Some days, productivity can be hard to come by. It’s easier to say “I’ll do that tomorrow” than to actually do what you need to do. When tomorrow comes around, the vicious cycle starts all over again. So, how do you motivate yourself to be productive? How do you turn “I’ll do that tomorrow” into “I’ll do that today”? First, it’s important to remember that it’s normal to want to procrastinate. Sometimes it’s okay to leave things for tomorrow as long as you stick to your word. There’s no magic trick or method that will turn you into a super productive person overnight (as much as we all may want that), but there are some tips that can help you improve your productivity:
Plan your days ahead of time
When you create a schedule for yourself, you’re more likely to complete your tasks because you’ll feel encouraged to do what you said you’d do. I recommend planning out your whole week at the start of the week. First, I write down everything that I need to get done during the week I’m planning. Then I write out each day of the week and put a list of what I need to get done under the dates. Doing this helps me stay on track with due dates and exam dates. I also plan for times to relax or do something I enjoy, not just schoolwork. This helps me feel less overwhelmed by the tasks I have to do.
Dedicate a certain amount of time to assignments
When I plan out my week, I like to allot times to each activity. For example, I might plan to work on an essay from 12pm to 1pm. Sometimes I don’t use specific times and just decide that at some point during the day, I’ll spend one hour working on the essay. Doing this helps me stick to a schedule and encourages me to spend the designated amount of time on the assignment. This has been extremely helpful for me throughout college, but especially the past two semesters where I had asynchronous classes. For classes that didn’t meet virtually or in-person, I decided to concentrate on assignments for those classes during what would have been the class meeting time. This also helps me maintain a daily routine which has helped me get through quarantine.
Sometimes finding the motivation to work can be hard, even if you plan out your days. To help with this, I give myself incentives to get my work done. I typically tell myself “if I do this, then I’ll get this.” For example, I’ll say “if I study for half an hour, I’ll get to go on my phone for 15 minutes.” I also like to decide on a reward that I’ll give myself after I do well on an exam or big assignment. Typically, I buy myself a food I like that I don’t usually buy for myself. College can be difficult, you deserve to reward yourself for getting things done!
Remind yourself of your goals
In the moment, it usually feels pretty good to log out of D2L and turn on Netflix. In the long run, though, procrastinating never feels good. The assignment or studying that I’m putting off will eventually need to be done, so why not get it over with rather than drag it out? One way I motivate myself to get my work done is by thinking about myself a few months from now. I imagine when final grades are released and how good it will feel to see A’s on my degree audit. I picture myself getting the email or phone call that I was hired for my dream job. I think about how those things would feel and use those feelings to encourage myself to try my best. Putting in the work now means reaping the benefits in the future. Sorry, Grey’s Anatomy.
Do you have any other helpful tips you use to increase your productivity? Feel free to share them in the comments!
Lydia Shaloka is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing at Millersville University. Her interests include digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. When she graduates in May 2021, Lydia hopes to work for a digital marketing agency either in or near her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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