As a graduate student I find that recently a lot of my time has been spent flipping between days of varying academic effort. Some weekdays I have a heavier workload, and others I have a more casual work-from-home kind of day. But no matter the tasks at hand, I always try to be productive.
Over the past two years in graduate school I have established a few simple habits to incorporate into my daily routine that help maximize productivity and crush my goals.
Here are 5 things you can include into your routine to help you become more productive:
1. Make a list
This tip is focused on the effect of visualization. Writing down your tasks can allow for you to visualize what you need to complete throughout your day. This can be an effective way to stay on course and complete your daily tasks.
For example, I have found that by writing in my agenda I am more likely to complete more tasks than by recalling the tasks through memory. Once the task is completed, I check the item off the list. This strategy will help to keep yourself organized in order to complete every task/goal of that day/week and increase productivity.
2. Determine your peak “work time” of day
Are you a “night owl” or an “early bird?” Some people are more productive in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some people are most productive throughout the late hours of the night.
In undergrad I found that I completed my best studying after 10pm. Currently, I do my best work from 9am-12pm, and then again at 7pm-9pm. Try to find the time of day that you are most productive and work toward amplifying your productivity during that period of time.
3. Organize your “mindless” tasks from your more “focused” tasks
This task breakdown has made my list of “things on the back burner” shrink significantly. I consider mindless tasks the tasks that you can do while listening to music or watching an episode on Netflix. These tasks are typically simple, quick, and do not take a lot of brain power – such as answering emails, or organizing documents. The focused tasks are the tasks that require more time, a lot of focus, and are of higher importance.
Being aware of the division of these tasks can help boost the number of tasks you get done in a day, and to eliminate mindless tasks off your to-do list.
4. Set goals for yourself
When isn’t goal setting effective? I could go on and on about the power of goal setting, but fortunately for you I wrote a previous blog post about how to set goals & crush them. To read it click here.
These fuel my fire. Self-rewards are mini rewards that can act as not only motivation, but also a self-appreciation for completing tasks. Examples of self-rewards that I use are: 10 minute Youtube video breaks, enjoying Cadbury mini-eggs after every task I completed, a glass of wine at the end of a long work day, or ordering take-out for dinner.
Everyone’s reward is going to be different, you just want to make sure that you can give yourself a reward that will create drive, ambition, and fuel productivity.
These 5 tips are designed to create positive change in your daily routine, and to help make you even more of a hustler than you already are.
I hope that you can begin to incorporate one if not all habits into your life and be more productive than ever before!