Whether you’re self-isolating, working from home or just minimising your usual day-to-day activities and commitments, the silver lining from this health crisis is we all seem to have a bit more time up our sleeves! Isn’t that what we’re always wishing for? – ‘if only I had more time…’
Well – your wish has been granted!
So, we’ve put some tips together to help keep your days productive, and hey, why not knock off a few more units of your course? (we are still here assessing after all!)
1. SET YOUR PRIORITIESOne of the easiest ways of doing this is formulating a ‘to-do’ list:
We are all about the lists here at Vast HQ and find it increases our productivity immensely! This also helps to compartmentalise your tasks and see them to completion.What are the most important things you want to accomplish today?
Write them down, make them visible, and hold yourself accountable to your tasks for the day. Do you want to work out? Take the dog for a walk? Do a couple of hours or study?
In doing this step, however, be realistic in the number of things you can achieve in one day. There is no use writing yourself an exhaustive to-do list, only to accomplish 3 things and feel defeated. If you have a number of tasks to complete, spread them over a couple of days and reduce unnecessary stress and self-inflicted pressure (talking to all you high achievers out there!)
2. SCHEDULE YOUR TIME ACCORDINGLY
Once you have your priorities, you will be able to schedule your day accordingly. A top tip here is do the hardest or most tedious job on your to-do list first. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment that will motivate you into completing the remainder of your tasks. Think realistically about how long you think each task will take and block out the hours in your day.
You may not realise it, but following your usual weekly schedule is you thriving on routine and structure. When we’re giving hours of free time, we often don’t know what to do with it! Structuring your day and settling into a new routine will ensure you make the most of this gift we’ve been given, and will help you to use your time wisely and do the things you’ve been wanting to do!
*Don’t forget to schedule a lunch break!
3. AVOID MULTITASKING
Believe it or not, multitasking can actually hinder your productivity. You will lose time and concentration switching from one task to another, resulting in feeling like you’ve worked hard yet accomplished nothing.
The most effective thing you can do your task completion is to compartmentalise – also known as doing one thing at a time, from start to finish! As mentioned previously, completing an entire task motivates you to tick the next thing off your list, thereby increasing productivity!
4. STOP PROCRASTINATING
Okay, we know this is easier said than done, but have you ever started the day with a list full of ambitions only to procrastinate and not complete a single one during the day? How did you feel in that moment? Our guess is you would have thought something along the lines of ‘I could have got so much more done today…’
We get it! In today’s high-speed society, sometimes hours of free time is alluring, but when you have real-adult-life things to do, it’s a disappointing feeling to have done nothing when you had the opportunity to do a lot!
So put the remote down for now, and start by applying yourself for a solid hour and watch how much you can get done; then tomorrow, try for two hours!
5. STAY HEALTHY AND KEEP THE BALANCE BY UTILISING A ‘REWARD SYSTEM’
In the previous tip, did you notice how we said to put the remote down ‘for now’? Scheduling downtime is just as important for productivity as scheduling time for your tasks.
One strategy that can be useful is a small reward system for your hard work.
For example – ‘once I’ve finished X, I’ll get to Y’. Now, ‘Y’ can be whatever will motivate you to complete ‘X’: an episode of your current show (although how hard is it to stop at one episode?!), a food reward, or even an outing out of the house for some sunshine.
Another example is setting time boundaries, just as you would in your usual job. Allow time for a lunch break and set a time in the afternoon to finish ‘work’ for the day. This will help you to keep some normalcy in your life, as well as have a chance to rest!