If you are anything like me, you’re a worrier. You are consistently concerned with what you could be doing with your time to make yourself more successful (by your own definition). Every passing minute that you are not working on something for your future is a missed opportunity. Mind you, I do have my time for decompressing and social escapes, but I am otherwise fretting about improvement and time-management.
Here are five ways to make the most of every minute while keeping your head on your shoulders:
1. Write it down.
As simple as it seems, I have encountered many of the “eternally-struggling” to have one thing in common– they fail to write it down. Be it calendar events or important notes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. The number of emails from my peers that I have gotten in my career as a student at Kennesaw State University saying “I didn’t write down the note/date/question, can anyone send it to me?,” is a bit shocking to me. As someone who did not invest a ton of time preparing for college and my career before I started, the one thing I learned was to get organized. As an office-supply geek, this may come easier to me than others. However, writing down seven classes of assignments at the beginning of the semester was not the most thrilling way to spend two hours of my life, but I can’t see myself passing any classes without having my calendar by my side at all times.
2. Plan your time off.
As fun and exciting as a day-trip to the city or countryside may seem, I make sure to stay within reasonable restriction when it comes to going on off-schedule trips. Planning time off helps me stay focused on my current work. Using the trip as a prize for my hard work rather than an excuse to get away from it is key to my commitment to the not-so-fun parts of establishing a career and finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. This also helps me save money for my school and professional endeavors that I may not have considered beforehand.
3. Keep Your Cool
I cannot tell you how many hours I have wasted worrying or over-complicating issues that would eventually resolve themselves. Whether you are applying for new jobs or working on your current one, keeping a steady, focused mind can save you a lot of time in the long run. Once you have put forth the effort into a project, you must accept that you will have to allow it to run its course at some point. Relinquishing control of my fears and allowing things to work themselves out has benefitted me more often than not.
4. Use your resources.
One of the biggest things I have had to learn in the past five years is to ask for help when I need it and that, more often than not, Google has most of life’s answers within the scope of common sense (just don’t go on WebMD to diagnose yourself, please). Using your social connections and/or the internet can usually solve any kind of questions or concerns you may have when trying to figure out “how to adult”. There are tons of resources on LinkedIn and Facebook when it comes to asking questions and navigating the professional world. Whether it’s a close friend or a LinkedIn group acquaintance, asking the right questions will help you go farther than you can imagine.
5. Figure out what works for you.
This past year has been a journey of self-discovery for me. Previously an avid and steady coffee-drinker, I could not imagine myself without a cup of Joe every morning to get myself. going. After months of research and crossing things off my list, I could not figure out what was causing my daily migraines– until I cut out coffee. Since, I have switched to tea, or decaf coffee on special occasions, when I need a boost, but otherwise stick to plain ol’ water. Not only has this eliminated my migraines, I also have more energy now than I have in a couple of years. If there is something that is making you sick or sluggish, commit to figuring out what it is. The change in productivity will amaze you!
If you are someone who is constantly self-criticizing for improvement, what has worked for you to help increase your personal productivity?