Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

I have spent more hours finding ways to be more productive than I care to admit. Especially in a culture that so often prioritizes productivity over individual health, I struggled with how to create an environment in which I can work without sacrificing other aspects of my life. 

What I discovered was a connection between my mind and body that boosted my ability to succeed in school and elsewhere. I had never understood how much physical factors affected my mental capacity until I spent my first semester of college in my childhood bedroom. Unable to create a separation between my living and working space, I felt trapped in a cycle of busy work and social frustration. Because my body was not in a space conducive to finishing schoolwork, my mind was reluctant to get anything done. 

My key to productivity: manipulate your physical state to best suit your mental needs.

My desk is empty. I have a desk lamp in one corner and a vase of flowers in the other. My chargers plug into an outlet strip on the window sill. Because my workspace acts as a blank canvas, my mind is able to fill Word documents with ideas and devour information without distractions from photos, makeup, or knick knacks. Some people love having items on their desk since it is stimulating to their senses and can activate their minds. However, I like a clear physical environment in which I can grow thoughts into complex ideas.

Once my desk is clear, my shoes go on. I cannot be productive without shoes. When I put shoes on, my physical appearance mimics what I would look like when I have a task– when I have to go somewhere and do something. Instead of running errands or going to meetings, I wear my shoes at my desk to work on my school to-do list. I think that my mind works better when it thinks my feet are going somewhere. This idea can be stretched to other physical manifestations of productivity; for my friends, it looks like wearing jeans, doing makeup, pulling their hair out of their faces, or even using blue-light glasses. 

By using this connection between the mind and body, I am able to boost productivity without dramatically altering my schedule or lifestyle. A quarantine lesson that is stored among my bread-making skills and newfound love for hiking has actually allowed me to use my time wisely and better take care of myself.

Katie Vinson is a sophomore from Bergen County, NJ studying Public Health and working towards a minor in Public Policy. She is hooked on phonics– when she's not reading for classes, she is reading for pleasure. In her free time, Katie loves watching Bon Appetit on YouTube, walking around DC, and catching up with friends over coffee. Her favorite color is pink and is an ENFJ.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️