Tips To Get More Productive

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I’ve always considered myself as quite an organised person. I have rarely forgotten to do my homework or left my books home or missed a dentist appointment. I’m used to keeping my life in order because if I don’t do that, my good old friends anxiety and depression start to sneak in and I don’t particularly enjoy their company so I choose to keep my things clear. But even though I’m quite organised, my productivity seems to disappear into some void every time I really need it. So, I thought I’d share some tips what have worked with me through the years when I’ve tried to fish back my productivity.

Set only one alarm and just wake up

This has saved me from a lot of unproductive days because I know that if I press snooze even just once, I’m never going to get anywhere in time. Everyone feels tired when they wake up, so the only thing to fight that is just to get up and get the day going. Placing your phone on the other side of the room makes it easier to get on to your feet as soon as the alarm goes off.

Create a routine

On school/work days I have a very specific routine that I’ve found to work great with me. I make sure that I wake up early enough so that I can go through my routine without a rush. I always include things  in my day such as eating a proper breakfast and drinking a cup of tea in the morning, doing my makeup, studying, reading, practicing yoga and meditation. These constant things keep me going through the day and prevent me from slipping away to spend hours watching Netflix. It’s important to create a routine around what you already enjoy doing and then add new things to it when you feel comfortable enough.

Take Breaks

Having small breaks in between tasks helps you to concentrate.  When you have completed a task, take 5 minutes before starting the next one and you will be more focused on that as you’ve had time to let go the previous one. Make sure that you don’t let the breaks stretch too much because well that would be unproductive..

Write things down

I have two notebooks that I carry with me. One is filled with inspirational quotes and notes as well as my to-do lists and the other is my journal where I pour the content of my mind whenever needed. These two notebooks really hold my life in order and make it much easier for me to know what to do and when as I’ve written them down somewhere. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a paper notebook as you can easily write things down on your phone or laptop. Creating lists can become a really enjoyable habit when you get the hold of it and there is no better feeling than crossing things our from your to-do list as you’ve completed them.

Clean your desk daily

I find it so important to have a clean desk as it makes working/studying a lot easier. If your surroundings are constantly messy, it can also clog your brain and you can’t get anything done. Throw away all unnecessary papers floating around your desk area and only keep the things that you need to have for studying or working. When you have less stuff on your desk, it’s easier to know where everything is and then put them back on their place when you’re finished using them.

Clear your devices from junk 

Few months ago my email was full of unnecessary junkmail from different brands and websites and it always drove me crazy. One day I opened my email and unsubscribed from all the junk I  was getting and now my email looks much clearer and I don’t have to deal with the massive pile of junk anymore. I have also deleted all unneeded apps on my phone as they just take up the space and do absolutely nothing for my wellbeing. Again, it’s easier to find things from your phone when it’s not filled with apps that are hardly ever used.

Eat and drink regularly 

Having specific meal times helps you body to be in its best energy levels throughout the day. Rather than rushing through your to-do list without meal breaks, write down on your to-do list at least 30 minutes for lunch and then shorter breaks for snacks. Also, it’s great to have a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

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Recently Read #5

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Paula Hawkins: The Girl On the Train

It’s been a while since I’ve read a thriller and I’m glad that this book brought me back to the genre. The concept of this book is just great, all of the three narrators are incredibly unreliable so it’s hard to figure out the plot right away, which I love. The story unwinds slowly and the characters are first introduced as strangers that somehow end up in the same mess in the middle of a murder investigation.

This book was hard to put down as the plot gets more complicated and new points of view are introduced along the way. None of the main characters seem to be mentally stable and each of them has their own problems to figure out alongside the murder. I loved how complex the characters were and they remained that way through the book until the very end. The story is mentally quite draining, at least it was for me, as it spins around depression, alcoholism, fear, stalking and many other issues that do not come through as very pleasant. These elements do make the book more authentic though and create the feeling of uncertainty through the book which I think is what makes this book so exciting.

The language of the book was complex enough to maintain the feeling of uncertainty without making the book too hard to understand. Switching between narrators created nice extra tension as right the moment when something was about to unwind the point of view changed and even more information unraveled through that. I loved this book and now I really want to get my hands to Hawkins’ Into the Water!

Khaled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed 

I can’t stop loving Khaled Hosseini even though this is only my second book of his that I’ve read. He is truly an amazing storyteller and this book brought so much joy into my life. Compared to the Kite Runner, the topic of this book wasn’t necessarily as heavy even though both books touch the topic of before and after the beginning of the everlasting war and its consequences in Afghanistan. This book is build around the theme of family and its importance and at the same time loss of it. This book is constructed of several separate stories that are beautifully knit together in the bigger picture. Every story makes sense in the end. Overall the book is a beautiful story of the search and reunion of two siblings who were inseparable in their childhood but were ripped apart against their will and when they do find each other again, it’s heartbreaking.

I really enjoy reading books that are based around other cultures than the Western one and I think Hosseini does such a great job in presenting the real Afghan culture, before and after the beginning of the war. His writing is eloquent and it’s easy to follow even though the point of view changes in every chapter. I also appreciate how he uses letters, phone conversations and magazine articles to tell the story of some characters. These ways of telling the story bring more life to the narrative and they allow the reader to get deeper into the story of the characters that might not be possible if the story was told from one point of view only.

The focus of this book is clearly family relationships and how they develop in different surroundings. The story shows the pain that comes from sacrifices that sometimes have to be done in order to secure the safety of the family and it also shows how family isn’t always about blood-relation but unconditional love and acceptance. This book was such a great reading experience for me, can’t wait to explore more of Hosseini’s work in the future.

 

Overflow of Information

Sometimes I just hate technology and the modern age. I hate the fact that social media and Netflix are a thing now. I hate that my brain is becoming a slave of screens and I can’t control it. I enjoy reading books more than everything but why is there still a constant temptation to close the book and turn on a device? The overflow of information online is just insane. It’s hard to really understand anything when all the things in the world are flashing before your eyes as a constant flow of words and headlines. Only very few things are actually registered during this endless scrolling, it’s hard to maintain attention in one article long enough to properly comprehend it before moving to the next one and then the next one.

Quite literally everything and everyone is online now. We are connected more than ever through the great world wide web, but at the same time disconnected more than ever. It’s so weird that I can be sitting in my room by myself but still connect with as many people as I like, but when I come offline, I’m just sitting in my room alone.  This illusion of collectivity is so fascinating and it’s quite ironic that right now I’m alone in my room writing this and connecting with whoever is going to read this later. I’ll never get over how wonderful this universe is in it’s whole glory.

It’s exhausting though, keeping up with the world but it’s kind of essential to know what’s going on. I fantasise about living in an era of beautiful ball dresses and no modern technology, but then I realise that I would probably be dying of some incurable illness or fainting from the tightness of my corset every five minutes, so I guess I have to accept the world as it is now and use my mindfulness skills to let go of unnecessary information fishing and focus on what really matters, and open more books.

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