Some say that we have all the time in the world – there is hardly a greater lie. We don’t have all the time in the world. Our time is set; our bodies are dying; the clock is ticking.
This is why we must utilize the time we have every day, every hour, and every minute. We must find ways to increase our productivity and find ways to stop wasting time.
For this reason, I have made for myself a list consisting of three areas in time-allocation that I believe could increase my productivity dramatically. They are the following:
1. Making sure that I do my mathematics lessons in the morning
2. Sticking to a ridged, properly organized schedule
3. Instead of spending time each day constantly cleaning up, spend time getting rid of stuff
#1. Do Mathematics in the Morning
I love math; really, I do. Only, it’s one of those things that I both semi-hate and love for the same reason: it challenges my brain.
So, I avoid it – procrastinate around it. But this does me no good, as I end up,
- Not doing it that day (making me un-happy)
- Having to complete my daily requirement at night when my brain is overloaded
By making it a habitual morning routine to do my mathematics lessons in the morning, I get the benefit of,
- Doing it (an obvious up-side 😉)
- Doing it while my brain is fresh (and thus, it is easier)
- Starting the morning off successfully with a small accomplishment
Points a. and b. are self-explanatory, but I think that Point c. deserves expounding:
When you accomplish something in the morning (like cleaning your room, making your bed, brushing your teeth, etc.), it puts you in the mood and mode to go and accomplish more. Doing my math is a great accomplishment for me, especially since I know that I’m prone to procrastination in that area.
#2. Following a ridged, properly organized schedule
I’ve been toying with a few time organization/schedule ideas, but they all contain the same basic principle – Create it the night before the following day.
When we wake up in the morning, our brains are groggy and all we want to do is sleep or do things that are easy/pleasurable in that moment (even if they have bad “side effects” afterwards). When we plan our day before it even starts, we are “starting” the day right. And, if you design it directly before you go to bed, you can work through the next day’s challenges in your mind as you sleep.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember from where I learned this schedule. When I recognized the wisdom in the following schedule and jotted it down, I must have forgotten to site it…so, if anyone knows where this schedule is from, please let me know; I’d love to give the creators full credit.
In any case, here is how I plan to plan my schedule for these upcoming weeks (It’s word-for-word, but I don’t know who to cite, so, again, if you recognize this schedule, please let me know):
- At the end of each word day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish the next day. Do not write down more than six tasks.
- Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
- When you begin your day, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
- Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
- Repeat this process every working day.
#3. Instead of spending time each day constantly cleaning up, spend some time getting rid of stuff
Growing up, I was a little hoard. My sister loves to talk about how I would keep every little dust-bunny, toilet-paper roll, rubber band, and other assorted garbage. I was amazing.
But that was not to last.
My Dad is the polar opposite of what I used to be. Even things that are good and useful (granted, to a certain extent) he rejects if it requires too much maintenance or fixing, or, if we aren’t using it.
You could say he’s a minimalist…and I was a maximalist.
My Dad helped me to whittle down the amount of garbage I continually collected. One of the things he would say was, “Is this something you are going to need or even want in 5 years. No? Then throw it out.”
That’s great advice. It has really helped to turn me into a minimalist as well.
However, even as I type this, I can think of several things that I potentially won’t want in 5 years…but I will hold onto anyways because I see intrinsic value in it. I don’t keep absolute garbage anymore (*ahem* “Usually…”), but I still waste time cleaning up stuff that I don’t even need.
So that’s something I have to work on.
I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to deal with that yet, folks, but I’m sharing with you my struggle. If you have any ideas or tips on how I can get rid of stuff that I think might have some level of value, but won’t make me any happier keeping them, let me know! I’d love to hear your advice!