This post will be followed by a post on 'Productivity during school' so stay tuned for that! However I feel that each of us have our own ways to deal with that situation and the pressing problem for most of us is to make the best use of our time after we get home.
Coming home after a long day at school or a day that has been spent doing a lot if things means that we are likely to come home and slip into the lazy mode and stay there until we eventually fall asleep. And what follows is a feeling of inadequacy and regret. And I totally get how undesirable those feelings are! So here I have a few ways (most of them tried, tested and are now being recommended by me, so you can take my word for this) to stay on top of your game.
So here we go!
1) Rethink your 'REST' period!
If you are lucky enough, you probably use your school/ college bus or car pool. If you have a means of commute that does not demand daily physical efforts on your end, re-look at these periods of commuting. Use them as recharge time!
If you use the bus, take a nap, listen to some music, talk to your friends - whatever form of rest/ recharge works for you.
If you are in a car pool, jam to some good music with your pool mates, have some good discussions; irrespective of whether you're driving. If you aren't, you could also just sit there and enjoy the car ride.
What I mean to convey is that don't look at this as school/ work time. Look at this as a rest/ recharge time if you have the liberty to do so! This will enable you to not spend another hour at home 'resting' when you've actually rested your body and mind during your commute. Its just a matter of shifting your perspective and believe me, this is a game changer.
2) Plan out everything that you want to get done! - BUT BE REALISTIC ABOUT IT
There is no greater motivation than having clarity about all that is supposed to be done by you. So, ensure that clarity in advance. If there is more than one thing that needs to get done that day after school (which is usually the case), plan it out. It does not necessarily have to be put down on paper, however gauge the amount of time you have and how you are planning to divide it up for all your to-dos.
Now coming to the important part of this tip: Being realistic about it. Let's face it. You were doing all sorts of things for the entire day. Your body needs rest and there is only so much you can do before your body needs to recharge in the form of sleep. So know your limits and plan accordingly. Completing 3 assignments, 2 essays and summarising 2 chapters in a day is not possible, so don't put that kind of pressure on yourself! Be considerate of yourself - your mind and body and plan out things accordingly.
3) Begin your task!
Planning out is just a tool to help you out and keep yourself in check. The real key to productivity is getting started. That's the most critical and hence difficult step in doing any task. Especially when your lazy mode is going to be on. Since well begun is half done, begin!
4) Get started as soon as you can
What I've personally experienced is that the more time I spend in resting or 'trying to start', the lazier and more hesitant I become to get things done. On the contrary, on days when I get home, freshen up and get to my work, I am infact able to do my tasks much more faster and better. I can then get most of my things done before dinner and then have some time to myself before I go to bed. So this definitely is tried and tested tip, let me know if it works for you.
5) Help yourself!
Help yourself out by doing everything possible on your part to ensure your maximum levels of productivity. I have two tips for this:
Lay out your stuff so that you are reminded to do that task:
Suppose to you have to write an essay when you get back home. So, before going to school/ work, make sure you lay out your laptop, some paper, pencils/ pens on your desk. That way, when you get back, you won't have to start from scratch. Step 1 is already done, you now have to start from Step 2. Your mind is already finding more motivation to write that essay!
Create a cue for yourself to start:
In case there is a line of action or a routine you follow after you come home, allot a task after which you are going to have to get started with your work.
Let's suppose that when you get home, you put your bag away, freshen up and wash your face, change your clothes and then drink coffee. So this is already a routine in place. It's after this that your productivity fluctuates. So keep your coffee as your cue. Now it's an instruction to your brain that everyday, once that coffee is done, it's work time. Brains love algorithms and once you feed this one for a few days, it is going to pop up automatically thereafter. The step we are taking here is programming our brain for it!
These are some of the tips that I use for keeping a good level of productivity and to cope up with my schoolwork. I hope that these tips are helpful for some of you guys too!
Stay tuned for the next post. I wish you all the productivity that you want to achieve!
I'll be back with another post soon. Share this with your school/ college mates to help them out as well.