As a college student, your to-do list likely feels never-ending. Reading, researching, writing papers, going to class, studying … there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get it all done. Fortunately, there’s a solution. Just do more!
No, don’t scramble to fit even more into your busy schedule. Focus on being more productive and doing those things that really matter. How? Take about 10 minutes each morning to prepare for your day.
Learn to Prioritize
If you’re not prioritizing tasks at the beginning of your day, you’re likely wasting time on activities that don’t have a big payoff, such as checking your email or organizing your notes. Giving all tasks the same amount of consideration also has another, paralyzing side effect. When you have too much on your plate, you spread yourself too thin, making it more likely that you’ll get nothing accomplished.
Prioritizing your day involves looking at your to-do list and picking out those items that are either most important or have the largest payoff. Forbes recommends pulling the three most important items from your list and focusing on those first. Once you get the large, important items finished, you’ll feel accomplished and productive, which may motivate you to wrap up the remaining items on your list.
Clear Your Head
How well does your laptop work when you have dozens of tabs open and apps running? Sluggish? Well, your brain reacts similarly when you have too much on your mind or too many things to remember. You see, your brain only has so much bandwidth. If you use it up doing mundane tasks, like mentally going over your to-do list, you can’t concentrate on other things.
The key to a productive day is to save all your bandwidth for what really matters. Clear your head of everything else. Writing down information you wish to remember later is a great way of doing this. Turn off your mental reminders and give all your focus to the task at hand.
Stop Chasing Perfection
As you work through your tasks, remember that perfection is not possible. It is, in fact, the enemy of everything, says Forbes. When you place unrealistic and high standards on yourself, your work will never measure up. You’ll never be satisfied, and that can lead to inefficiency, poor performance and low morale. Remember, you’ll never attain perfection. Just do your best. It is enough.
A few minutes of preparation each morning can make you a more productive, more focused person. By prioritizing your tasks, clearing your head and learning to take it easy on yourself, you’ll find that you get more done and experience less stress throughout the day.
~Here’s to Your Success!