Top 5 ways to be more productive
Did you know that Binghamton University now offers Success Coaching? And, those Success Coaches are here to support you with success skills like time management, task management, goal setting, procrastination, and motivation? You may be thinking to yourself “that’s cool and all but how will those skills help me figure out what I want to do with my life?”
Success Skills are some of the most valuable transferable skill sets that you can begin learning and practicing today! Not only will they help you with your schoolwork, but they will play a vital part in your career exploration, future internships, graduate programs, and professional positions. Intrigued? Good! Here are the top 5 ways that you can begin building your success skills and become more productive:
Have a time management plan.
At the beginning of each semester it is a great idea to create a “time map” of what your typical week will look like. This will include things that have a finite date and time: class times, work shifts, student organization meetings, etc. Then add in your meals, ideal wake time, and ideal sleep time. Last, highlight the areas that you know are your MOST productive and your LEAST productive. The goal is not to make a super detailed scheduled that you have planned down to the minute; instead, the goal is to have a broad view of your responsibilities (class, work, student org’s) and the time you have available to you to complete any tasks associated with those responsibilities (studying, assignments, projects, etc.) Creating habits based on how and when you work best will be carried far beyond the classroom, staying with you in your professional career as well.
Create a task management system.
Have a task management system that is separate from your calendar. A separate planner, to-do list, notebook, post-its, etc. that you only write tasks on/in will allow you to stay organized and focused. Some students choose to have one centralized to-do list while others have one to-do list per course. Some choose to have daily, weekly, or even monthly to-do lists. The goal is to identify a system that you will actually use and that works best for you. The earlier you start identifying what system works best for you, the better. Being able to accurately and effectively manage tasks is a skill that will come in handy in future internships, graduate school, and professional roles.
Learn how to set effective goals.
When setting goals you are encouraged to make them S.M.A.R.T.
S.M.A.R.T. goals will allow you to have a clear action-oriented plan that you can begin working toward. Looking to level up? When writing your to-do list, make sure all of your tasks are S.M.A.R.T. too! Goal setting is an integral part of leadership. Begin practicing your goal setting skills now and success will be inevitable.
Have an “oh no I’m procrastinating again” plan.
We all are guilty of procrastinating from time to time. The key though? Make an “oh no I’m procrastinating again” plan. When you feel yourself starting to push off tasks because you are overwhelmed, distracted, or just plain unmotivated, remind yourself of this: getting started is the hardest part. You do not have to commit to completing the task, just beginning the task. Set a timer for 10 minutes and commit to working on the task until the 10 minute timer rings. If at the end of 10 minutes you don’t want to continue, you don’t have to. At least you got started. Spoiler alert: research shows that most individuals end up continuing the work after the 10 minute timer rings.
Reflect on what motivates you.
Feeling unmotivated? Ask yourself these three things:
Thinking back to past accomplishments, what were my motivators? (Money? Good grades? Praise? Pride? Reaching goals? Spending time with friends? etc.)
Are there ways to recreate that motivation given my current circumstances?
What resources are available to me to help boost my motivation?
Interested in learning more about Success Skills and how you can continue building them? Check out the STS Success Coaching website for more information and to schedule an appointment with a Success Coach.
This blog was written by Julia Milewski, Assistant Director, Student Transition and Success and a Success Coach.