Written and Media by Kelsey Neier.
“What did you do today?”
Your answer can either go two ways- “I was very productive and got a lot of work done” or “I sat on the couch and finished my Netflix show.”
For me, it’s been the second answer. I almost always have important things to take care of everyday, but it can be hard to find time with all of the distractions. How do we make sure we’re putting our time and energy into important work rather than Netflix and Facebook?
You have to put down your phone and get your work done. It is called work for a reason, it’s not supposed to be enjoyable. Nevertheless, it needs to get done. Here is my list of what I do to keep organized and avoid frustration.
- Buy an Agenda.
I promise you, an agenda will change your life. I have used a planner since middle school. I learned early on that if I do not write down what I have for homework everyday, I will most likely forget. My agenda has helped me keep track of everything I’ve got going on for the week. It only takes a couple minutes to write down what you want to accomplish. An agenda can help you plan what you have going on months in advance. It is also pretty satisfying to cross off something on your list when you get it done.
- Check Your Email
I probably check my email about three times as often as the average person. If I am not checking it, my inbox will be flooded from notifications about articles on Producteev and WordPress. I also have to keep up to date with emails from professors about upcoming events and class information. I have found it easier to check my email frequently, so I can quickly take care of any important emails rather than opening up a stress filled, flooded inbox.
- Discipline Yourself
I have been obsessed with looking at fall photography, outfits, crafts and decorations on Pinterest. Netflix also released a new season of New Girl that I finished within two days. I know that these things can be relaxing and fun in moderation, but I have to discipline myself to not go overboard on them. For example, during the school year I limit myself to watching one or two small Netflix shows. I know if I get sucked into a new show with 10 seasons I’ll never get my homework done. It’s tough, but staying away from television is crucial to me getting good grades. I can always come back to those things at a later date.
- Take Breaks
If I don’t stop and take a break from my Drawing class I will feel terrible about my work. I need a break to take a refresher and come back to it. When taking breaks from homework I enjoy going for a walk outside, or grabbing a pumpkin chai tea from Jo’s. These things help reboot and re energize me to clear my head and come back to my work with a fresh outlook and sometimes a new perspective. I’ve noticed that when I work alone in a quiet area with no distractions whatsoever I finish my work quicker and it usually turns out better than if there’s noise around me. It’s good to work hard, but it’s important to take small breaks doing something you like and then come back to your tasks.
I encourage you to try some of these suggestions to help you stay productive. I have also looked at how other people stay organized. I found some great Youtube videos by Allison Anderson and Jasmine Rossol. Check out what they do to be productive: