In my experience, I have found that being productive has huge implications on, and hugely impacts the way we utilise, organise and allocate our time. Since I was a child I have had anxiety around time and being organised has been a primary concern of mine, as has having certainty. This year, as most years before it started with bouts of anxiety that led to me finally purchasing a diary that I promised myself I would use to keep track of everything going on at uni, outside commitments and recently the money I spend. The aim of this was to make sure the things I was thinking about and remembering were not those little things like the multiple tests I had to do for uni, but about posts to write, things to challenge myself with and podcasts (my love).
How it works
Im studying a science degree so I have a couple of little online tests every week that I need to stay on top of but also have scheduled practicals that I cannot miss but are not every week. This means I need to stay on top of the week and what I’m doing in class as well as studying after every lecture. Now, that may seem just stuff you can manage without a diary, that’s fine. It really comes in handy when you have a spare hour or two that you identify prior to it happening. I also like to plan days, by this I mean I sit and think about all the things I would like to, and need to get done by the end of the week. Usually this comprises; work, study (I can often fit this into uni breaks which helps me save time outside of uni), seeing friends, dance and blogging and being creative. I try to calculate how long I’d need to dedicate to each of these items or when I’d like them to be done by. I usually don’t work to time constraints but if I am monitoring how much I work I will push myself to finish. I allow for an hour or two in the evening to be rest time, this time is for doing stuff to fuel your interest, passion or rest after a big day (e.g. reading, drawing, watching tv). If you struggle to get to a deadline without a push maybe set a time limit, of an hour or two in which to complete a blog post, say. If that is insufficient time, you should try to stop working on it and move on to another task. This allows your brain to settle and when you return to the task it’ll be fresh. If need be, you can return to the task in your rest time.
Summary: Allocate time to items so as not to waste time. Writing down what you plan on doing and what you have to do can help reduce mental load so you have time to think about passion fuelling ideas, instead of thinking about that worry in the back of your mind.
Impacts on my day-to-day life
I have been doing this for a week or so in my new diary (that I adore) and the major difference I have noticed is that I have a greater sense of calm, and I have put assessments weeks in advance so I am on top of tests and appointments.
The diary I use
I recently purchased a muji “Schedule Note” diary from the store and I loved the simplicity and plain look of the book. There are a couple you can get, I liked the style that has one day spread across a page and you can write a number of things in the space. That book accommodates one week per page so you cant get an overview of what you have planned for the month. The second book has smaller boxes which have less room but this diary will definitely last you for a couple of years! It displays 6 weeks for every 2 page spread and can be used more like a calendar except only classier than any calendar I’ve ever seen before.
I am not getting paid to endorse muji, I just happen to love all their products..