Tips for a Productive Summer [Tumblr Post]

Hey! I have a break coming up too so I’ll list some things that I’ll be doing during the holiday and then some other random ideas:

  • clear out my desk – I’ll usually do this properly every holiday. I’ll tidy up all my drawers, organise used/unused stationery, collect things that can be stored. I’ll go through my pens/highlighters/etc and throw out ones that don’t work. I’ll make a note of things I need to replace for the new semester too. I will recycle any bits of paper I don’t need any more as well.
  • organise my computer – I’ve become a bit of a clean freak with my laptop and like everything to be filed, in place, or deleted if unnecessary. I’ll clear my desktop. Refile or rename documents that are randomly placed. Things I definitely don’t need I’ll either trash or put onto an external hard drive. I also will go through my history, clear that and any additional caches/cookies/web data that doesn’t need to be there. Another one is going through all your emails, social media, etc and deleting or unsubscribing from things you are no longer interested.
  • back up my (old) computer – this is on my list because I recently got a new laptop. I’m planning to back up all my files from my other laptop and transfer anything I need to my new one. I’m going to make some note of all my login information, etc. I’ll make sure to back up my phone too.
  • sort out my bedroom – I’m in the process of designing how I want my bedroom to look so that something I’ll be sorting. Whilst this happens, I’ll be going through all my drawers, boxes, magazines, etc. I really need to just part with things I’m never going to use. I’m a bit of a sentimental hoarder with things so I need to be ruthless :’-)
  • clear my wardrobe – since I’m redoing my wardrobe too I’ll be going through that. Probably just donate some of the things I never wear or don’t want any more. I’m planning on doing an eBay sale of some unworn/unused things! Otherwise, I’ll donate them!
  • work on my hobbies – blogging is my hobby so I’m planning to do that. Hopefully getting my YouTube up and running (if I tell enough people, I’ll be forced to do it and get over my nervousness haha!). You could spend the holidays doing something you enjoy, or learning a skill.
  • prepare for the next school term/year – obviously holidays are the perfect time to organise the previous term and get organised to start again. Go through your files/stationery/etc, make a list of what you need! It’s best to make a list that you can add to and cross off once you’ve purchased it. It will also prompt you to get things before it’s too late. For each semester, I’d type out my timetable and place it in my notebook. I’d print binder covers for each of my subjects. Next term, I’m going to do a semester outline as @bookishandbright did, as seen here. It will show my weekly readings, when things are due, reminders, etc. I’m debating whether to print and bind all my readings at my local Officeworks so I don’t have to print them myself each week.
  • find out a planning method that works for you – this is probably a good time to switch between planning/organisation methods if you’re not happy with your current one. You can test out bullet journaling for a few weeks, using a time planner for a week or a digital calendar/bullet journal. You can see which one holds you most accountable and improves your efficiency.
  • boost your resume – see if you can volunteer somewhere, work with your parents for a little bit, get a part time job at the local store, or work experience/internship in a field you’d enjoy. This obviously isn’t necessary – especially if you’re very young – but if the opportunity arises, it’s a great place to start!
  • read something – this could be a book that you’d have your eye on, the next one in a series you’ve read, or just something that might help in another way. I recently read ‘13 Reasons Why’ and enjoyed it! I’m thinking of reading either ‘It’ or ‘Before I Fall’ over the holiday. I was given the career code by Katherine Power/Hilary Kerr for Christmas since I was interning for their company but in Australia and thought it would be really interesting. My dad has recommended ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen for years so I’ll maybe read that too.
  • relax – the biggest thing to do in the summer!!! You’re allowed to have days where you sit around and do nothing. That is what holidays are for, right? Take time to do things you don’t always get round to when school is on. Catch up with some friends. Go to the movies. Spend the day exploring somewhere new. Start and binge a series (I can recommend loads if you want!). 

Hope you have a fun, but productive, summer!! x

Studyblr Resource Post: Procrastination and how to get down to work

intellectus:

In all honesty, procrastination is my nemesis– and I think that goes for a whole lot of people, even here in the perfect world of studyblr. Here are some tips to get better at sitting down and going for it without getting distracted!

Removing Distractions

Physical Distractions

  1. Clear any clutter off your desk. Having a more minimal workspace without yesterday’s receipt from lunch keeps you more focused.
  2. Remove irrelevant items. If you don’t need it for the task at hand, get rid of it. This applies especially to appealing books, games, and puzzles.
  3. Close the door. Whether literally, or figuratively, let other people know you’re working and ask them not to disturb you so you stay focused.

Digital Distractions

  1. Use a website blocker. If you really need to stay away, try an app or extension to make sure you stick to focusing. Here are some options:
    1. StayFocusd
    2. Forest
    3. SelfControl
    4. Cold Turkey
    5. Focus
  2. Turn off phone notifications. Almost nothing is more likely to distract you, so use aeroplane mode, or block all social media notifications.

     

Getting to Work

Planning

  1. Make a to-do list. Getting a solid list of what you need to do is one step closer to getting it done! Here are some printables that might help you:
    1. Weekly to-do list from @studeying
    2. To-do list printables from @apricot-studies
    3. To-do list from @aescademic
    4. Let’s do this! from @sundayscholar
  2. Schedule according to your priorities. Breaking your tasks down by importance is another way to categorize and be more efficient.
  3. Ensure that you look ahead. If necessary, look at your schedule in the future and plan that so that you’re forced to stay on track in order to not get behind your schedule.

Structuring your Work

  1. Track what you’ve done. If you can check it off your list, you’ll just want that feeling again. It encourages you by showing that you can do it!
  2. Time yourself. If you commit to ten minutes of work, you’re far more likely to just keep going, and timing’s also a great tracked. Here are a few apps you might find handy!
    1. Toggl
    2. Pomello
    3. ClearFocus
  3. Reward yourself at set times or milestones. Take breaks, grab a cup of coffee or an orange, and don’t work yourself into the ground. Giving yourself ten minutes off will refresh you, as long as you don’t go straight back to your distractions.

You’ve got this!! Get yourself sorted and get going, because you most certainly have it in you 😀

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8 Tips to Stop Procrastinating

8 Tips to Stop Procrastinating:

Excerpt:

1. Put yourself in jail. If I feel pressure to jump in and finish something in a rush, and therefore can’t bear to start, sometimes I put myself in jail. If you’re in jail, you have all the time in the world. You have no reason to hurry, no reason to cut corners or to try to do too many things at once. You can slow down, concentrate. You can take the time to get every single detail right.

2. Ask for help. This is one of my most useful Secrets of Adulthood. Why is this so hard? I have no idea. But whenever I have trouble getting started because I don’t know exactly what to do, and I ask for help, I’m amazed at how much it…helps.

3. Remember: most decisions don’t require extensive research. I often get paralyzed by my inability to make a decision, but by reminding myself that often, one choice just isn’t that much different from another choice, I can get started. Also, I try to identify a knowledgeable person, and just follow whatever that person does.

4. Take a baby step. If you feel yourself dismayed at the prospect of the chain of awful tasks that you have to accomplish, just take one step today. Tomorrow, take the next step. The forward motion is encouraging, and before long, you’ll probably find yourself speeding toward completion. In the same vein…

5. Suffer for 15 minutes. You can do anything for fifteen minutes, and fifteen minutes, day after day, adds up surprisingly fast. That’s how I finally dug myself out of my crushing (if virtual) load of digital photos. Fifteen minutes at a time.

6. Do it first thing in the morning. The night before, vow to yourself to do the dreaded task. Get everything ready — any phone numbers of information you need, files assembled, everything ready to go. And the next day, at the first possible moment – as soon as you walk into work, or when the office opens, or whenever – just do it. Don’t allow yourself to reflect or procrastinate. This is particularly true of exercise. If you think you’ll be tempted to skip, try to work out in the morning.

7. Protect yourself from interruption. How often have you finally steeled yourself to start some difficult project, only to be interrupted the minute you get going? This makes a hard task much harder. Carve out some time to work.

8. Remember, work can be one of the most pernicious forms of procrastination. Don’t kid yourself.
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You’re distracted more often than you think – A Life of Productivity

You’re distracted more often than you think – A Life of Productivity:

Excerpts:

The average person is distracted or interrupted every 40 seconds when working in front of a computer. This is remarkable. While it’s easy to recognize that we live in an age of distraction, to me, this number is astounding. It’s pretty hard to do good, deep work when you can’t even focus for a minute.

 

 

In the timeline of our work, our best thinking happens after this 40 second mark.

 
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How music affects your productivity

Everything you need to know about how music affects your productivity – A Life of Productivity:

Excerpts:

  • Music (and background noise) consumes some of our attention. The less complicated the music, the better we’re able to focus.
    • Sound is similar to distance, time, or money: it’s relative. There will be times when listening to music is the most productive thing you can do—like when you’re working in a distracting office environment, or when a couple is having a loud conversation when you’re reading at a coffee shop. Then there are times when music is less productive—like when the office is relatively quiet, or the sum of the coffee shop conversations happening around you fade into a collective hum. (This is why apps like Coffitivity can bolster our ability to focus.)
    • No matter what, the music will occupy some of your limited attention
  • Listening to music boosts your performance on habitual tasks.

     

    • With habitual tasks, it is easy to get bored. Hence music provides some arousal
    • Habitual tasks don’t consume our complete attention, hence we are still able to listen to music
  • Music can lift our mood considerably.

     

    • Music can make us very happy and boost our energy and performance
  • The more familiar you are with a song, the less of your attention it consumes.

     

    • We tend to prefer music we are familiar with (even complex ones) and we tend to be less distracted by it
  • Extroverts seem to perform better while listening to music, though it still compromises their performance.

     

  • Music tends to boost our energy and whilst sometimes we feel like we’ve gotten a lot done that day just listening to music; it isn’t always the case, and it’s easy to fall into this energy vs productivity trap

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Parkinson’s Law: A task will swell in importance the more time you allot to it [Video]

Parkinson’s Law: A task will swell in importance the more time you allot to it. 

Tip: Set tight deadlines and time limits for tasks. Finish it quickly instead of having the task looming over your head for weeks/months. Setting time limits lets you know how long you take to do things. You catch yourself when you get distracted and are not focused on your work
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Bullet Journal Post

thearialligraphyproject:

Thank you for all the kind words you sent regarding the first part of the Plan and Play series! It turns out, I was very excited to launch it that I neglected to mention that the series will be composed of five parts and updated weekly.

Catch up: read the guide to planners and bullet journals (#PlanAndPlay Part 1)

For this part, we’ll go through a list of brands where you can purchase a planner or notebook for your bullet journal, what kind of pages you can add in your bujo, and how to layout your weekly spread. Are you ready?

Keep reading

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Bullet Journal Post

thearialligraphyproject:

When I first joined the studyblr community, I was taken aback with the amount of studyblrs posting photos of their planner and their bullet journal spreads. I’ve only known and been in the fandom side of Tumblr for years, so I found it really cool that there are others who share the same appreciation for keeping things organized and staying productive.

I began to post my own planner spreads and since then, I would receive a lot of messages every day about planners/bullet journals and how to set them up. I decided to create this series to give you an overview of the art of using a planner or a bullet journal (right on time for the new year!) and address if not all, most, of your questions. Hopefully, as we progress through the series, you’ll find that keeping track of your tasks and staying organized isn’t as hard and tiring as it seems!

In this first part of the Plan and Play series, I’ll be covering the basics of planners, bullet journals, and planning in general. So let’s start: a planner and a bullet journal, what’s the difference?

Keep reading

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Habit Stacking

Habit Stacking:

  • Original article by James Clear 
  • Builds on the Tiny Habits method created by Dr BJ  Fogg 
  • Make a list of your old habits and new
    habits; then match them up
  • Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself. For eg:
    • Flossing
      (new habit) after brushing my teeth (old habit) 
    • Doing 10 push ups (new habit) immediately after drinking water in the morning (old habit)  – Slowly you can increase the number of push ups once you’ve gotten used to this routine. 

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Where do you see yourself in 5 minutes?

Where do you see yourself in 5 minutes?:Some excerpts:

  • I’ve discovered when it comes to planning the future: the shorter the time span, the more important having a plan becomes. 
  • That’s why I go with one year. You should have some idea of where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing 12 months out. That’s what makes it a realistic amount of time to plan for. I find the Rule of 3, works remarkably well for this—forming three intentions for the year, quarter, month, week, and then yes, for today. 
  • The most important decision we can make in a day is to focus on the most productive task in any given moment.

  • Some ways to train your mind to focus on what’s important in the moment. Here are a few of my favorite ways to do so:
    • Eliminate distractions ahead of time. I can’t overstate this point enough: the single best way to focus better, deeper, and more clearly in the moment is to eliminate every distraction or interruption that will hijack your focus away from what’s important.
    • Set an hourly awareness chime. Once you start working, set a timer on your phone for an hour. When it goes off, ask yourself: what am I focusing on? How important is the task I’m working on at this very moment? Does it feed into my long-term goals? What can I do to work more productively and meaningfully?
    • Keep your daily intentions nearby. If you’ve adopted a daily intention-setting ritual, like the Rule of 3, keep your list of intentions nearby as you work so you can reflect on whether you’re staying on course. When a new, urgent task or project comes up, reflect on the importance of that new task relative to the intentions you set at the start of the day.
    • Keep a distractions or temptations list. Maintain a list of distractions or temptations that come up as you work towards accomplishing your daily intentions. If you’re tempted to refresh Twitter, put that on the list, as well as a comment about what triggered that impulse. If you’re tempted to check your email instead of working on a report, add that to the list, too. Dealing with the distractions and temptations on this list later will help you get back on track in the moment.
    • Invest in overcoming procrastination. Procrastination happens when we compromise our intentions. It’s worth investing in strategies to overcome it—like considering the cost of procrastination on your future self. Even though research shows that everyone procrastinates, there are several tactics that help us to combat it. Here’s an article I wrote a while back about 10 ways to do so!

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