An Organized Approach to Productivity

Hi, friends! Have you ever had 3 tests, 2 papers due, and a presentation to give all in the span of a few days? If you have, you’re not alone. College students often have to get a lot of work done in a short period of time. In other words, we have to be super productive. It’s possible to achieve a lot with little time, as long as you’re organized and manage your time wisely. In this post, I want to help you be very productive with little time.
An Organized Approach to Productivity| Want to complete a ton of work in a short time? This simple productivity method will help you achieve a lot in little time!
Want to complete a ton of work in a short time? This simple productivity method will help you… Click To Tweet

Figure out what exactly you need to do.

Before you attack your assignments, you need to figure out what exactly you need to do. Go class by class, extracurricular activity by extracurricular activity, and create a list of all the tasks you need to complete. Once you finish this list, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by how long it is. But don’t stress! Now that you know what you need to do, you can create a plan of attack to get all those assignments/tasks done.

Create a “plan of attack” to get all those things done.

Now, organize all those tasks in the order of priority and think about how many you can realistically complete in one day. Start planning which tasks you will complete on what day. When you plan, take into account the other commitments you have on certain days. Do you have many classes that day? It’s better to schedule less tasks on a day when you have an exhausting 3 hour lab. Do you have a low-priority commitment that you can postpone until after you finish all your work (for example, lunch with a friend)? Postpone it.

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Also, set deadlines for yourself. I find that when I don’t have deadlines, the things that DO have deadlines take precedence over those that don’t. It’s easy for tasks without deadlines to slip through the cracks this way. That’s why I like to give myself a deadline for everything.

Remember to be honest with yourself when planning/creating your “plan of attack”. It’s not going to help if you underestimate the amount of time (or work) you have. It’s better to err on the side of caution and give yourself ample time to complete your work.

Make the plan easy to follow.

Convert this plan to a daily to do list, and make it easy for you to see. In my case, I like to have a “Master” to do list for the week. I take this list everywhere with me and make sure it’s visible. I enter individual tasks into my planner on a daily basis, since the amount of time I have to do these things depends on the day. This system works for me because it allows me to be flexible. Find a system that works for you and use it.

Follow through with the plan and be accountable.

Know that you might have to sacrifice Netflix for a week or two, but it’ll be worth it. If you follow through with your plan, you can get your work done quickly, meaning you can get back to Netflix quickly, too!

If it helps you, let a friend in on your plan. She can help you make sure you stick to it!

When you have a lot of work to do, you have to set aside some things you like and put yourself into working mode. If you need to get a lot of stuff done, make a plan for yourself with realistic expectations and realistic deadlines, make the plan easy to follow, and tell a friend to make yourself accountable. This way, you’ll be approaching your work in an organized manner, and you’ll make sure that everything gets done.

Related:  A Peek Inside My Planner

How do you get lots of work done in a short period of time?


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  • Hi, Aly! Great posts, so full of useful tips. I am a very big fan of lists, so I usually make a lot of them for different thing. For school, I usually write down all the small steps I need to take in order to completely finish a big assignment. Then I get my plan of attack from there. But what I sometimes struggle with is to make the plan reasonable. I always schedule too many things to do in one day and I end up super stressed. Instead, when I prepare an easy to follow and totally doable plan, I can stay focused better. As a result I get things done easily and that makes me motivated to do even more.

    • Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by. Your strategy of writing the small steps works so well. It makes the big assignment more manageable. It’s easy to overestimate the time you have and plan too many things for one day. I tend to do that, too. That’s why I want to try planning hour by hour to make sure I make the most of my time. Have you tried planning hour by hour?
      -Aly

      • I usually just make a rough schedule as I go on. And I think that’s why sometimes I get distracted or too much carried away on a task and neglect the other things I have to do.

        I’ve thought about scheduling every hour of the day, but it seems a bit too much for me. I’m kind of spontaneous, so for example if I feel inspired enough I may work on an essay, otherwise I study my notes for another subject and go back to the essay later (or the day after, which is exactly why sometimes I don’t get everything done).

        I think I will have to try harder to stick to an hour by hour schedule. Or at least set a fixed amount of time per day to work on something and then move on to the next thing.

  • This is great! It’s so important this month since it’s basically the last month of the semester and everything is due. I always like to look at my plans in smaller time increments so it’s more manageable and less intimidating.

    • Hi Madison! I’m glad you liked the post. Breaking big tasks into smaller, easier tasks is a great idea. It definitely makes the bigger task less intimidating. Good luck with the rest of the semester 🙂
      -Aly

  • This is so helpful! This is the point in the semester when my brain is fried and I am just trying to stay sane–I think these tips will help!

    • Hey Shannon! I’m glad these tips helped you. I think at this point in the semester, all of our brains are fried! Good luck with the rest of the semester 🙂
      -Aly

  • This was totally me all of October. Sure could have used your tips a few weeks ago! Your first tip reminded me to just take things day by day, event by event, minute by minute – it just helps you relax and breathe. Great post!

    • Hey Sunny! Thank you, I’m glad you liked the post. Yes, it’s important to breathe and relax. I need to learn to do this, too, since I’m definitely a worrier 🙂
      -Aly