Tips for Increasing Productivity


Are you a night owl or an early bird? Last semester I got into a habit of working late into the night, which resulted in my feeling exhausted during the day. My remedy was to to take naps or watch Netflix throughout the day in an attempt to recharge and keep going. While this night owl approach worked okay, I set a goal this semester to shift my productivity to the daytime and create more time in the evening to relax, socialize and even sleep.

I do not know if I will ever be an early bird. I do, however, like feeling as though I have completed a lot at the end of day rather than looking at a long list of items still left to tackle. Here are a few of the changes I have made that are helping to maximize my productivity during the day.

Don’t Lay Down
It’s obvious yet it was easily what killed my daytime productivity last semester. Between or after classes, I would come back to my sorority house, sit down in our informal living room, and either turn on a show or take a nap. Once I sat down and let my body relax, I immediately lost productivity and any motivation to get work done. Now, between classes I like to go to Starbucks or to the study room in the house to get some work done. Though it may not be a ton of time, it always feels good to mark something off my to-do list no matter how small.

Be Somewhere Productive
Along with the first point, I like to try to work in a place where I know I will be productive. I find it so much easier to be productive in a location like Starbucks than I do in my dorm room where I am tempted just to hop in bed and turn on a show or nap for a bit. Being somewhere with fewer temptations for relaxing or distractions from studying helps keep me going and not let down.

Plan a Mid-Afternoon Pick Me Up
There are some days when I wake up and one of my first thoughts is when can I squeeze a nap into the day. On days like these, instead of planning a nap I like to think of something I can look forward to in the afternoon that can keep me going. Whether this is getting a coffee with a friend, checking out the tabling events at the student center, or walking around campus sometimes a mid-afternoon distraction can keep me from mentally letting down.

Write a To Do List in the Morning
One habit I have been trying to stick to this semester is writing out a to-do list for the day each morning. By doing this when I start the day rather than in the evening I am more motivated to get things done seeing all that I have to do. The sooner I mark everything off my to-do list, the sooner I feel like I can take a break. No matter how small each task on my list is, it feels good to feel like I am being productive throughout the day.

College is all about learning what works best for you. I'd love to hear any tips you have for being more productive during the day.




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