My top 4 secrets on how to stay productive

Fall is right around the corner and that means the holidays will be here before we know it. No matter what stage of life we’re in, here comes the smell of pumpkin flavored everything coming from all directions, halloween costumes & decorations, thanksgiving plans, Black Friday deals, and 25 days of Christmas jingles. Before we know it, we’ll be counting down from 10 and watching the ball drop.

We all know how busy this time of year can be and that is exactly why organization and preparation are your best friends.

1. Make a To-Do list ahead of time for the next day. Decide what is a priority and make sure you write down what really needs to be done. There’s an app called Wunderlist where you can create lists of things that need to get done. You can even create different categories to keep track of different lists. I used to use this in college all the time. I would create a different category for each class to keep track of all my readings and assignments.

2. Create a schedule to keep track of where you’re spending your time. In college, I would add my class schedule, sorority events, and other club meetings into my phone on iCalendar. Now, I add my work schedule and everything else to keep track of my time. You can even use Google Calendar or any other options you’ve seen. You can even write down a schedule on paper. Here’s an example of my schedule for the next couple of days. Now, I know where I can add more things or which days I might need to step out of work for a little to run an errand.

Life can get so busy and I have such a long commute. The great thing is I can easily drag and drop to move things around or easily change the duration of an event on my calendar. Obviously, you can’t always plan everything to a T, but creating a visual plan or schedule of your day will help you be more productive and help you stop wasting valuable time.

3. Keep track of daily or weekly goals. Recently, my daily goal has been to drink more water. I want to drink at least 8 cups of water a day. A friend just told me about this app called Tally so all I have to do it tap the “Drink Water” icon every time I drink a glass of water.

4. Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? I wanted to save the best for last. The concept is you work for a solid 25 minutes on a task and then allow yourself a 5 minute break. Once your break is over, you start another 25 minute interval. After every 4th round, you give yourself a longer break. This is for anyone who struggles with time management or needs to really focus to get something done. Check out this app called Focus Keeper. This app has a timer and lets you know how much time is left and rings when your time is up. It also keeps track of which interval you’re on and gives you a 25 minute break after every 4th interval.

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