Luckily, there are a few tips & tricks that can keep anyone on track. Consider this your New You cheat sheet:
1.Take Regular Breaks
Those all-nighters at the library might feel productive, but science shows our brain switches off after an hour or so of hard work. Instead, try this: work for 52 minutes, then break for 17. (The numbers might sound random, but they’ve been worked out by social scientists as the perfect combo for peak productivity.)
When you’re on a break, make sure you’re doing something truly mindless. Watch cat videos on YouTube, stare off into space, or have a nap. You’ll be surprised to find out how much more you’ll get done when you resume working.
2. Banish Your Phone from Your Bedroom
Remember the days when your only pillow companion was your faithful teddy bear? Smartphones aren’t half as cuddly, but almost all of us take them to bed with us.
The problem is that the artificial ‘blue light’ from smartphones (and tablets) messes with the neurones in our brain, which stops us feeling sleepy. And when we don’t sleep properly, our productivity nosedives.
So next time you hit the hay, leave the phone behind. That hilarious GIF from your bestie will wait.
3. Download Epic Win
Be honest: how many times have you written a To-Do list and crossed off… nothing? It’s hardly surprising; all the stuff we know we
should be doing also tends to be the stuff that is boring or difficult. Why do work when you could chill and play video games?
With the Epic Win app, you can do both. It’s a to-do list. But in video game form. You get an avatar, you get challenges and rewards, you can find loot and level up. Not only is it fun, gamification has been proven by science to make people work harder and achieve more.
4. Drink More Water
The more dehydrated we are, the worse our brains work. Keeping topped up on the H2O, therefore, can make a massive difference to your productivity output.
We need more water than we think – 2 litres for an average day. Get in the habit of carrying a reusable water bottle around with you and refilling it at the same times each day.
5. Buy a Bag of Your Favourite Sweets
If you’ve got a big task ahead of you then one way to stay on track is to break it down into mini goals and reward yourself for each step you make. So, if you’ve got an important essay coming up, promise yourself a sweet treat for every 100 words you write, and watch how much more you get done!
6. Download Podcasts for The Bus
If you spend a lot of time travelling (getting the bus into campus, or the train home on the weekends) then why not make better use of that time?
It can be awkward to carry a heavy laptop or book onto packed transport, but podcasts require only a pair of headphones and your phone. You can listen to lectures related to your course, learn a new language, or tune in to a series that interest you.
Sorry, but this one is too important to get out of. Exercise is
so good for us – it boosts our mental health, reduces stress, and skyrockets our productivity.
The trick is to find something you enjoy so much you don’t see it as exercise. Always getting down on the dancefloor on nights out? Try Zumba. Still holding on to your childhood dream of being a ninja? Mixed-martial arts may be the answer for you.
Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching candidates to their dream internship . Check out their graduate jobs listings for roles. Or; if you’re looking to hire an intern , have a look at their innovative Video CVs.