April 26, 2020 | Kitty Chow
Life often takes unexpected turns and who would have known that our lives would have deviated from the norm in such a short period of time? Despite these drastic changes, it is important to remain productive during these difficult times. Let me share a few tips on how to make the most of your time while staying at home.
- Morning routine
What better way to start the day early with a nice breakfast? A morning routine has a ground effect and is a great way to give you ownership of your day. Many successful entrepreneurs and world leaders often contribute their success to starting their day early. Examples of things to ‘wake’ yourself include a mini yoga routine, meditation and reading, but it can essentially be anything of your choice. An important part of a morning routine is to create a list of tasks that you hope to achieve for the day, to help you visualise what needs to be done. You can even make a schedule for the day if you are more timetable-orientated.
It can be overwhelming to have a long list of ‘to-dos’ and not knowing where to start. A simple way to categorise them is based on their urgency – e.g. is there a deadline approaching for your coursework? You can also arrange your list based on the importance of the task. With these in mind, you can actually create a table and put your daily tasks into the following categories:
You can simply write bullet points into these boxes, or even use a memo or sticker for each task which means you can move them around as needed. Whether you are a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person, I would recommend doing the urgent, important tasks first thing in the morning to get them out of the way.
- Small achievable tasks with breaks in-between
With the above table, now you should have a better idea as to what you need to do for the day. Before you tackle them, you should break them into small, achievable tasks. Let’s say your task is to write a thesis, break it down into parts. For instance, if you are working on the introduction, you can use a simple Pomodoro timer (easily available online or for download) to break it into a 25 minute research, followed by a 5 minute break, then a 25 minute actual write up. Similarly for studying, break it into different topics so that it does not seem as daunting.
Regardless on how the day went, take some time to celebrate and reflect on what you have achieved. It is natural to have good days and bad days so do not be disheartened by it if the day did not go as planned. Rather, try to reflect on what you have learnt from the day and incorporate any changes to make your next day better.
- Sleep hygiene
Now you are done with the day and deserve a good night’s rest! Try to establish good sleep hygiene, such as no screen time 1 hour prior to bed and get to bed around similar times each day. You can also get into the habit of doing something relaxing 30 minute before bed time each day, so that your body knows when it is bed time. Reading a book or meditation are some examples of what you can do.
So here are 5 ways to help you make your day more productive! I hope you find these helpful.
Educated at Badminton School, Kitty obtained a First Class Honours degree in Biomedical Engineering, followed by a MSc degree specialising in Medical Physics, both from Imperial College. Kitty has experience teaching students subjects such as Maths, Sciences, as well as educating young children Programming. As the former Departmental Representative of her degree, she also understands university admissions and is well placed to assist with school and university applications. Kitty has decided to make career change and is currently a Medical student at the University of Queensland in Australia. Therefore, she is well placed to provide advice on medical applications and compare education systems in the UK and Australia.
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