I graduated university back in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Mass Communication (Public Relations & Advertising). I am so proud of my acheivement and the effort I put into my degree to graduate with distinction at 20 years old. However, this was not easy and university really challenged me in both good and bad ways. Nevertheless, through my degree I feel I developed some really great study and time management skills that allowed me to meet all my degree requirments, work a full on job and still have time for friends, family and travel.
So, now that school is back in session in Australia and university is almost back as well, I thought it was the perfect time to give you some simple ways you can increase your productivity that aim to improve your workflow and grades. All of these methods are ones that I used during my school and university years and are ones I still use now in my personal and work life. So if you want to ensure your 2020 is super productive then keep on reading!
#1 – Find Out What Kind Of Learner You Are
For me, I am a Kinaesthetic Learner which means I learn by doing. I am an active learner and love to immerse myself in the learning experience to extract the information from the situation. By understanding what kind of learner you are, you will be able to streamline your study approaches, so they benefit you.
Four Types Of Learners:
- Learn by visualising and seeing the content.
- Learn by listening and hearing information rather than seeing or writing it out.
- Learn by reading content and writing about it.
- Learn by doing and prefer to be immersed in their learning experience.
Keep in mind that you can be a combination of types of learners, or your learning style can change over time. But just try and identify the one the aligns with your learning needs the most at this moment in time so you can maximise learning effectiveness.
Understand How To Apply Your Learning Style Into Education
Sometimes you have got to get crafty when translating materials into your learning style. But this process is one that you must do to enhance your educational experience and to ensure you are as productive as you can be with your precious time.
So if you are a Reading/Writing Learner, then ensuring your lectures are transcribed into notes/flashcards is vital. Or if you are a Kinaesthetic Learner, then do practice quizzes to enhance your recall of content.
#2- Be Real With Your Schedule
It is so great to write a massive schedule/ to-do list and be optimistic about what you can achieve in your day, but you HAVE to be realistic. This is vital because (on the flip side) there is nothing worse than trying to wind down at night knowing you have not achieved what you wanted to. I hate ending my day with an incomplete jobs list – I feel flat and disappointed; ultimately losing some my motivation.
Now being real with what you can achieve in a day does take some trial and error. And it is essential to be kind to yourself when setting daily or weekly expectations so you can feel accomplished and maintain your motivation. But ensuring you are honest with yourself with your time management and daily ability is crucial to the promotion and integration of productivity in your everyday life.
When beginning your scheduling journey, set low expectations for your days. This will allow you to gauge how much you can realistically achieve in your day.
#3- Write Out Your To Do’s
Do it on some paper, on your phone, in your diary, on some notepaper or on the back of your hand – whatever writable surface you have!
There is nothing more satisfying than ticking off to-do items on your list as you go through your day. And it also ensures you stay on track and use your time wisely when it comes to completing tasks based on their requirements.
Write EVERYTHING on your daily to-do list. This includes going to the gym, replying to emails, making your bed, washing your hair etc. Not only does this approach promote a more satisfying end of the day, feeling when you tick everything off. But, it gives you a realistic and visual overview of everything you need to fit into your day, so you can move items around if need be (and that’s okay)- DO NOT OVER COMMIT!
#4- Find Out When and Where You Are Most Productive
University libraries, cafes, at home, study groups, public parks, work offices etc. These are all places that I utilised to get my university work done.
Overall, I prefer to work alone at home as I find I can keep myself focused. However, when you are in the throws of intense study, a change of scenery can reinvigorate your motivation, allows you to refocus and overall enhance your productivity.
Often I would get myself out of the house and head into my university’s library or even go to work to use one of the empty offices as alternate study spaces that I was comfortable in and where I felt I could hone in on my work.
Finding places where you are most productive is vital for your workflow and like most things in this list, requires a level of trial and error. I am not productive everywhere, nor am I always productive at home. When you are consistently working, you need to be prepared to be fluid with your study spaces and be ready to move around.
#5- Read Your Feedback & Ask Questions
Life Lesson: learn from your mistakes to enable personal growth and and accept that effort will not always equated to your envisaged reward.
Okay, so you didn’t do as well as you had planned on a project? How you react and process this plays a BIG role in your ability to grow and improve your future work.
It’s easy to get annoyed and upset when a grade or some feedback is not as good as you wanted after you put so much effort in.
However, if you’re going to understand where you went wrong so you can improve and learn, you NEED to read or request feedback. And that means immersing yourself in the feedback by asking questions and then integrating this into future work.
I have always been one of those students and people in general, where I question everything because I feel the need to understand every possible aspect. This need to know where I went wrong really came out during my final year of school and through my university degree because I was always putting 110% effort into my work, but my grades were not always reflecting that. However, I learned quickly that although it was sometimes time-consuming and a hassle, whenever I requested feedback, I always felt better. The feedback always powered me through my next project and made me more aware and motivated.
#6- Base Your Timeline Schedule On Their Requirements
If you have four tasks that need to be done that will each take 2-3 hours each, is it realistic that you get them all done in one day? Probably not. And even if you did, would you be in the best and most productive headspace to do them all in one day along with your other day to day requirements as well?
These are all vital aspects to consider when crafting your daily to-do schedules.
To combat this need to get everything done all at once, I recommend writing a weekly to-do list that states all of the big items that need to get done. And then break these up into your daily agenda. This approach ensures you remain fully aware of what you need to get done but reducing the risk of feeling overwhelmed and losing your motivation for day to day tasks.
#7- Commit To Yourself
Overall, If YOU want to improve your productivity, grades and overall success, then you HAVE to commit to yourself. There is no point in attempting to make changes and realign your organisation and study approaches if you are going to continually make compromises that interfere with your commitment to this vision. Like any goal, it is not always going to be 100% easy, and you are going to have to work at it daily to ensure you are on track. But like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more confident you become in being able to operate your schedule productively.
So, as long as you are prepared to make some exceptions so you can stay true to yourself to meet your goals – then one of the hardest parts of this goal is already done!
Hopefully now you are feeling inspired to get your time management under control so you can maximise your 2020 productivity and workflow! I hope these tips have helped you out and that all your endeavours in 2020 whether they are study or work focused, are a success.