Productivity Hacks to Get You Through Second Semester
Working can be boring sometimes. Whether it’s school work or other tasks, doing something productive can be a challenge. While there’s no avoiding these tasks, there are things that we can do to work efficiently and make things easier for us. I believe that working efficiently is key to staying on top of your schedule. So here are a couple of things I use to work efficiently.
The Pomodoro Technique
Studying can be a difficult task. It’s so easy to get distracted, bored, or just give up. I faced these problems entering high school. I found myself unable to focus on working or studying for long periods of time. All that changed when I found out about the Pomodoro technique. If you have had some trouble focusing on work, this technique is for you.
How to use it
The Pomodoro technique is very simple, you work for 25 minutes straight. This 25 minute period is known as a ‘Pomodoro’. After these 25 minutes, you take a 5 minute break. Then, you repeat it until you’ve completed four 25 minute sessions or ‘Pomodoros’. After this you can take a 15 - 30 minute break. You can repeat this as many times as you need.
How it works
The main point of this technique is to keep our brains refreshed. Working continuously for long periods of time can reduce your focus. By taking short breaks, it makes it easier for your brain to be at maximum focus for the 25 minutes that you are working.
- The time is just a recommendation. If you’re on a roll and your 25 minutes are over, keep going. If you feel like you can work for five 25 minute periods before a long break, go for it. The timing is just a minimum requirement.
- Use a Pomodoro timer. There are many apps that are made specifically for this purpose. There are timers on Youtube as well.
- Use your 5 minute breaks wisely. Use the restroom, check your phone, get water, etc. Do whatever you need to do in those 5 minutes. If you have nothing to do, make sure you get up and move. Maybe do a few jumping jacks or walk around your room.
That is all there is to the Pomodoro technique. As you can see, it is very simple and effective. Try it out and make sure that you modify the timings to your own needs. This technique has been very effective for me and I hope you see the same benefits that I did.
Listening To The Right Music
Listening to the right music can make a big difference. When you are working, you should use music as a tool to focus. You shouldn’t be using it to make work fun. Yes, I know it might be tempting to blast ‘Party in the USA’ while studying (If you don’t know what I am talking about go listen to it… not while working) but listening to catchy songs can distract you. Sometimes, picking the right music can be tricky. So, here are a few examples of music that I use.
Lo Fi Music
Lo Fi music was a lifesaver for me. I found it really helpful to focus while doing a stressful task. For example, I have used lofi music while studying for tests. This music can also be useful when you are doing creative work. I use it while doing homework as well. The advantage is that there are no lyrics. This way, you won’t spend time singing along to the lyrics of a song you know. If you want to try Lo Fi music, there are many live streams on Youtube.
Mario Kart Music
This might sound a bit weird at first, but hear me out. It turns out that video game music is made to help people focus. I have used Mario Kart music when I need to work fast. I’ve used this type of music when I have an assignment that is due soon, or when I have to finish an assignment quickly.
I sometimes use classical music when I don’t feel like listening to Lo Fi music. Personally, I find classical music useful when I am doing tasks that require a lot of focus and logic.
Finding the Right Space
The right place to work can be different for everyone. Ideally, the right space should be somewhere you can focus and work efficiently. So, I’ll try to list some general guidelines related to picking the right space to work.
This is probably the most important thing about a work space. When your area is cluttered, it can be overwhelming. Something just feels off and it becomes hard to focus. My tip for this issue would be, well to clean your area. Before you start working, take a few minutes to tidy up. Obviously you now have a clean space to work in. Another benefit is that you start by completing a task. This helps with your motivation
Not Your Bed!
It might seem appealing to do your work on your bed. All the pillows and blankets make it seem like a nice comfy place to work in. This is exactly what the issue is with working on your bed. It is too comfy to do anything productive. From personal experience, working where you sleep does not work out well. If you don’t have the space to work somewhere else, get rid of the blankets and pillows.
If you ask me, working outside is underrated. Many people underestimate the importance of fresh air. There is the issue of not having WiFi to do your assignments. Use your time outdoors to do assignments like: assigned reading, math worksheets, and creative work.
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