Guest Post: How To Be More Productive
I want to introduce you guys to Aiden AKA The Physical Boss. He is 24 and in his final year of a Coaching and Sport Science Undergraduate degree. His ambition is to undertake an MSc in Strength and Conditioning in the hope that he becomes a Strength and Conditioning Coach and owns his own gym. I have asked him to write a guest post on how to be more productive as I think this is something that we can all benefit from, including me! Have a look at his post below and make sure you follow him/check out his blog!
Most people will experience the temptations of procrastination. If you’re like me, you’ll experience them every day, whether that’s to binge watch Netflix series or simply scrolling through your facebook/twitter/insta feed on your phone. And, as a final year student at university with deadlines fast approaching and a string of other commitments, it’s been key for me to find a way to avoid this and stay productive; so how do I deal with university deadlines, coaching, blogging and still having a social life? By following these 4 simple steps:
1. A consistent sleep schedule
The stereotypical student stays up late and wakes up late (This was me in my first year at uni). But I’ve found that going to sleep at 10pm and waking up at 6am every day, has given me more hours in the day to get stuff done, and made me feel more motivated. Waking up at 6am means I get to be at the gym for 7am when it opens, and finished by 8, which gives me 14 hours to get all my plans done.
I achieve this by:
-Turning off phones/laptops/iPads/kindles & dimming lights at 8pm to minimise blue light disruption & ensure they’re nowhere near my bed.
- Ensuring the moment I wake up (by my alarm clock, not a phone alarm) I get out of bed immediately and make my bed.
- Getting into bed 45 mins before I intend to sleep, I usually spend this time reading or brain storming ideas.
- And finally, ensuring my plan for the next day Is written before I get into bed.
2. Plan your day
I’ve found having a physical diary planner instead of using my phone has helped me organise my day. I’ll admit, using your phone to set reminders is helpful, but it led to me spending too much time on my phone. I tend to plan my days a few days in advance but allowing time for changes of plans.
- Plan your day in advance & physically write it down, don’t just do it on a whim. If you write down goals/targets, studies suggest you’re more likely to follow through with them and achieve them.
- Plan your meals so you don’t have to think about what you can be bothered to cook. I’m not a big fan of meal prepping (I never find that the meals I make are that great after a day) but having a meal in mind so I don’t have to decide what I can make when I’m hungry seems to have saved me a fair bit of time.
- Have a routine: I have a morning routine that hardly ever changes, this allows for me to have the same productive start to a day, every day. My morning routine looks like this:
6am – wake up
6:05 - Breakfast & coffee
6:30 -Check Uni timetables for changes
6:40 – Get ready for the gym and leave
7-8 - Train
8:10 - Shower
8:25 - Food & More coffee
8:40 - Head to the library or lectures.
3. Refrain/delete social media
I always found myself procrastinating and looking at Facebook instead of doing work or even listening In lectures. I realised my life was essentially revolving around social media (and I can’t even begin to describe how unhealthy that is). So, at first, I removed all social media from my phone, and this helped, I could no longer look at it when I was In lectures. But, it got to the point, that instead of doing work in the library, I’d be on my laptop scrolling through Facebook watching dog videos (Dogs > Cats). I made the decision to deactivate my account until I finish my degree (in may), and my productivity has sky rocketed.
- Delete your social media off of your phone if you’re willing to
- Allow yourself some downtime in the evening where you can check social media
- Limit your time on it if you feel like you’re spending too much time on it.
4. Write your deadlines down
Buy a whiteboard, stick it on your desk, or put post-it notes on the top of your computer/laptop screen, with all your deadlines on. This should remind you every time you’re near them that you should be doing work that matters, and nothing else. I also have the virtual stickie notes on my MacBook wallpaper with deadlines and to do lists on, this means whenever I turn my laptop on, I’m reminded of what work I should be doing
These 4 steps are how I’ve found myself to be more productive over the past few months, especially with a final year undergrad workload.
If you’ve got any suggestions on how you become productive and avoid procrastination, let me know!