How to Be More Productive and Stop Wasting Time

An image of a clock sinking into a wall, which was taken at the Moco Museum in Amsterdam

If, like me, you like to put off tasks to the last minute, then you'll likely need help with getting started. Long story short, putting off tasks for too long can leave us feeling stressed and agitated when the deadline approaches [in my opinion at least!]. This was a huge thing for me when I was at university, I quickly learnt that leaving studying until the last minute simply did not work well for me at all, and so it was important for me to learn how to be proactive and get the job done well ahead of time.

If you're able to relate to the above paragraph then it's likely that you're in need of a little productivity training - and this post may be exactly what you need!

An image of a person pushing out of the wall, appearing like a mummy
[Don't let yourself feel like this!]. These photos were taken at Moco Museum in Amsterdam - aren't they stunning?!

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Plan Your Tasks Ahead of Time

One of the things that I always found useful was to plan what I wanted to do before I started the task. Using coursework as an example, I would always make an outline of the structure of the essay before I started it, and would plan out briefly what I wanted to say. This made it a lot easier as it was more of a 'fill in the gaps' exercise and I didn't need to think through exactly what I wanted to say so much. Alternatively, you could decide that you want to read on the topic first, and this case you might want to jot down some quick notes that you've found from extra reading, and plan to start writing the next day. In all cases, doing something is better than doing nothing.


Do the Easiest [or Hardest] Jobs First 

I know - this point is incredibly vague but I think it's important to find what works for you. A lot of people prefer to do the hardest tasks first, as once it's done, they can focus on the easiest ones and it'll be a lot more relaxing. However, I like to do the easier tasks first [especially if they're quick ones, like general admin] so that I have nothing else on my to-do list and in essence, I feel forced to do the harder tasks. When I have a lot of things to do, I find that I flitter between one and the other and it's very distracting!


Create the Right Working Environment

Another super important point is to ensure that your environment is all set up for working [and no shirking!]. In doing so, I like to put my phone on airplane mode and hide it in my bag so that I can't reach for it, I'll turn off the TV and if around other people, I'll put headphones on to ensure that I can't be distracted. It really depends on the context of where you're working and what you're working on, but make sure you have plenty of food and drink around you and that you've got the plan with you that I suggested in point number one.

In the library for example, this may mean working in the quiet floor on the library if it's a piece of work you need to do alone. Though, if it's a project where you're struggling, then it may mean working in a group of friends who will be able to advise you along the way. There's no clear-cut answer for the perfect working environment, but you'll know it when you have it.

Set Regular Goals and Reward Yourself for Completing Them 

I think one of the most important things when it comes to working is to make sure you don't overwork yourself. I find that the most useful method is to set regular goals that take you nearer to finishing the project. For example ("Complete [insert goal here] this morning, go for lunch and then plan out how I'm going to approach [insert second goal here] in the afternoon") is a good way to utilize the day, and spending lunch with friends or a treat from the café is a good incentive for having a productive day. It's also worth self-reflecting to find out when you work best and utilizing that time too. For example, I work better in the mornings, so I always ensure that I complete the most time-urgent tasks in the morning and take things a little slower in the afternoon. Although, this may be completely different for you!

What are your best strategies for conquering procrastination? Let me know in the comments box below!



Chloe x


21 comments

  1. Love this post, definitely some tips I need to follow sometimes! I think sometimes I like to get th hard tasks out the way, but if I'm feeling super stressed about it then I'll do a few of the smaller tasks first and then go back to the harder ones! When I was at uni I used to set goals of how many words I get to in an essay and then reward myself with some chocolate or something hehe!

    Chloe xx
    www.chloechats.com

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    1. Thanks Chloe! :)

      That's such an amazing idea! And the perfect time to do it with it being Easter :D xx

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  2. I'm such a last minute person and it can get stressful sometimes. I totally agree that planning things out boosts my productivity a lot. I'm the same with easier tasks first too! It helps you get in a work flow and you feel good crossing lots off your to-do. Great tips! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  3. These are some very helpful tips on being more productive! For me planning tasks ahead makes a huge difference.

    Mel 🌙 | Moonlight Mel

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  4. I have to admit that I am the queen of procrastination! I often get overwhelmed by everything I have to do in a day and the overwhelm makes me put things off even more. I will gave to use some of these tips.

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  5. For me it's definitely more dependent on the day and how I'm feeling as to whether my productivity suffers! I always write everything out that I need to do, even small things like pop to the shop to get bread so I can tick it off and be happy something has been done as it encourages me. Definitely need to reward myself more though as I tend to just try and speed through things!
    Alice Xx

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    1. Good luck Alice! I hope you get some good rewards ;) x

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  6. Right now at work I usually have limited time to finish tens of chores so I nearly never procrastinate, but when I was a student I simply couldn't force myself to ever study systematically and so I always ended up two days before exam without even opening my notes. Your post is very useful for all people just like me.
    Dorota
    www.journalofdorota.com

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  7. I'm terrible when it comes to productivity at work - I could put things off forever!
    I build things up in my head to be a mountain of a task and when I finally do get round to doing it I find it's never as bad.
    Thanks for sharing your tips, I think trying to improve my working environment would help immensely!

    Rachel | The Modern Bohemian

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  8. I@m naturally a person who is usually two steps ahead of myself, being even a bit late with anything stresses me out!
    That being said thank you for haring these tips because there are somethings among them that I don't actually do, but could utilise into my daily life :)

    - Nyxie

    www.nyxiesnook.com

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    1. Thanks Nyxie! That's amazing, I wish I could be on top of things all of the time! xx

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  9. Awesome post!!! I definitely agree with the reward system, which is something I rarely do for myself. I never reward myself for accomplishing my goal, I just always move onto the next one. I believe the reward will make me feel more motivated and continue to progress even further than I anticipated from the beginning. Also it will take away that overwhelming feeling of trying to get so many things done. Sometimes you just need to give yourself rewards and breaks♥️ Awesome awesome tip post!!👌🏾

    Natonya | https://justnatonya.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks Natonya! Definitely give yourself some rewards! :D <3

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  10. These are great tips! I personally like to set a timer for each task I need to do and that helps me stay on it without wasting time on my phone etc.

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  11. These are some great tips! I like going the easy tasks first, too, and then work on the harder ones. It makes me feel like I've achieved a lot in a shorter space of time doing the smaller tasks first ☺️

    Beka | www.bekadaisies.com

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