We’ve all been there. We have a list of twenty things to do, and not enough time to do them all. But what if there were some easy ways to help you knock out your to-do list, and still have free time? Check out these easy tips!
1. Put down your phone!
This seems like the easiest thing to do, but it can be so difficult to put your phone down. And even when you put your phone down, it still buzzes, alerting you to emails and goofy texts in your group chat. To prevent one text or Twitter check from derailing your busy day, put your phone in a place where you physically can’t get to it. For example, when I am working at my desk, I personally like to put my phone across the room on my bed. I can’t see it, I can’t hear it, and I get a ton of stuff done.
2. Make a list of everything you have to do.
Putting everything you have to do down on paper can seem daunting at first, but sometimes when it’s in writing everything seems more manageable. A list of things on one Post-It can help you focus on what needs to be done, as opposed to a cloud of tasks floating around in your head. And nothing is more satisfying than crossing something off a list when you’ve finished the task!
3. Plan ahead!
If you know that you’re going to have a three-hour block of time in the afternoon before dinner, make a schedule of everything you want to accomplish in that time. Making sure to assign specific blocks of time to tasks can show you that you have time for everything, but also remind you not to spend too much time on one task.
4. Tackle easy stuff first.
With a list of forty things, including intimidating tasks like studying for a psych exam and writing a paper for your Russian Lit class, a to-do list can get overwhelming very quickly. To make things more manageable, throw some easy tasks in there to warm yourself up. Respond to that email from your professor, post to the class discussion board, and before you know it, you’re in a groove and ready to write that essay!
5. Procrastinate in a productive way!
If you have checked off half of your to-do list and are starting to hit a slump, but still feel like you need to do something, tackle a bonus task. Take five minutes to make a connection on LinkedIn. Do a quick workout circuit in your room. Wash all of the dirty coffee mugs sitting on top of your fridge. You’ll give your brain a quick break, but still accomplish something.
6. Reward yourself!
If you’ve been working for hours on end, you need to take a break and “treat yo self!” Whether your reward is a trip to the gym, dinner with friends, or a quick Netflix sesh, reminding yourself how awesome you are and rewarding your hard work is key to keeping up your productivity.
7. Schedule in some fun.
Make sure you include time in your schedule for fun. Throwing in a fun activity in between work sessions is a great motivation to get stuff done. I personally like to schedule lunch or an outing with friends in the early afternoon. That way I can work for a few hours in the morning, have some fun, and then finish my work. Tackling the to-do list and fun with friends—that sounds like a win-win situation to me!