These 6 Tips Will Change Your Productivity and Your Life

As a full-time student with extracurricular activities, jobs, research, and volunteering, I am asked almost on a daily basis “How do you do it?” I am revealing my secrets that I’ve learned over the years. These tricks have completely changed my productivity levels, but also my lifestyle into being a more productive person overall and making time for things that I want to do.

 

1. Lay out your clothes at night

 

I can honestly say this saves me SO much time. I used to come up with what I would wear in my head and think I’d remember it in the morning. Spoiler alert: you never do. Physically putting your clothes out at night even gives you a little extra time to sleep in!

Now, for some people this won’t work. You wake up in a totally different mood: at night, you were thinking classic and timeless, and you wake up wanting to wear something bold and trendy. But for me, this works really well. I look up the weather for the next day and factor in my schedule. How many classes do I have? Do I work that day? Do I wanna go to the gym right after or will I come home first? Wearing my no-stretch high waisted jeans on a day that I’m on campus for 10–12 hours is probably not a great idea—I should do a jegging or a legging to keep it easy.

 

2. Make your alarm something you want to wake up to

 

That typical iPhone alarm is honestly a near traumatizing experience waking up to. Put on a song! I usually choose a solid throwback song, alternating between the Backstreet Boys and “Strut” by The Cheetah Girls. Hearing a great song gets you in the mood to get up and start your day instead of jarring you awake in the middle of REM (since, being students, we end up sleeping way less than we should).

 

3. Designate a workspace and use it!

 

Make it comfortable! Now, there are conflicting ideas behind this. Some say a rigid and structured space encourages productivity. As a student, the work is endless. It’s not like we go to school for eight hours and then come home to relax.

For this reason, I think making your study space comfortable is important, since you’ll be spending so much time there. I have a blanket draped over my chair for when I’m chilly. You don’t want to be thinking about how uncomfortable your chair is while you’re going through flash cards.

Keep this space clean as well! This is also my “dump all my clothes as I’m getting dressed chair,” but before I start work, I usually clear everything off and put it away (or dump it on my bed — no one’s perfect!).

 

4. Keep track and make it cute

 

Google Calendar is great for me, but I also love things in handwriting and having something that I can pull out quickly and jot a thought down on. If it’s attractive, you won’t hate looking at it, you’ll actually enjoy updating it, and the whole experience will just keep you on it more. I personally make to-do lists with a rating scale, which helps me determine whether the item is of high, medium or low importance to me that day.

 

5. Drink your favourite beverages

 

I’m the type of person to totally drink my calories—smoothies, coffee, whatever! I am always so much more productive when I’m sipping tea as I do work, or a coffee, or iced water! I’ve never been one for coffee for stimulant effects; I just drink it because I enjoy the taste. But whether you’re having tea or water while you study, it’s helping keep you stimulated, alert and focussed. Like I said before, this can be any drink you enjoy, but for me, it definitely helps. This whole idea contributes to setting a “work atmosphere” for yourself, whether it’s by lighting candles, playing some music on your record player, or getting a nice hot tea.

 

6. Use your phone’s do not disturb mode

 

This one I still have trouble with. I have a lot of extracurricular activities and jobs—mix in full-time studies and group projects, and staying in contact becomes difficult to part with.

I make an effort to turn on the do not disturb on my phone and my computer when I’m working between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. It’s only three hours, but it makes a huge difference. I don’t turn it on during the day during classes, work and any “emergencies” that may come up. But when I need some uninterrupted time, not having my phone vibrate every two minutes (and honestly, I’m not texting anybody!) is wonderful. All your incoming emails, Slack messages, Facebook messages, etc., can wait. I turn off do not disturb at 9 p.m., do one last check and send replies, then go to bed.

 

Some of these things are quick changes, and some take a little more time, but it will take more than just these tips to get you to being as productive as you want to be. Think of these tips as a kickstart to your productive lifestyle. It takes time to form habits and routines, and that’s a key component to a lot of items on this list.

I hope this was at least a little inspiring and helped you gain some insight into your own productivity city habits. Keep in mind that these are things that have worked for me, but I truly hope they work for you as well!

Have any other productivity tips? Put them in the comments below!