How to Become a Productivity Queen

While many of us are in collective mourning that Hot Girl Summer is coming to an end, there is hope on the horizon; I’d like to present Productive Queen Fall, a season dedicated to ladies who get shit done.

Here are five steps to take in order to unleash your peak productivity:

1. Figure out what you want to accomplish, and then how you can accomplish it

The first step to becoming a productivity queen is knowing what you need to do. Start by writing out general areas in your life that require work and development. From there, you can break them down into specific goals for each area. For each of your goals, figure out what realistic steps you can take that will lead towards your desired outcome. If you’re aiming towards a 4.0 GPA, how many hours a week will you need to spend studying? If you want to spend less money on groceries, should you start meal planning before going shopping? 

2. Learn how and what to multi-task

Studies show that when you multi-task, you’re able to allocate less attention to each of the tasks you’re working on. So, when you’re trying to study, having Netflix on in the background is going to make remembering the content more difficult. But, there are a ton of tasks and chores we do daily, that absolutely do not require 100% of our attention – and that’s when we want to multi-task. Specifically, if you can engage in self-care activities while you’re doing boring obligations, it makes the experience more enjoyable and frees up time that you can devote to peak productivity. If I need to clean my kitchen or do laundry, I’ll listen to an audiobook (P.S. most library programs now offer the ability to rent audiobooks, so save your coin!) or do it while I’m wearing a facemask. Figure out which tasks require your full attention, and which ones need to be done, but can be done while doing something else! However, still make sure that you’re spending at least half an hour every day focusing just on your own care and pleasure, you deserve your full attention!

3. Build and break your habits

The key to productivity is to build productive habits. If you develop the tendency to wake up earlier in the day, then you’ll automatically free up more hours in your morning that you can be working. Conversely, you need to break the habits that hold back your productivity. If you want to get into the habit of waking up at 8:00 a.m., then staying up until 4:00 a.m. watching Netflix is going to make pressing snooze on your alarm much more tempting. Until your goal behaviours become habits, hold yourself accountable by using a habit tracker. Write down both the habits you want to create and the ones you want to break, and mark it down when you do either. You can make a cute hardcopy version or download an app that you go through on a daily and weekly basis.

4. Plan it out

Most people don’t have the capacity to organize their entire life inside their head. You’re bound to forget about a quiz or to procrastinate working on an assignment until the night before it’s due. Use a calendar or an agenda to keep track of upcoming deadlines, even if they’re just ones you’ve set for yourself. Every month, go through major commitments you have or goals you’d like to accomplish and schedule them in. On a weekly basis, review what you have coming up and schedule which days you’d like to perform these tasks. Every morning, create a to-do list of things you need to accomplish and figure out when in your day you’re free to work on those tasks. Productivity doesn’t happen by accident, it requires work and organization. 

5. If you can work smart, you don’t have to work as hard

Figure out how you can maximize your energy, attention and efficiency. Find ways that you can hack your system, whether that be remembering your notes better if they’re colour-coded, or that you can fall asleep more quickly if you don’t go on your phone for an hour before bed. These “hacks” will depend on your schedule and your goals, but here are some general tips that will make becoming a productivity queen a little easier:

  • We’re at peak productivity in the morning, so accomplish your most difficult tasks earlier in the day
  • You have more energy if you exercise regularly
  • Engage in self-care activities. Taking a small amount of time every day to look after yourself is more productive than experiencing burn out and not being able to accomplish anything
  • We feel calmer and less distracted when we’re in a clean environment, so take some time to tidy up every day
  • When you’re working on things that require your full focus, put your phone away 
  • Give your complete attention to a task for 60-90 minutes and take 5-15 minute breaks to re-charge

There you have it! Five steps to help you unleash your inner productivity queen.