Time is fleeting and only death & taxation are certain. We squander our time with things that cuts kour productivity and we wonder why we are feel zapped at the end of the day feeling unaccomplished. I’d like to share with you some of my hacks to maximize your productivity-to-time ratio (No it’s not real terminology, I made this up)! Here are 5 tools to get you started:
- Take care of your basic needs. That means getting good sleep, nutrition, and mental reprieve. Limit your screen time, establish a sleep ritual, try lavender to bring about a restful slumber. Eat unprocessed foods and add more fruits & veggies to clean your body. Adding 10 minutes of meditation before you sleep will bring about a calm mindfulness if you persist for more than a week. Your mind and body will be primed for productivity if you take care of it.
- Use a timer with a stopwatch/countdown. You can try the Pomodoro time management technique or any timer on your phone. Try a work/break split for 20 minutes followed with 10 minutes and be dazzled at the achievements. I used it during my days in pharmacy school and still using it to this day. There’s something about coming back to the task with a clear mind that gives you more momentum to engage with tasks as long as you don’t get distracted too easily.
- Set an environment to propagate focus. Try Coffitivity to stimulate the environment of a coffee shop and it wouldn’t hurt to have a cup of java to delight your olfactory nerves either. If you work better with silence, try earplugs or earbuds that diminish surrounding noises. The location you work operate best is up to you; whether that is your home, a co-working space, or a library.
- Have a purpose and set a deadline. When you sit down, decide what you want to accomplish. Decide that you won’t get up or leave until the task is finish. Don’t set a task so high or a bar too low, the challenge should match with the skill. This is flow psychology, better known as the zone. Setting a deadline will help to get your task completed. Make a realistic time frame and follow this simple principle: “No excuses, no complaining.” If you have to stay up late or work on it after your 9-5 job, just do it!
- Practice regularly and train yourself. Discipline takes practice or else it’d be too easy right? As difficult as it is for soldiers to do PT every morning, daily reiteration ingrains a habit. Same way that some people can’t mentally wake up without a nice warm cup of coffee. If you can do something for at least 30 days, you can force this habit. I’m not much of an artist, but regular practice helped me to create art in the picture below. Enjoy!