Okay, that’s such an attempt to put a clickbait-y title … but actually not really tho because it’s kind of what we’re going to discuss. Anyway, welcome to my second blog post! This one is going to be my first attempt on sharing some tips, knowledge, WISDOM, ZEN, CONVERSANCE! Hahaha, well nah, my writings are going to be a way for us to learn together, to get better on things together! So, welcome.
Henlo frens 👋🏽 how are you today?
My first post that falls into the category of productivity ✍🏽 is going to be more tailored for you who are still struggling to overcome all the distractions in the world, especially in a time like this where we’re surrounded by a lot of free time left and right, giving us chances to be ten times more productive, while yet instead, we’re consuming ten times more distractions than before.
Especially for you who are not used to following your day to day plan and schedule yet, sometimes even if you already know what the goal you’re trying to achieve, you can always end up getting distracted. This circle of doom 😱 is experienced most often by the newcomers, of anything; because they haven’t reached that point or moment where they finally get hooked up with something, whatever it is they’re doing.
All right, let’s get into the bread.
■ Chapter one: the concept.
If you’re visiting this article from nowhere, the chances are you’re here because you’re struggling to reach that goal of yours. Now, if my guess is right, then there’s this one not well-known theory that you need to understand: which is knowing clearly what your goal is, would never be enough to keep you going; but instead, what will keep you going is TIME.
This is the most important thing. Do not let the distractions take your time, it is your enemy. Use whatever reasoning you can think of to get hold of your time for yourself, and do not let anything dictate how you should use your time, especially to the point where you no longer realize how much time you’ve wasted.
And this is a MAJOR key to success, you should take this seriously. Use whatever reasoning you can think of, whether it’s pride, willpower … or just believe in the old saying that goes “time is money”. 🙄 Now, imagine you have a lot of money, and all these gold diggers called distraction snatching out half of your wealth every day. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
■ Chapter two: a distraction-free environment.
Now you’re beginning to see why distractions are your main enemy, it’s time to get rid of all of those that distract you. There’s a high chance that what you’ll be doing is to sit for an hour or more, and simply sitting down until you’re done with what you’re supposed to be doing will invite a lot of distractions. If you don’t anticipate it, those many things vying your attention will hinder you from what you’re supposed to be doing. And this is exactly why it’s important for us to create a distraction-free environment to help us focus on what matters.
The main thing to get rid of is the internet. You don’t have any other choice but to limit yourself from this thing called the internet. This includes scrolling social media, watching YouTube videos, and even replying to emails.
While of course, this rule is not applicable to everyone, but for most people, they don’t even need an internet connection to get their works done. But that being said, these days many people indeed do depend on the internet connection to get their stuff done, including me. So, what should we do? Because well, let’s face it, we all are addicted to the internet. So still, it is a distraction and we should limit ourselves from consuming it … even though only to a certain extent.
There are a lot of programs and Chrome extensions that can help us limit what we’re consuming from the internet. Even if you never get introduced to these programs before, you might have seen an option somewhere that can prevent you from visiting certain websites or opening certain apps —this option is called blocklist. And in a program or Chrome extension that is made solely to do that, you will be given a toggle to turn on or a timer to set, which will limit your ability to visit certain websites or to open certain apps.
Pretty cool, huh?
▬ Here are three recommendations for the programs and Chrome extensions from me: …
First, there is Freedom, an app that’s available across platforms, from Mac to even Linux and Chromebook. This app should help you block and/or limit all the distracting websites, to even track and optimize your time online.
Second, Forest app is one of the most popular Pomodoro apps among the students across the world. Forest will force you to have the app on the foreground of your display. The concept is that after you set a timer, you’re going to plant a tree as you’re working or studying; and if you give up before the timer ran out, your tree that hasn’t finished growing will die. 😢
Tide is my personal favorite. The app is my go-to every time I’m in need of ambient noise instead of music. In my opinion, the app is the most complete because it doesn’t only accompany me when I’m studying, but also help me whenever I needed to take a break and relax, or to meditate, or to even sleep and take a nap.
And there’s that for the internet.
But other than the world of the internet, there’s a lot of other things that will distract you from focusing on what matters, too. It all varies between a lot of people, depending on their lifestyle and environment, but let me just mention a few that are most possibly will distract you: … smartphones; television; people such as ignorant families and friends (get rid of those 🤬 or just talk to them amicably and make sure they understand 🙂); physical clutter such as pens, paper, cables, mugs, plates, and anything that you don’t actually need available on your reach.
■ Chapter three: your tasks and goals.
For me, there are two main positive things that come from writing down my tasks and goals. First, it helps me to understand clearly what I want and what should I do to get what I want; and second, knowing clearly what will come out from doing these things I should be doing oftentimes motivate me to ACTUALLY do those things.
I know that some people think that motivation is a myth, but it’s not yet become a myth for me, for now. Motivation can be what you made up in your mind, especially for people like me, someone who hasn’t achieved particularly anything in life, yet. But if you can look back and able to found things that you have achieved before, then for you, action had come first with the motivation following second after; meaning that the result of your action beforehand should become your motivation to get smarter, or to climb higher … to obtain something that’s ten times better than you already have right now.
And understanding clearly what you want and which steps you should take to get what you want is important as well! Everything is a process, and oftentimes we’re stuck on what-to-do next if we don’t plan it beforehand. So, for years and years, the planning system and task management have been proven to succeed in helping a lot of people achieving what they want. For this, you can start by using anything that you already have, from a notebook, a whiteboard, sticky notes, and even apps on your phone.
▬ Here are three recommendations for the task management and planning system from me: …
- Android and iOS built-in
Both Google and Apple give us their own built-in planning system and task management, such as Google Calendar and Tasks, as well as Apple Calendar and Reminders. They have their own note-taking apps as well. You can always mix and match, and see if anything works for you. Pro tips for all the Google Tasks users: you might want to use Tasks.org together with the Tasks app, you can thank me later.
The Notion is packed with hidden gems and jam-packed features. You can even create a website just using this service alone. But of course, it can also be used for just a simple to-do list. And what’s great is that since last May, Notion has gone 100% free for personal use, which means you don’t have to pay $5/month to get all the features and unlimited blocks!
- Bullet journal!
There’s something about writing down your lists and notes with the traditional pen and paper, that can make you super happy and boost yourself throughout the day. What’s that? You don’t know what bullet journal is? Click here to ask YouTube about that.
■ Chapter four: the zone.
Now after you’ve done figuring out what you have to do, you just have to do it.
In the beginning, especially for whoever that is not used to sitting down for a minute or to facing one thing at a time yet, to have a productive session is going to be pretty hard. But you must keep trying, going forward, and never give up until eventually, you’ll step into the zone … or ‘the flow’ as most people refer it to. This is when you don’t have to try so hard anymore as if you’re already used to be doing this for a long, long time.
■ Last chapter: mindful choices.
This is the last step, which is my two-penny worth of how to maintain that zone of yours. Already bothered to get into the zone, you wouldn’t want to ruin that and get out of the zone for mere things such as snacks, would you? Because if you do that, then you’re going to have to try even harder to get into the zone for the second time around. That seems not efficient at all to me. 🙁
From time to time, you’ll be faced with many choices, even before you step into your study session. And stuff like these, should you decide before you step into your study sessions.
- What should you put on your desk?
- How long should you sit before you take a break?
- And if you’re writing or cooking something up, should you prioritize quality or quantity? Should you make coffee, or snacks, or both?
And now, the main thing you should decide before you step into your study session is … how long are you going to stay in the zone before you take a break. 25 minutes? An hour? Two hours? Three hours? Or can you be consistent enough to take yourself going for even four hours before you decide to take a break?
Of course, I cannot tell you which one is the right amount of time that will work for you, because we all have our own lifestyle and different day to day schedule. So decide what you think is right for you, because every amount of time is right, as long as you follow your decision thoroughly and not decide to give up halfway towards the end.
Also, if you’re wondering why someone would sit down for four hours at a time instead of splitting that amount of time to a few study sessions, you may want to check out this awesome YouTube video by Nasir that explains why he prefers to sit down for as long he can rather than to depend on a Pomodoro timer that rather short such as 25 minutes blocks.
Lastly, you should also prepare mentally besides just physically, as for later you’re in the zone, you’ll be forced to decide on some other choices that you haven’t thought before. After all, the key to this last part is to CHOOSE THE RIGHT DECISIONS. Maybe you forgot that last night you just eat a bowl of spicy noodles 🤦🏽♀️ what would you do if your stomach kicks in in the middle of your study session? Hmm?
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That is all! Thank you for reading!
Hi frens, my name is nesha 😎 and if this is the first time we meet, nice to meet you! I hope my first productivity tips can help you go through study sessions more effectively in the future! Because many people thought, including me, that being able to work and study effectively and efficiently is such a superpower! I hope it’s been fun to learn how to LEARN BETTER, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I really hope you can gain something from all the strategies above, and maybe add those to your own strategy for living a more productive life. Also, postscript: please follow all the artists that provide all the beautiful GIFs for this post 👍🏽 all their links are available under the respective illustrations.
Follow my Twitter … twitter.com/nesha5971
“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” — Franz Kafka.