Wednesday, February 15, 2017

5 Ways to Get More Done

In 2016, I set out to do many things, and I stunned myself by completing all my goals. I finished the first draft of my book, I read 150 books, I was involved in a pile of extra-circulars, including dance, art, football and speech and drama. I was published, I was a forty hour famine leader, I ran in Relay for Life. I did well academically, in my leadership position and liked the person who went into 2017.

Often I look back and go "how???? how did I do all that stuff??". I think I've narrowed it down to 5 things I did to increase my productivity.

time management this is the most important thing when you want to get stuff done. i make a list of things that have to be done, and the amount of time i think i'll need. then i start, and i spend my estimated times on each task. then i go back if i didn't finish something. the problem is that we have a tendency to spend more time on the things we like, rather than what needs doing. another way to combat this is by doing the worst task first, or by doing something boring then something you like, then boring again.

commitment if you say you're going to do it, commit to that with conviction. i committed to a bunch of stuff, but i felt invested in it, and i wanted to be there. i wanted to practise my speech's and run the dance routine one more time. if you want to be working on something, then it's easier to get started, and easier to get more stuff done. if you're not really into something you're thinking of committing to, run in the opposite direction, and find something you are *passionate about!
*obviously this doesn't apply to school work, because that has to be done. but try to think of it as committing to learning, which is pretty awesome.

focus when my brain kicks into focus, nothing deters me from a task. i can sit down and study for 2 or 3 hours, no problem. however, i realise that most people are not like that, nor is it healthy. if it's time to work on something, put everything else down (like your phone) and work on it, 50 minutes minutes max, then take a 10 minute break. if you struggle to focus for that long, break it into lots of 25 minutes with a 5 minute break between each one.

turn off that social media i know! it's hard. but even "just checking quickly" is a waste of your time. when i have a busy day ahead of me, i check my social media over breakfast and then again before bed (which is probably not the most solid advise ever). you could spend your lunch break scrolling instagram or you could get a head start on an assignment, so that you sleep easier that night. if you stop to think about it, you'd probably be surprised how much time social media chews up.

pick up after yourself this sounds really weird, but i promise this is true. i made sure that i put my stuff away and my work space was tidy when i was finished, ready for the next session. i also made sure my room was clean, since that's where my desk is. i never had to look for the things i needed, and the space around me was clutter free. take the few seconds to put something away to make a clean space, and you will feel a million times more ready to tackle a task.

I think that self control is basically the key to getting more done. It's hard to train yourself to spend time doing hard work or studying, but it can be done. And if you get stuff done with time left over, then you have time to do things, like watching Netflix, without feeling guilty.

How do you stay focused? How do you get more done? Any tips to add? Do you find it hard to turn off social media? Do you find it easy to manage your time?
Opal was even organised enough to have this post written before the day it was published. 


  1. I like to think I'm productive... but maybe it's because I just get more stuff done than most of my peers? I think time management is HUGE. Like, I try to plan for when I'm going to be busy with outside of school stuff and then schedule my homework in the free time. maybe? Also, I only just got a phone/instagram which is super distracting. I made a rule that I can't use my phone upstairs (aka in my room/study space) which does help. Also tidying up after I'm done with something makes me feel like I've accomplished a lot/finished X task, which is good :)

  2. Thanks for this, Opal. I need it - I'm hoping to fit quite a few things in this year. Also, good on you for doing all that last year! I hope 2017 is just as fulfilling for you. :)

  3. I probably needed that reminder, since I'm here on Blogger instead of doing my English assignment due in two weeks' time (oops). I've never had a big problem with social media. Focus seems to be my biggest issue, and I'm glad you pointed it out. A few times per year I zone out. And it's not in that funny movie way that lasts about 5 minutes - I actually zap out of reality for about twenty minutes and don't remember my train of thoughts. Is there a fix for that, or am I in a sci-fi movie? :')

  4. Ahhh I'm definitely bookmarking this post for future reference! This was a helpful post not only to encourage me to write but to focus on my reading goals and school even <3

    And yes to the thought on self-control! You can only really do something if you set your mind to it and discipline yourself.

    - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

  5. Turning off social media is both the most helpful and the hardest aspect for me. Usually I have a pretty good self control meter, but sometimes not. Alas. I gotta keep working on it.