In 2018, I wrote well over 100k words in drafts of my novel, maintained a 4.0 during my junior year of college studying computer science, worked part-time, grew my Instagram account by 13k followers, and designed my first website from scratch. (I’m not normally this arrogant, I promise. But I want you to see I had what most would consider a productive year).
Here’s a quick guide on how you can achieve the same level of productivity.
Minimize time wasted on social media
Set limits on Instagram from within the app. There’s a picture below on how to do this. You can set your cap anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours.
Delete Twitter from your phone. Unlike Instagram, Twitter works essentially the same from your computer. The app is just a bonus (or a time-waster for many of us), so you can delete it.
Use News Feed Eradicator for Facebook. A bit extreme, but it will replace your news feed with inspiring quotes. This is really good for those of us who can get stuck in the endless scroll-loop of Facebook. You’ll still be able to access the rest of the site.
Use Free Time Wisely
Engage in hobbies for breaks. Instead of watching Netflix, spend your short breaks playing an instrument, writing, knitting, woodworking, or whatever else interests you. You’ll find yourself much more refreshed and ready to work.
“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
― Alexander Den Heijer
Set a Netflix schedule. Anything from “1 episode each evening” or “2 episodes a week” could work. Make sure you don’t break it, not even once! Opening that door is dangerous.
Only game with friends. The best way I’ve found to keep from wasting hours at a time on video games is to only play when my real-life friends are online.
Volunteer weekly. Serving others is one of the best ways to renew your energy. Doing it on a weekly schedule makes things easier.
Wake up at the same time each day. Getting enough sleep is important, but there’s a surprising amount of research that shows waking up at a consistent time is more important to productivity than the actual amount of sleep you get (provided you’re not attempting 4 hours of sleep or something else absurd).
Ditch your phone at night. 30 minutes to an hour before bed, plug in your phone across the room and don’t look at it again. You’ll fall asleep faster and be more productive during that time.
I’m not going to bother explaining the importance of reading. Hopefully, you already get it. Here’s how to make time for it.
I won’t ____ until I’ve read. No Netflix, social media, etc until you’ve read a given number of pages/minutes. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.
Read during your commute. Whenever you have 5 minutes here or there, resist the urge to get on your phone. Read instead!
Audiobooks. For those of us who drive frequently, this is a life saver! Audible is a great option, but you can also opt to buy books from other sources instead of paying for a subscription.
- Eat 3 meals a day and don’t snack
- Use StayFocused for Chrome
- Listen to podcasts during your drive
- Exercise at lunch
- Get an app that monitors phone usage
- Drink more water
- Buy a planner
Hopefully, the 3 minutes you spent reading this will save you plenty of time in the future.
Thanks for reading!