Today, I was supposed to have dinner with some colleagues from med school. As I woke up, they were X amount of messages on our group conversation about how one will be late; the other will have to leave early because his studying for tomorrow wasn’t finished and all together everybody on that conversation seemed stressed and overwhelmed with everything they had to get done by tomorrow.
It made me think that most of us run after one thing almost every day – time.
We create long to-do lists that we don’t complete by the end of the day. It makes us feel discouraged, and we have the impression that we will never get everything done. We get up the next day and do the same thing over and over again, and that to-do list just gets longer.
What about waking up tomorrow morning and doing things differently?
The idea here is not to cram even more stuff on your schedule, but to be more efficient, work faster and be less stressed.
First, start your day with a 30-minute schedule planning while you drink your morning coffee. Plan your day, set your goals, prioritize your tasks. The time you schedule to schedule your day will pay off because you will have a plan.
If you have an appointment at the garage for your car, do you go? If you schedule an appointment at the dentist, do you get there on time? Unless you have an unforeseen event happening that day, the answer is probably; yes. So do the same thing with yourself – when you plan your day, make appointments with yourself for the tasks you have to achieve. This will make a time restriction, and you will be more focus to finish your work on that given time more than just having a simple to-do list. You can find some free daily planners to download right here.
As students, we have a lot of “free” time to study, so our schedules are close to the ones of self-employed people. So this means that we have to manage our own time and make our schedules. It can be easy to procrastinate and sit down on our couch. Plan your day like you were going to work.
Get dress. Seriously, get dress. Even if you are planning on studying from home, get dress. Staying in your pj’s or wearing those comfy sweatpants will only put you in relax mode. Then plan some breaks throughout the day. People that work in offices get coffee breaks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon, plus they get a lunch break. A lot of them even get out of the office for their lunch break. Do the same thing, think about your studies like your own multimillion corporate office!
I am sure you heard about this one before; get rid of any distraction – close your facebook, hide your phone, etc. I’ll tell you something different: schedule those on your schedule! Yes, turn off the notifications and the ringtones for everything, including e-mails, but allow yourself to look at it on a schedule base. For example, every two hours spend 10 minutes on social media or checking your e-mails or calling back your mom if she called you. The important thing here is to stick to the time you scheduled don’t get stuck for two hours on Instagram, god we all know this can happen.
Organize your computer. It might take you awhile to do if you have never done it but it will save you time in the long run. If you don’t know where a file is but you are convinced it’s there, you can be spending 10 minutes plus to look for it, 10 minutes that you could be doing something else. Find a system that works for you; there’s so many of them out there today, Dropbox, iCloud, etc. Just make sure you know where you stuff is on your computer. You know where your keys are in the morning, so you get out of the house quicker. The same applies here.
It might take you awhile to identify this but point out the times of the day you are most productive. Some people are early birds, and they work better in the morning while others need to take an afternoon nap. I am more productive at night than in the morning. I have been like that since I was a teenager and that’s what works for me. I tried to change, I use to feel guilty because my friends were up and studying since 7:00 AM but for me, it doesn’t work. At 7:00 AM, I am a zombie, and I am zero focus and productive. So I stopped with the guilt and accepted that I am how I am. Anyway, while I study at midnight, they are sleeping. In the end, I spend the same amount of time as they do but at my productiveness peak! So find your own and stick with it.
Last but not least, enjoy what you do, take pleasure, reward yourself and acknowledge your accomplishments. I wrote this in a post on Instagram before, we celebrate and recognize the milestones of our loved ones, but we are so critical about our own. We diminish the value of our hard work saying to ourselves or feeling – I could have done this better. What about saying to ourselves today – I kicked asses, and I am awesome!
I wanna hear your feed backs if your try any of these tips! Just leave a comment below!