Productivity pt. 3: Motivation and time management

This will probably be the last productivity-related post in a while, because I’ve run out of things to talk about, haha.

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So, yeah. Even if you have a planning/scheduling system in place, you still have to dredge up motivation to do all those things you need and/or want to do, and you have to do them while not losing sleep or wanting to rip all your hair out.

For motivation, I have like none. I’m actually really bad at motivating myself to do stuff, even important tasks. It’s just so much easier to do nothing, you know? Having a planner and writing out all the things I need to do really helps in getting me to actually do them. After all, they say when you write goals down, you’re more likely to achieve them, right? I feel like just having a planning system is a great motivator, because then all your tasks become concrete things instead of intangible bits of fluff floating around in your brain that say ridiculous things like “I’ll do it later.” I also use a sort of fear tactic on myself. Like if I don’t do this thing in a timely manner, I’m going to fail this exam/class/college/etc. Or if I don’t do this now, I’m going to lose the opportunity to do it completely. It’s a little bit exaggerated, but since I also provide myself a way to avoid the negative outcome (just do the thing!!), it works most of the time.

And for time management. Oh man, one of the most useful skills in college that I learned was how to manage my time efficiently. I ended up having to complete two independent research projects (one as a concentration in my major, and one as my thesis) my last year, and the thing about research projects in almost every discipline is that there aren’t any deadlines except the last one!! I literally had like a year to do these projects (including data collection with human subjects, data analysis, and writing the paper), but all they said was just turn in the completed paper before you graduate. Like okay, sure, that’s plenty of time. BUT IT’S NOT. IT’S NOT. And so the wise graduate student that I was working with imparted onto me this blessed piece of advice: SET YOUR OWN DEADLINES. Break up the project into smaller chunks and set deadlines for everything. Set deadlines even for small things, like reading and taking notes on 5 articles before next Tuesday. I cannot stress this enough. Whenever you are faced with a large, slightly vague thing you need to get done, or even something as simple as getting a present for your cousin’s birthday, SET DEADLINES!!! This is also when having a planner or using google calendar comes in handy, because you can write it down in bold letters, and have reminders set on your phone, and whatever else you need to do in order to get things done.

One last little tidbit of info: there is no such thing as true multitasking, okay. You might think you’re multitasking, but you are really just switching from focusing on one thing to focusing on another really fast. And it might actually make you do the things slower and less efficiently than if you just concentrated on one thing at a time. So maybe keep that in mind too.

Cheers (∗´꒳`)ノ

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