So in the second part about having a productive mindset, I want to talk about the things that I did to contribute to feeling accomplished for the day. The advice that I have for how to spend one’s is fairly simple: live in the moment.
One of the hardest things about focusing in what we’re doing,whether it’s at work or at school,is that our mind wanders sometimes. We think about something embarrassing that happened earlier, or we sit worrying about the future. Sometimes, we just want to know when what time is lunch, what we’re having for lunch, and who we’re having lunch with. We’re hardly ever focused on what we’re doing at the present. It was so easy to think about ideal situations rather than live in the present.
So while I was at school, one of the things that helped me stay focused was taking notes. Even when the teacher was reviewing things that I understood, I still jotted down notes. Taking notes helped me to listen to what the teacher is saying. By writing now what the professor was saying, not only was I using my ears to listen, but I was using my hands to write and my eyes to see what was written. By engaging more of my senses in what I was doing, I was able to focus more and have less time to think about stuff outside of the class.
Just like an X-men can decide whether or not he wants to use his powers for good or for evil, a person can use technology as an advantage or as a hindrance. One of things that I try to stray from is using my computer in classes. It’s so easy to distract myself with a laptop or my phone. No matter what it is that you’re doing in life, you’ll find that what you’re doing isn’t going to be interesting 100% of the time. It’s during those times that we want to entertain ourselves and distract ourselves from boredom. For me, my guilty pleasure was going online to read a Buzzfeed article or checking on my Facebook and Twitter feed. We never want to be bored in life so we try to fill that void with whatever we can.
At this point, my phone is a contender for becoming my best friend or potential boyfriend. I hold on to it for dear life. It’s never an arm’s reach away. Sometimes, I fall asleep with it in my hand. It’s like a limb or something. It provides me with so much information, so much unnecessary information. Remember when the phone was used to call people? That’s like that last thing that I use my phone for.
My devices allow me to catch up on YouTube videos and to read about a celebrities life. Sometimes, it provides me a recap of a show,so I don’t have to sit there and watch it all. You see, I hardly use my devices to do actual work. I spend half my day on it reading stories about others and watching videos about other people. So the question is, why do I care what other people are doing? Is my life less important than theirs? Why do I live vicariously through them when I have a pretty good life myself?
My point is that technology is something that a lot of us use as a distraction. It’s not used as a tool in our lives to better ourselves. I’m not the only person who complains about the role of technology in our lives. It’s a pretty commonplace argument. Yet it’s an argument that appears over and over again because we keep giving into it over and over again. What’s stopping us is a lack of discipline. We have to tell ourselves that we need to live in the now and that we need to live our own lives and not pay attention to the lives others on the web.
STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME
So another advice to being productive is to always stay ahead. During my most productive semester in college, I told myself to stay ahead of my schoolwork. I always tried to stay a week ahead of my work. There’s always work to be done. If you’re done with the homework for next week, read ahead. Stay busy, keep you mind active. By staying ahead of the game, you can take some of the pressure off of yourself. In addition, you’re more likely to learn better because you’re less desperate to finish the task at hand. Therefore, you can have more time to understand harder concepts. Besides, by staying ahead on your work, you have more time for the information to engrain into your memory.
THE POWER OF EXERCISE
I cannot stress the importance of exercise. I might not know all the scientific benefits behind exercise,but I’m sure it releases all kinds of good hormones and what not. Most of us spend a lot of time just sitting at a desk all day, with pent-up energy. We’re abusing our brains with all that studying and ignoring our bodies with the lack of exercise. By exercising, we are able to gives our brains a rest and release a lot of tension in our lives. It re-energizes us somehow and we’re able to be more focused.
I’ve found that exercising has helped me deal with stress a lot better. I’m able to clear my mind just by walking on a trail for a while. By exercising, I’m able to think with a clearer mind. Sometimes, when I’m studying, I get frustrated, and I get stuck on a certain topic. Instead of sitting for hours trying to figure out how to solve it, I give myself a break and do some push ups or some sit-ups next to my desk. The problem isn’t going to go away any time soon, so why not tackle it with a clearer mind?
Again, I must stress the discipline that exercise evokes. Anyone who’s ever tried exercising knows it requires a lot of discipline to get up and stick to an exercise regime and finish a workout. It takes a lot of determination on our parts. The end of the workout is so rewarding because we stuck through with it.
So at the end of the day, the goal is to be feel like you’ve accomplished something. It might not be any big accomplishment, but as long as you feel like you’ve done something productive, that’s all that matters. The message for how to spend your day is simple: Stay focused, stay active, and live in the now.