Productivity

How To Have A Productive Day

Or at least a semi-productive one.

Feel free to use what works and discard what doesn’t.

  • Wake up early. Earlier than you normally do. That way, you have more time. In a perfect world, you’d go to bed earlier the night before.
  • Tackle the most difficult task first. Especially if you’ve been procrastinating. Get it out of the way. At the very least, start something.
  • Bunch things together. For instance, let’s assume you need to use the computer for a bunch of tasks. Try to complete all three at once rather than turning on your computer multiple times during the day. Get all your groceries in one trip. Run a bunch of errands together. Pay your bills at the same time.
  • Break up big projects into small tasks. If only so you’re not as overwhelmed by all you have to do.
  • Have incentives. Motivate yourself to work hard with rewards. It can be a piece of candy or a night out with friends.
  • Multi-task, don’t multi-focus. It’s almost impossible to focus on two or more tasks and do them well. It is possible to do two things that don’t split your attention or require intense concentration though. For example, listen to a podcast while washing the dishes.
  • Get rid of distractions. Go to another room that doesn’t have a tablet, TV, etc. Ask a family member to change the Wi-Fi password. Or get a friend to hide your smartphone.

Here’s to having a productive day year.

Productivity

Trying To Multi-Task

Sometimes we think it’s a good idea to multi-task, but then reality happens. And instead of being insanely productive, we don’t do things as effectively or efficiently as we’d like.

I say this as I’m multi-tasking.

I know how difficult it is to focus on one task for an extended period of time. But I think now, more than ever before, human beings need to focus, to concentrate. Easier said than done. But we aren’t doing ourselves any favours by trying to multi-task everything in life.

I realize there’s a lot going on at any given time. We have many responsibilities and obligations, interests and hobbies. Still, I see the value in focusing on one thing at a time whenever possible.

Having our attention divided, specifically when we’re doing work that requires it doesn’t do wonders for anyone.

We don’t retain as much information when we’re listening to a professor lecture while also messaging friends in addition to shopping online. We don’t write as well if we’re watching TV and talking to a friend at the same time.

I’m not perfect. But I’ve gotten better at giving important tasks my undivided attention because I can’t always afford to spilt my attention. Everything suffers when I do.

I’ve also found that each time I resist giving into temptations while in class or in the middle of a task, I reinforce the habit.

Sometimes I just can’t let distractions deter me.

I used to be better at reading for a longer period of time without wanting to checking my phone. Nowadays, I rarely sit down for a couple of hours with a book and read uninterrupted.

I know my attention span isn’t quite like it used to be, which is a tragedy. But at least I’m aware of my flaws, some of them anyway.

I want to recognize when I shouldn’t divide my attention, when I shouldn’t multi-task. I need to resist temptations more often, especially when I’m doing work that requires critical thinking.

Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts like whether or not you think I’m insane.

Personal Reflection

The Need To Disconnect And Connect

I feel the need to disconnect all the time, especially in a world where thanks to the internet or social media more specifically, we’re increasingly connected to each other.

Some days I’m better at disconnecting than others. Finding that perfect balance presents a challenge.

Recently, I’ve noticed I’m not able to concentrate as long as I used to.

I remember the good old days where I finished books in one day as I would sit down and read for hours on end. I went without interruptions or distractions for long periods of time.

But now I’ll read for about an hour, feel the urge to check my phone, and ultimately, give in to the temptation. Then I’ll get carried away on Twitter or Instagram. Before I know it, I’ve spent half my day on social media. Hyperbolic statements are part of Herminia’s brand. So is referring to myself in third person.

I realize I may not disconnect as much as I used to, but I do my best. It’s important to step away from the screen. My sensitive eyes appreciate it.

Also, I’ve gotten used to carrying my phone with me everywhere I go. Some days I wonder how I’d survive if I left my mobile at home either accidentally or intentionally.

It’s not easy to disconnect, at least not if you’ve grown up so connected. But the difficulty makes disconnecting that much more rewarding.

If you’re wondering where all this is coming from, I’m currently taking three media classes. For fun, I read a chapter of a book, which discussed how social media has changed our ability to connect and concentrate.

So lately I’ve been thinking about my relationship to media and how it affects my happiness, productivity, etc.

As of right now, I’m ready to disconnect and go to bed. I’ll connect or reconnect with the world tomorrow.

Productivity

I Uninstalled YouTube

So I uninstalled YouTube from my phone.

What? 

I deleted the app.

Why?

I was spending way too much time watching videos and not enough time writing essays.

When?

Last night. November 19th. 

How?

I make very questionable decisions the later it gets in the day. I was stretching, thought about deleting distractions from my life, and followed through with it.

Also, I needed to be more productive with all the procrastination I’ve done recently. What do you know? I still found ways to procrastinate today.

I’ll let you know when I give in to downloading YouTube back onto my phone.

Writing

What I Want To Do

I  want to crawl into a cave and stay there until the end of this month.

No Wi-Fi, no phone, essentially no distractions.

That’s probably the only way I will be able to write 50,000 words. Or maybe I can convince all my teachers not to assign homework until December first?

Neither options are likely going to happen.

Even so, I shall continue to dream about the aforementioned cave…

Studying

How To Survive Exam Week: Stay In Tact And Alive

Voila! My foolproof guide for getting through the stressful exam period, which by the way, seems to plague us all at one point or another.

Although I have 3 consecutive exams coming up, I know that if I follow the below, I should be perfectly fine. Best of luck everyone!

1. Select a safe study space.

By safe, I mean distraction-free. Phones away, electronics off, parents gone, just you and a textbook. Think of it as a date with a binder, a textbook, and some notes.

2. Seek help.

If need be. Ask your teachers any questions you have, ask your peers for missing handouts, ask your parents to leave you alone.

3. Start studying.

How else are you supposed to pass your exams? And no, cramming is not synonymous with studying.

4. Skimp on the coffee, caffeine, cocaine, etc.

Cease all addictions until after exam period. Remember short term pain results in long term gain.

5. Stop to blow off steam.

Take a break, take a walk, take some time off between study sessions to avoid burnout.

6. Sorry you worked hard but possibly partied harder?

Prepare for the worse but expect the best. It’s not the end of the world. So embrace the inevitable? Albeit an F to you might be an A minus.

7. Celebrate!

Perhaps you should postpone step number seven until you see your report card.

One last thing before I go, I will do my best to continue posting on my social media accounts during this time but I can’t guarantee anything. Even so, I know I have the most understanding fans in the whole wide world. Thank you.

Writing

Writer Problem On Productivity

My productivity—or lack thereof I should say—is starting to become a problem.

Clearly whoever invited Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and every other social media site had no idea writers actually existed in the world. What a shame.

Writing

30 Questions To Ask Yourself During NaNoWriMo-Day 9

Don’t forget it’s the writing/noveling marathon today.

More details here: http://nanowrimo.org/writing-marathon

The question of the day is as follows…

Question #9

Do you need to eliminate any distractions? 

The word distraction can be defined easily.

Distraction = The Enemy. Simple right?

If it’s so simple then it shouldn’t be too difficult to eliminate them when we’re writing.

Here’s a step by step method to ensure you’ll be writing without any interruptions during NaNoWriMo.

  1. Cut the telephone wires. Or unplug them.
  2. Buy a WiFi jammer. Or disable your WiFi.
  3. Dunk your cell phone into a bucket of water. Or turn it off.

Obviously, I’m kidding. But if you can live for an hour or two without needless devices, your work time will be more productive.

Wait a second: who is your target audience?

I’ll go into more depth about audience on Sunday.

Have a great weekend writing and noveling!