Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

This One Productivity Tip Changed My Life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Now, you might be thinking, “Oh sure, I’ve heard the whole ‘this one thing changed my life’ line before. Clickbait.” And I agree; there are way too many YouTubers who use this tagline to get views. But in all honesty, I want to share a productivity tip I started implementing early in 2022 that has changed my life for the better. 

When we think about productivity, we usually think about what we’re doing. Are we getting our tasks done, showing up to work and classes on time, making the best use of our time and avoiding distractions? And while it’s great to focus on things we can control, so much of our productivity depends on other people. 

For example, suppose you’re doing everything in your power to get your class schedule ready for next semester. You look at your course audit, figure out what is required, ensure you fulfill prerequisites, religiously research professors on Rate My Professor, etc. You do everything you’re supposed to do, but say you need to get approval from your academic advisor first. You email or call them with your questions and proposed class schedule. 

But if they don’t get back to you, maybe they missed your email, or they opened it and forgot to respond. And suppose that, with the mad rush of getting ready for another semester, you forget about your email, time slips by, and by the time you finally do get in touch with your advisor, your preferred class slots are gone and you have to take the instructor with two stars on Rate My Professor. Even though you were “productive” at the front end and did everything right, you didn’t get the results you wanted because of a simple miscommunication. 

That’s where my productivity tip comes in handy!

The tip I’ve been using is to make “follow up” notes in my calendar or planner. Every time I send an important email, leave an important message or make an important inquiry, I write down a note to myself, a couple of days in the future, to follow up with that person.

I’ll send a gentle reminder to them and confirm that they did get my question or the information I sent. You don’t want to sound pushy with the message; just a simple, short reminder is perfect. 

In this fast-paced world we live in, it’s so easy for important communication to get lost in translation. And that’s why this tip is so powerful. People aren’t deliberately ignoring you or trying not to cooperate most of the time. They just forget, and a simple reminder can be the thing that gets a major project started! 

This tip is so simple that some of you might think, “Well, yeah, obviously.” But, actually making a note to myself to follow up has truly changed my life, and I wanted to share some ways that following up has helped me in this year alone. 

  • By following up, I ensured that I received a paycheck that I was due! (Otherwise, it would have gone missing.) 
  • By following up, I got a position shadowing a professional at work in my chosen career field. 
  • By following up, I received insider information about graduate programs I’m researching. 
  • By following up, I got matched with a mentor with the certifications and experience I hope to have in my career someday.  

I hope this one tip helps you in your school, work or personal life! Have you ever noticed that Gmail sends you notifications sometimes, asking if you want to “follow up” with an email you sent a few days ago? Well, don’t rely on Google to notify you. Make your own note to follow up on important things in your life, and see what you can achieve! 

I'm a proud Knight who graduated summa cum laude in Spring of 2023, with a bachelor's of science in communication sciences and disorders, minor in psychology, human resources certificate, and leadership studies certificate. In undergrad I volunteered at UCF Aphasia House's program Aphasia Family to facilitate a community group for adult stroke survivors with aphasia, an acquired communication disorder. I also worked at the UCF Aphasia and Related Conditions (ARC) Research Lab and at the ASD Adult Achievement Center during college. Building meaningful connections with others through all forms of communication (the spoken word, prose and poetry, music, art, and theater) is my passion. My articles on Her Campus focus on mental health and self-care, minimalism, and using personality assessments (like MBTI and enneagram) to foster a deeper understanding of others and yourself. Currently I am taking a gap semester and plan to return for my master's degree in 2024.