Reading Length: 6 minutes
For the past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my life and realized that I’ve always had to balance a lot of workload and life in general. Last semester I was managing full-time college classes and an e-commerce business. Now I’m on a gap semester so I’m focused on this blog and my YouTube channel. That’s why I just want to share some of my personal productivity tips that I use to help me get work done. So here it is:
1. Setting 3 priorities.
I personally really don’t like to have more than 3 priorities at once. I’ve experienced trying to carry way too many priorities at once and it was not fun. The stress made me look like a 90 year old. So recently my main priorities have been this YouTube channel, my blog and Spanish learning. I personally have three folders on my Google Chrome, desktop and Notion reserved for these three priorities. I find it easier to manage and organize a few things in these folders. As people constantly say, less is more. And I can’t agree more with this truth. But once I start school again, I expect these priorities to change a little. I’ll definitely need to create a school folder and may need to bump down Spanish learning a little. Qué lástima (what a pity) 🙁
2. Doing a weekly performance review.
I know I can be super extra. I literally have an Excel sheet where I give a rating to each life category on a Sunday night. That’s right. While all my classmates were doing Sunday night cramming, I was being an excel sheet nerd. I personalized my life categories to: Health, Family, Friends and Other Relationships, Work, Finances, Spirituality, Hobbies, Spanish, and YouTube and Blogging. This is just my personal preference. Here are examples of some of my life categories:
I usually do my performance review on a weekly basis. In each category, I have specific goals of what I plan to do for the week. For example, in health, this week I would like to get 8-9 hours of sleep. I’ve recently been lacking in that. My eye bags don’t lie.
In each life category, I give myself a rating out of 5. If I score below a 3, I know I need to step up my game. So I’ll assign specific action steps I need to take to address that life category for the week. For example, if I noticed that I’m scoring low in relationships one of the action steps could be to reach out to a family member or friend by scheduling a hang out. Or, pressure them to hang out. Once I figured out my action steps for the week, I will always time block it on my Google Calendar. Because if it’s not on my calendar, my chances of doing it drop to zero.
3. Theming days.
Just like in college, the classes we have everyday are not the same. I mean, can you imagine studying anatomy or calculus every single day?! Prayers to those who have to do that. Many times I can get bored of doing the same tasks and activities every single day. That’s why I like to theme my days so that I can keep things fresh. Maybe on some days, I’ll focus more on school work and other days on my personal projects. It actually makes the day more interesting instead of feeling like Groundhog Day. You can even get creative with the type of days you want like having a: No Tech Day, Self-Care Day, Family Day, Procrastination Day or Existential Crisis Day. Here are two examples of how I themed by days:
4. Scheduling procrastination hour.
There are days when I just seriously don’t feel like doing anything at all. You know my laziness is serious when I can’t even get up to grab my beloved coffee. When those days come up, I allow myself to schedule around 30 minutes to 1 hour of procrastination. During procrastination hour, maybe I will watch an episode on Netflix or binge watch a few YouTube videos. Before you call me out, I know I just made a blog post on social media detox and digital minimalism but I’m just saying this is a last resort. That way, I’m not being too harsh on myself and I can allow myself to indulge for only that scheduled time. And when it comes to being productive, I can remind myself that I already allowed myself some procrastination time so I have no excuses not to focus.
5. Daily journaling.
The main structure of my journal is answering the questions: What did I accomplished? What did I fail to accomplish? How can I improve? I don’t just recap my entire day. I have my calendar to do that if I really wanted to know what I did in the day. I go more in depth about the little details of my day. For example, maybe I will write down the reason why I failed to do something being that a friend called me up suddenly or that my mom distracted me with some delicious cake. Yes, this happens quite often. I’ll ditch important work for food any day.
I also give myself a daily rating out of five based on my own criteria of performance. It’s interesting when I get to see an overview of the entire month. I’ll notice maybe some weeks I was lagging dramatically in my performance and in other weeks I was at the top of the world. In fact, last month I noticed that my performance was consistently lagging for a whole week. Once I noticed this pattern, I identified that one of the reasons was because I wasn’t going out in nature more to recover.
- 1. Setting 3 priorities. Focusing on too many priorities can lead to stress. Organize the three priorities into three different folders.
- 2. Doing a weekly performance review. Give a rating out of 5 to each important life category. Assign specific action steps for life areas that have a lower rating.
- 3. Theming days. Get creative with the types of days focused on one or a few topics.
- 4. Scheduling procrastination hour. Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour of procrastination time on calendar. When it comes time to being productive, there can be no excuses to procrastinate anymore.
- 5. Daily journaling. Answer the following questions: What did I accomplish? What did I fail to accomplish? How can I improve? Give a daily performance rating out of 5 based on personal criteria.
Chances are that you already heard of these productivity methods. But at least we can personalize it for ourselves to make it even more effective. I hope some of my productivity tips can be useful for you as well. Or if you have any tips yourself, please feel free to share with me.
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