It is now October, and whether you’re a student or an adult, everyone has work to do. Sometimes it may seem like we don’t have time to do it all! To help you out, I have collected ten productivity tips from readers like you. I hope these tips will help you to be a better steward of your time.
Do More Better, To-Do Lists, and Time Blocking
To start us off, Pastor Greg says,
My main tip is to encourage people to read and apply (with personal variations) a small and very helpful book by Tim Challies called Do More Better. In addition to articulating a biblically informed definition of ‘productivity,’ he provides clear, simple and workable suggestions for maximizing productivity, for God’s glory.
I agree that Do More Better is indeed a very helpful book. Here is a link to where you can order it on Amazon.
I have yet to read it, but my dad also recommends Deep Work.
One of the apps that Do More Better recommends is Todoist. Carina Lyrell mentions it in her two tips:
Keep a to-do list! I personally use Todoist, but it can be as simple as a list in a notebook. I plan what needs to be done the night before, and sometimes a couple days in advance if assignments need to be due.
Carve out blocks of time for certain tasks. If you’re like me and don’t work well on a super strict schedule, carving out large blocks of time (1-2 hours or so) for tasks in general like school, chores, etc. That way, you can start at the start time and know the end time.
Judy also likes checklists—she keeps a variety of tasks organized in spreadsheets.
And Malaya has similar advice:
One of the most helpful productivity tricks I’ve used is to come up with a to-do list right before sitting down to do my homework.
I’ll also write down an estimate of how long each task will take me, and I try to stick as close to that time as possible. That way, I know exactly what needs to be done and about how long it should take me to do it, and I end up getting less distracted.
Emily has another great way to stay organized. She says:
I learned this from Cassie from The Young Writer’s Workshop. Have ‘theme’ days where you work on different priorities in your life.
My priorities are school, writing, and serving my church community so I assign certain tasks to certain days of the week. It helps me feel less stressed about finding time to do these things because I know what day I will get them done!
I’ve been working on doing this with my school subjects, and it makes my homework feel so much more doable!
Allie Andersen shares this tidbit:
I like to keep my Google Drive organized as much as possible—I create folders for each class in school, and in my personal writing and other projects I create folders for each current story I’m working on.
I also take it a step further by creating folders for each year and (within the individual class folders) each semester. It saves me time from having to search for a specific document and helps me feel more organized and on track.
As an artist, I’ve been discovering that Google Drive folders are an excellent way to organize my drawings. =)
David Smith, a writer, has three pieces of advice regarding staying focused:
Pay special attention to the start of your day. Even the tiniest good decisions in the morning can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day. (Waking up on time, making your bed instead of leaving it messy, choosing not to look at your phone first thing before you wake up, etc.)
If you don’t have time to read a whole book or chapter before your deadline, reading the first and last sentence of each paragraph can be good enough to at least get you the main ideas. It’s certainly better than nothing.
(Advanced. Not for everyone!!) If you really need to take your focus and productivity to the next level, consider taking a fast from all entertainment and distractions that are unrelated to your goal. Completely removing those things from your life at least for a short while can make school and work a lot more fun and engaging and make life so much simpler.
I, too, have found that the way you start your day makes a big difference. And putting aside distractions is an important part of getting anything done!
One Last Note
One last note from Kira Poole:
My biggest tip is one that I just learned recently: stay calm. Don’t panic when you think you’ve got a lot to do and not a lot of time. You know what? Stressing won’t gain you any more time. You’ll get done what you get done, stress or no.
If you have to, turn the clock around so that you’re not constantly looking at it and freaking out about how quickly time is passing.
Turning on some music helps too! 🙂
This advice is an excellent way to conclude our little list. It reminds me of Matthew 6:34:
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
What Do You Think?
Comment below if you have any tips to add to the list! Have you found any of this advice helpful? What is your strategy for getting things done?
Good read! Thanks for this post. I also like Do More Better, and Tim commends Deep Work as a tool, I like Evernote.
You’re welcome and thank you for reading! I’ll definitely need to check out Deep Work sometime. Evernote is a super helpful tool—I use it all the time!
Thanks, Eliana! This was really helpful (and I’m glad my tip was helpful enough to find a place here. XD)
I’m glad you found it helpful, Kira! (Ha, thank you for letting me use it!)
These are great tips! Recently, I have been learning how to be more productive because school has been busier (and crazier!) than ever. I enjoy setting productivity timers because it actually helps to keep my focus on what I need to do and concentrated. I like using Tide, which has instrumental music and peaceful background noises (like bird sounds!), and Forest helps me to not get distracted by going to other websites and has a timer, as well. Also, planning out what I need to do for the day helps me to be productive because I am not wasting time by scrambling to find what I need to do.
That’s awesome, Heaven! Planning out what I need to do for the day is definitely a big part of productivity for me. Thank you for reading!
These are all so useful! Thank you so much Eliana!!!
I’m so glad to hear that! You’re welcome, Reilly! =)
Good advice! Thanks & keep it up!
Glad you enjoyed them! You’re welcome! =)
I have something to share. It’s something my dad told me: when you have a lot of things that need to be done and you can’t get them ALL done, just do your best! It’s WAY better to do your best and not finish everything, than to rush and do a terrible job. For me, knowing my priorities (i.e., writing, doing Rosetta Stone, finishing a bucket list) really helps. Then I know what I WANT to do, and can eliminate some things that aren’t as important.
That’s a great tip! I completely agree. When I set my priorities for the day, then I’m much less likely to spend the whole day procrastinating by doing less important tasks. (Not that I’ve done that before… ;))