Jan is working and at the same time studying remotely at a college which helped him to develop his productivity management.
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
— Paul J. Meyer
Step 1 – Intelligent Planning Goes a Long Way
Imagine right now that you are studying for an exam of yours. You are aware that you need to focus for five hours every day to feel confident and perform well on the examination. What do you think will make you better prepared – to study straight for five hours or one hour five times a day instead? If the second choice is your answer, then you are right. The fact is that you can do even shorter sessions than that, but more about that later.
Our preferences differ. Some may prefer to get things done straight away, being then able to switch off and relax during those nice fun things. However, as described in the example above, five hours is plenty of time to focus on, and believe me when I say that you most likely will not remain focused enough during that long session, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself you will. There is a high risk of procrastinating if you decide to do longer sessions, as it will become harder to get through them. Be smart when you plan your sessions – less is sometimes more.
We all get easily distracted in today's world. Nowadays, almost every single one of us uses the internet for daily work or study. Most of us have social media like Facebook and Instagram, and most of us watch YouTube videos several times a day. Most of us also read articles like, for instance, this one. Easily put, a lot is going on that keeps our minds occupied and distracted from things we should do instead.
Try to plan your working sessions as precisely as possible and remain focused during these. Can you only concentrate for twenty or thirty minutes at a time? That is completely fine if that is your case. It's a known fact that most of us cannot achieve sustained attention for longer than twenty minutes. Regarding children, it's even less time than that.
See where I am trying to go with this? Of course, there are occasions when you need to focus for longer, no matter what. It is great to be able to achieve that. However, if you do it too often there is a high chance that you will find yourself in a lot of struggle, and procrastination will take place instead. To summarize: use your intelligence when planning your studies, work, or any other activity. Trust me, it will go a long way.
Step 2 – Be Committed but Remember to Relax
Dedication is a hugely important factor for success. However, relaxation is almost as important as being committed and productive. Maybe you are an energy machine and can work for hours and hours without being tired, but I highly doubt that. We all need to recover and load up our batteries.
The following mistake is one I have made way too many times. You take your break sitting in the same position and surfing the internet. Unfortunately, that is not the right way to make the most of your relaxation and recovery, not even the slightest.
There is a risk involved that you start to experience procrastination instead and maybe even forget to do your next session at your scheduled time. As a result, your rhythm says goodbye to you. Eventually, you will experience a lot of struggle to make it through your assessments before the deadline. That will make everything even worse and result in you feeling more stressed, which will decrease your overall productivity.
Nowadays, we do most things online. However, that does not mean you need to have the same experience all the time. Get up and get fresh - grab a snack, drink something, put on your favorite music, and try to relax for a bit. You can play a game or watch your favorite show. You can stand up and do physical exercises to make your body feel good and give you the ability to recharge again. Open your window and get some fresh air in – it may help you significantly when you need to concentrate.
All the mentioned things above give your brain tools to refocus itself and grab some extra energy to then be able to deploy it on concentration when needed. Remember, as you always should try to maximize your productivity, you should also maximize your relaxation time and do something else for a while. If you go wrong about this, it can destroy your productivity pace.
Keep in mind that if you manage to make your breaks funny and exciting, you will gain much more energy from them and be able to do those things you need to do.
Step 3 – Focus on the Goal and Try to Be Positive
Maybe you are currently struggling with a difficult task at your college. The risks are you feel very stressed about it and generally feel bad and worried about it. Maybe you even consider quitting school if your results haven't been as good as expected.
Even though you may feel very disappointed at this point, many people out there would probably dream of being in your place and living your life. There are a lot of people in our world without education possibilities because they lack either the skills or resources to perceive their goals. Many of these are unhealthy individuals who sadly cannot afford things that many of us take for granted, like food and clean water.
No matter how difficult things appear during this time. As long as you have what you need to make progress and be able to move on with your life, things are good. Keep aiming high and try to get on with it. In the end, you are doing it for a reason, am I right? Remember why you may struggle in life. The reason may be that you want to achieve something extraordinary and develop yourself further.
Naturally, you will face obstacles in your life, as everyone does. To move forward, you need to tackle these first. Try to visualize your ideal vision in the process where you have managed to make it through all those challenges and achieved your goals. Does it feel good or at least slightly better? If it does, then try to utilize it in your favor to become even more productive.
Just an example of mine, maybe it is a work task you currently struggle with, or maybe your hobby you so much want to excel in is what troubles you at this time. Remember that no matter what life throws at you, always try to see the bigger picture if possible. It is super easy to start thinking about how unlucky you are; however, seeing things from a different perspective can help you stay positive and be grateful for what you already have in your life.
One last thought of mine; If you think you can't do something, at least give it a try. Even by trying, you learn and gain valuable experience. Try enough, and success will sooner or later knock on your door.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Jan Stepan