improved production

public transport productivity 🚎

at some point, the vast majority of us will use public transport. It takes time to go from A to B, and that time can be used more productively than scrolling social media endlessly, believe it or not! Try these:

• revise notes
• work on assignments
• map out weekly timetable
• read emails / announcements
• review deadlines + make sure you’re tracking okay
• research anything you’re struggling with
• find out about new / uncommon study techniques
• write a to-do list
• arrange a study date with friend(s)
• order any existing to-do lists in terms of priority
• listen to motivational music / speeches
• make a list of readings to do / books to pick up
• write out everything that you’re working so hard for
• meditate / work on mindfulness
• plan a physical activity for the near future
• think about healthy foods you can grab / make
• reflect on all of your achievements to date: you’re doing so well!
• make a list like this to share with study buddies
• organise folders / backpack
• research a new study space (eg library / cafe / park you haven’t visited yet)
• think about / research all the ways that you can improve your study space at home (eg organisation, lighting, minimising distractions, plants & candles?)
• close your eyes and spend a few minutes thinking of things / people to be grateful for
• break down the mountain you’re trying to pass in your head: can you turn it back into a molehill / smaller tasks to conquer ?
• think about your finances: can you increase your savings and still get by? How much can you spend this week on self care / treats?
• what NEEDS to be done FIRST as soon as you arrive where you’re going? (eg homework, submissions, messages, chores)
• is there anyone you need / want to check in on?
• is anything that you can change stressing you out / upsetting you? Is it costing you more than it’s worth?
• look up a funny comedian / find a picture that makes you giggle. It’s good to detox with laughter!
• are you eating 3 serves of fruit and 5 serves of veg per day? Can you change this if not?
• are there any clothes that you NEED to get? are there any clothes / items that you can donate?

The greatest competition that you have is with yourself. Always challenge yourself to do better than you did yesterday.
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Getting over fears is not as scary as you think! :-)

Importance of getting over fears - Being able to conquer your fears gives you a sense of confidence, motivation, productivity, satisfaction, pride, and it empowers you to do bigger things. You grow with each fear you conquer and you realize you have a lot of potential in you that you never knew you had. You may even procrastinate less because you get over the dread and fear of big projects and studying. And it’s not the end result that makes you proud, it’s all about the effort and mental strength you put in along the way that’s rewarding.  

1 | Realize how much power you’ve given to your fear - The first step is to realize you actually want to conquer them instead of allowing them to set limits on how you live. Fear is disabling, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about how your fears prevent you from doing something you actually want to do. For example, I used to be afraid of turning on gas stoves and I couldn’t cook meals as conveniently in college like everyone else because of it. I hated it, accepted it, and thought there was just no way around that fear. However, I realized that you have to learn to control the fear instead of letting it control you. Set each fear you want to get over as a goal to accomplish. Make a list and make the effort to cross them off.  But how do you gain the courage to “just do it”? (tip: saying “YOLO” actually does help a little, or things like “TODAY’S THE DAY, FOLKS” when you feel like making it happen.)

2 | Change the way you think about the fear – Fear is all in your mindset. In my psych classes, I learned about cognitive therapy and how it aims to change distorted thinking and alter behavior. I connected that type of therapy to how we think about fears and how it negatively affects our behaviors. Phobias are irrational so it helps to change that thinking into something more rational by reminding yourself of more realistic thoughts. For my gas stove fear, I repeatedly told myself that I’ve seen my housemates turn it on a hundred times and nothing ever goes wrong when they do it. When I feared dogs, I repeatedly reminded myself that they won’t hurt me because the dogs seemed fine around other people. And if your own words don’t help you, I have found quotes (mostly on tumblr) to be extremely helpful tips/advice/wisdom in making me change my point of view on fear. Write them down, put them on your wall, have a collection of them on your blog, or just keep them in mind.  

Here are my top favorites that I found most helpful.

“If you can’t beat fear, then just do it scared.” – Glennon D. Melton

“So please ask yourself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.” – Sheryl Sandberg

“I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.” – Kristin Armstrong

3 | Baby steps - Face fears gradually and in small doses. A helpful phrase I learned in my psychology classes is “systematic desensitization,” which is basically a way of progressively exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and learning to relax and get used to your phobia. Here’s how it helped me personally. My fear of dogs has kept me out of my friends’ houses for a very long time and one day I decided to just step in. Of course, that involved a lot of anxiety. Usually, if I got anxious, I would just leave within the first 5 minutes. However, for once, I let myself stay there until I got calm, which took about 15 minutes before I was able to be okay in the same room as the dog. I saw that the dog was no threat to my personal safety, but I still was scared to touch it. My friend helped me hold onto the dog so it wouldn’t make sudden movements and told me to just touch it with one finger, and I did. A few minutes later, I was able to use my entire hand to pet the dog, and then within an hour, I grew to really like this specific dog. One year later, I’m extremely fond of big, fluffy dogs, but mostly because I was so proud of myself for facing that fear. I’m still working on getting comfortable with smaller dogs and other animals, but I’ve come a long way! Anxiety is no joke, I get it, and it’s tougher for some than others, so only push yourself a little bit at a time & at a pace you’re comfortable with There are days where you’re simply not ready to take on a fear, and that’s okay! It’s always okay to take it slow!

4 | Keep track of your progress, failures, and successes - Writing down your fears as goals, identifying why you’re scared, and developing a plan to work on that fear helps improve the chances of you actually completing them and trust me, it’s gratifying to reflect on how far you’ve come and how much you’ve changed. It’s all up to you on whether you want to record your progress in a bullet journal, a diary, a blog, or just a sticky note, but having it down somewhere is key!  I received a copy of Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You by Robie Rogge as a gift this year. It’s a cute little journal that has a lot of helpful quotes and room on each page to write down the date you did something scary and what scary thing you did. It’s definitely worth checking out! I don’t write in it every day, but I do write in it every time I conquered a fear, whether big or small, and I love looking back at how many pages I’ve filled out and how I can’t wait to add more milestones to my journal.

5 | The biggest fear to work on is the fear of getting over fears -  Once you’re not scared to conquer fears, then you’ve become truly fearless in any challenge. And to do so, you just have to do it. Each fear you get over accumulates in developing stronger, more open, and confident mindset and positively redefines who you are! You are capable and you have the potential!  

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.” - Virgil Thomson  

Disclaimer: These tips might not be for everyone, but they worked for me, so I hope it helps others grow too! :-)  I understand that working on things that give you anxiety is not easy, so this post is not to say you can brush fears off like it’s a piece of cake because it’s really not that simple, or else I wouldn’t have spent 20 years of my life being afraid of twenty gazillion things. People are works in progress and hopefully this post motivates you to make some progress, even if it’s just a little!

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{ 21 March ‘17 } 14 / 100 Days of Productivity


Met up for a three hour study session with a friend. Only studies for 1 hour, catches up for two, but followed with three lectures in a row? Sounds productive to me, because catching up with friends is important too xx

P.S. Joined after the beginning of March, so though I would share my monthly spread :D

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What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you’re not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you’re not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls “multipotentialites” — who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?

There are so many tips and tricks to increase productivity throughout the day, but these are 10 of my favorite tips! I’ve found that incorporating these into my daily routine has really helped me focus my energy and get more work done. 


Tip #1: Do a little bit every day.

This is huge! Breaking down big tasks and working on them in really really really tiny bits helps more than one would think. Knowing that a particular task will only take 5 minutes a day will help reduce the overwhelming feeling of having too much work and not enough time. This tip is something that some of the best students do, and it’s also key if you want to develop a new habit or get better at a skill.

Tip #2: Don’t worry about stuff.

You don’t need every single app or notebook or planner to get things done. Find a system and stick with it! What works for someone else might not work for you, so spend some time trying out different methods and find your fit! Remember that how you use your system is more important than what it consists of.

Tip #3: Choose 3 tasks that must get done and finish those first.

The easiest way to reduce a large to-do list is to work on the most important tasks first. Sometimes finishing everything on your list just isn’t realistic, and focusing on the most important things can prevent you from spending time on something that really doesn’t matter.

Tip #4: If something only takes 2 minutes, finish it right away.

It takes more time to plan when to do the task in the future than to do it right away. You’ll feel accomplished and you won’t spend valuable energy on something that ultimately doesn’t matter.

Tip #5: Use the Pomodoro technique.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Pomodoro technique you can read more about it here, or just by looking it up. Essentially, it’s a method of time management that breaks up work times in 20 or 30 minute intervals with breaks in-between. If you struggle with procrastination (and everyone does at some point) this technique is definitely worth trying out. So many people have had success with this method!

Tip #6: Take breaks and don’t feel bad about it.

It’s impossible to work in large stretches without giving yourself breaks. You’re going to burn out, and recovering from that won’t be enjoyable. Don’t feel guilty either. Enjoy your break wholeheartedly. Tell yourself that you deserve that break.

Tip #7: Say no.

You can’t do it all, so don’t try to. You know your limits, so don’t push them! Your precious time and energy won’t be wasted on something that you really don’t want to do, and in a few years you may not even remember doing said thing.

Tip #8: Keep a sheet of paper next to you to write down things that come to your mind, especially if your mind wanders a lot during work.

Part of my procrastination was due to the fact that my mind wandered a lot every time I sat down to try to get something done. Keeping a list of things that came to my mind while I was studying made it easier for me to focus on what mattered. Since the task is written down, you won’t forget it and when you have time later, you can go back and take care of it.

Tip #9: Keep temptations far away from you when working.

Whether it be your phone, email, or the TV, go far away from it when trying to get work done. There are a number of extensions and plug-ins that can block certain websites for a period of time which reduces the temptation to check Facebook one more time.

Tip #10: Monitor your progress.

I like to keep a list of all the things I’ve already done that day right next to my to-do list. I write down everything I’ve completed, no matter how small the task was. Sometimes seeing all the things that you’ve accomplished can make you feel better about the work in front of you. Applying this on a larger scale can be immensely helpful as well.


And that’s all! A lot of these have helped me with procrastination, so I definitely recommend trying these out. Let me know if you guys want any more posts like this, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Best of luck!

-Ankita