences.
I hope these ideas helped you to began to think about your productivity and you find your own way to be productive.