Friday, October 16, 2015

Planning Against Procrastination

Laziness. Procrastination. Stress. All of these things can make your day, your week, and your month an unsuccessful one. It's really hard to stay motivated, all day, to get work done and not just lay around after classes have ended. I have come up with a motivational system that I find really works for those who like to make to-do lists or who thrive on planning out each day. Though I sometimes will steer off of my system, I always find the best days are the ones where I keep to my schedule and get through everything on my list.

I want to start off with a list I found (from here) of just some habits of highly productive people. I thought it was best to start off with this list so that you can see what small changes you can make to your life to be a more productive person too.

1. They have daily dedicated planning time.
2. They take care of quick tasks immediately.
3. They prioritize their to-do list.
4. They identify and utilize their productivity window.
5. They know when (and when not to) multitask.
6. They use a planning/ scheduling tool that works for their lifestyle.
7. They take breaks.
8. They're realistic about how much time things take.
9. They have someone hold them accountable.
10. They are perfectionists, but only when it counts.
11. They delegate the right way.
12. They appreciate what did get done instead of stressing over what didn't.

Weekly Goal

I actually find the idea for this when I purchased a planner earlier this year. At the top of each week, it had a section for you to fill out your weekly goals. I found this to be a really great idea. Since then I have transitioned to an electronic planner, but I want to get back into having that for each week. My advise for you is to spend your Sunday thinking about a goal that you have for yourself to accomplish that week. It may be more physical or something that you do differently with your life or attitude. Just think of something, write it down on a sticky note, and post it right next to your makeup so that you can see it every morning when you put your makeup on.

Daily Planning Process

I like to do this the night before each day so that I don't have to worry about it in the morning. I have an entire process to it. Now that I have it down, it only takes me about five to ten minutes to complete.

First I like to start by planning out my day. I like to use the google calendar on my phone since I always have it with me. I will start by including each of the classes that I have that day along with time allotted for breakfast and lunch. (I usually eat dinner at different times each night depending on what I am doing, so I hold off on scheduling that). My meetings or other extra activities are already there, so next I will allot time for homework. Since I know what my homework will be already by checking my syllabi, I like to include different time frames for different classes. This will help me make sure I get everything done. Next I will alot time for working out if it's a workout day, and then I will include time for showering. I will go ahead and add dinner time then. I tend to only schedule my day until 9:00 since after that, it is so unpredictable for me. If I have more homework, I will work on it then or I will relax. Definitely make sure you include time to relax and watch Netflix or something. It's what get's me through the day.

To Do Lists

Along with having my day scheduled out, I also like to keep a to-do list. Like many people, I like the accomplishing feeling of checking something on my list. I also like to make this the night before so I don't have to stress about it the next day. On my to-do list, I will include everything from my planner, even meals. This is where I am more specific about what homework I have, like which workbook pages I have to do or which pages I have to read. Once I check everything off of my list at the end of the day, it is one of the greatest accomplishments.

Inhale. Exhale.

All of this might sound pretty crazy to do every day, but it makes me keep myself productive. Don't stress if you start to sway away from your schedule, though. Yesterday, I took a four hour nap in the middle of the day. Needless to say, that affected my schedule a bit. I was able to work through it though. Don't feel like your schedule is set in stone. Look at it as more of a guide and a reminder for yourself to get work done.

This system may not work for you, also. Find your own routine of getting things done that you can really stick to. The goal is diminish your procrastination levels and really make good use of your time. Even if you don't do this all of the time, I recommend it during midterm or finals weeks so that you make sure you are allotting enough time to study. Just remember: Inhale and exhale. Be productive but also be okay with changes and surprises. It's what makes life interesting.

(photo credit)

Stay classy,
Molly Steckler

Cover Photo Link.