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How to combat the heavy feeling of unproductivity.

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

Since coming back to university this year, I have found that even at the end of what feels like a full day I feel little sense of achievement. I think perhaps this grew from both the pressures of being a final year student and the very few contact hours I appear to have been given this term. Reading week came around much faster than I would have liked and once at home I decided I needed something to help me feel some sense of achievement at the end of what seems like a day of nothing.

It couldn’t be possible to be that tired at the end of a day that was truly full of nothing right?

Of course not. The issue was that I wasn’t rewarding myself for the little things that we do every day, forgetting all of the little achievements I have fulfilled. One of the pressures we place on ourselves as university students is that if we are not studying we are not being productive. But reading for myself, practising piano, allowing time for yoga, these are all productive ways of spending a day.  So I came up with a plan. I was going to find a way to track these goals I had for the day and then, once I was lying in bed reflecting, I could look back over these and see all of the previously meaningless moments.

I opted for an extremely simple app that had been recommended to me in a meeting with a tutor. He had recommended this with the intention of helping me track an hour of writing a day; something that otherwise had seemed impossible to squeeze in. But with the help of a spinning circle that made a success sound when I had completed that hour, I found myself getting it done.

Now, without the app I was probably writing every day. Whether that was a little article, a poem, a list, a line. But I didn’t count it as productive as I couldn’t see a physical manifestation of my success. Now I had a circle that said how many days in a row I had succeeded; and it made me want to carry on!

So with this positivity in mind, I decided to carry this through to other aspects of my life that I often forgot to reward myself for.

The app I personally use is called ‘Sessions’, a circle for each goal you have for the day that let’s you know how much you’ve done even on the days when it felt like you had done nothing. I know that there are lots of online tools that are available though. The Forest App, for example, allows you to plant a tree when you want to focus and the longer you focus the more it grows. Soon you’ll have a forest showing just how productive you’ve been.

Or you can go old school and get yourself a reward chart! It worked when we were little so why not give it a go now?

Whatever you choose to do, I mainly want you to see this article as a reminder that you are trying your best and I promise that you are doing more with your days than you realise. So allow yourself that time to relax, call your friend, go out for that drink. We are all just trying to figure out some sort of balance.

Hi! I'm Georgia, a third-year English Literature and Creative Writing student. I currently serve as campus correspondent for Her Campus and can't wait to see all of the amazing writing on our page! I am a massive fan of horror and thriller and am interested in a career in screenwriting – I'm sure there will be a few movie reviews on here from me! Sites such as Her Campus are so important as a space for people to read about what matters alongside things they are passionate about. Thank you for reading our pieces, all support is greatly appreciated x