Help me be productive.

may have bitten off more than I can chew. Or rather, I bit off just the right amount but my mouth was forced opened and more food shoved into it and I could be choking. Metaphorically. So what happens now? I cannot drop everything that has been put upon me. May is an intense month for me and everything I’m committed to feels a lot and so the temptation to lie down and do nothing is strong.

I believe having a strong will and definitely discipline is helpful. It is also important to condition myself into thinking about each small step at a time; to prevent myself from being overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I’m not saying I’ve unlocked some great secret but some things I have found to work for me.

  1. Make a weekly schedule

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Here’s a sample of mine. It’s quite jam packed I know but with several papers coming up, piano and my other obligations, it’s really not an option. But with the schedule made, I know I’m not going to be able to follow it to the second so I use it as a guide as to what I should be doing or rather what I should have accomplished in my awake state. For example I know in a day, I expect myself to practice my piano for 2 hours and study for 6 hours a day (or something like that) and so I make sure to time myself (hello Pomodoro timer app). Allow yourself to be slightly fluid with your schedule so that when something comes up, it’s easier to not feel frustrated or consumed with bad feels.

Moving on from this weekly schedule, it is helpful to input the events for the next day into your calendar app (whichever it is that you use) and to set timers for 5-15 minutes before the next event is due to start. Giving you a heads-up and adequate time to prepare yourself. I do this every night as a way to wind down and so as to not feel overwhelmed by the enormity of my week.

2. Caffeinate yourself

with care. Don’t overdo it on the caffeine and this I have come to learn the hard way. I’m a light sleeper and it’s also very difficult for me to fall asleep no matter how tired I am. So it’s an endless cycle of wanting to consume more caffeine. But I keep reading articles about not taking in caffeine past 3pm and for as much as I can, I keep to it. It has helped me fall asleep easier at nights.

It’s also easy to want to drink caffeine, especially coffee because everyone’s doing it and it seems to be a trendy thing to do. (This is me but I try not to. TRY.) But lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of tea because I feel my teeth is stained from the coffee. But look at all the options:

(photo credits to my friend. My phone’s camera hasn’t been repaired)

Furthermore, tea has been my go to caffeine choice because it’s not as strong as coffee so I’m not as buzzed. Also there’s the lovely chamomile to end the day (if I’m feeling like it).

Point being, when caffeinating yourself, be careful and take in adequate amounts and stay hydrated! I have found myself feeling sleepy/lethargic if I consume (too much) caffeine and not enough water. So do stay hydrated! (Get an app that reminds you if you need to!)

3. Bite sized days

Just like all things marketed as “bite sized”, they’re small and well, cute. Think of your day in terms of bite sized bits. You’ve got your week planned. You’ve got your day planned. Now just think of the section that you’re in. Like for example, I’m writing now so I just focus on this until my phone gives an alert that the next section starts in 15 minutes – therefore giving me time to wrap up and get ready for the next event. I have come to realise that taking it one section/step at a time really helps in keeping me focused and in good spirits.

That’s all from me. I have realised that by following these three main “steps”, I am able to not drown in the ocean of things that needs to be done.

Till then!