So you try to be productive but sometimes miss the mark — it happens. Juggling shift work and online learning is tough. Even the most productive people may not get it right!
Being productive requires mindfulness and discipline, which can be incredibly challenging. Here are seven productivity hacks guaranteed to have you breathing a sigh of relief at the end of the day.
1. Choose your most productive time of the day to learn
Find the best part of the day when you're most productive. Pay closer attention to your work and school schedule and focus on the times of the day with the least interruptions. It may be:
In the early morning
Before or after lunch
Late at night when you get off from work
It may take a few days to figure out. Once you know, use this time to work on assignments or study.
2. Use apps
There are many apps to help with time management and productivity. These tools are easy to use. You can download them right from the app store. Here are a few to try:
- Apple notes: This app allows you to take notes and create lists.
- Google calendar: Add your school schedule, assignments, and tests all in one place and link it to your phone.
- Trello: You can create projects on this digital tool. You can also organize and complete tasks for yourself to improve your productivity.
- Slack: Slack is a group messaging app. Add co-workers and or other students in your group. You can hold each other accountable for work.
3. Your phone is a productivity tool
We use our phones daily — probably sometimes more than we should. So why not use your phone as a productivity tool? There are many features on smartphones that help increase your focus and productivity in school and at work.
- Turn off all notifications and badges. This will keep fear of missing out (FOMO) at bay. If there is an emergency, the person will call you, not send a text.
- Set alarms and label them. Stay on schedule by setting multiple alarms throughout the day. The fun part is labeling the alarms. For example, “9:15 a.m.: Check on patients”, or “11:00 a.m.: Ace that exam!”
- Use the camera. Take pictures of textbook pages, medications you want to look up, or a PowerPoint slide. It's a great way to look back later when you have time.
4. Follow the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule is simple. You put 20% of your effort into tasks and responsibilities to get the maximum results. You can apply the 80/20 rule to all aspects of your life. In this case, you can apply it to your school work and shift work to maximize your productivity. To be productive using the 80/20 rule, you have to:
Work on tasks you may not like 20% of the time, but you know how important the bigger picture is.
Delegate tasks at work you don´t necessarily like doing.
Do the tasks that bring you joy first.
Get involved in activities that you´re good at that will lead you directly to your overall goal.
5. Get organized and eliminate clutter
Getting organized will only increase your productivity. Organizing your day and schedule puts you in control of your day-to-day. Eliminating clutter also gives you time to work on more important tasks. Some organizing strategies include:
- Writing down your thoughts on paper, in a notebook, or on your phone (wherever it is, just make sure you can easily find it later!)
- Making lists
- Eliminating clutter by organizing your desk, the inside of your purse or school bag, and organizing the inside of your car
- Clearly labeling notebooks and binders
- Creating positive habits
- KISS (Keep it short and simple)
Meditation is a form of mindfulness. It's easier said than done, but practice can improve your productivity. If you feel stressed, taking 20 to 30 minutes out of your daily schedule to meditate quiets your thoughts and puts you in a calm state. Daily meditation can:
Improve your attention span
Improve your mood
Improve your memory
7. Creating a daily (realistic) routine
Creating a daily routine takes the guesswork out of your schedule. It also gives you extra time to work on more important tasks. Create a realistic routine you can achieve. For example:
- Lay out your work clothes the night before
- Prepare your lunch the night before
- Go through your emails every day at the same time
- End your day with a self-care routine like a bubble bath, lighting candles, or light exercise
Juggling work and online school is overwhelming. Remember being productive doesn't mean wearing yourself out. Productivity hacks like these will keep you on track and transform you into a productivity powerhouse.
9 tips to maximize your online learning
How to make time to study online
The Hemingway Method for productivity — a strategy for online learners
The National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives (NALHE) and Dignity Health Global Education (DHGE) are aligned in their mission to increase access to high-quality education and equity in healthcare