Efficiency is my favorite word. Yes, I know that may be strange to most of you, but my very left-brained, thinker personality just loves everything about being efficient. Efficiency is quite precious because, in a way, it gives you more time ( and we all know how fast time goes by)! It gives you the freedom of finishing things you don’t like to spend time on quickly, but well, so that You have more time to do the things you love. Ever since I was a young girl, I always wanted to be the most efficient possible at anything I did such as doing my homework, projects, and even sports ( I mean conserving energy :)) Whenever my mom called me lazy, I would just tell her that I’m being efficient and conserve energy ( my all-time favourite excuse to this day)! While I strive to be as efficient, it isn’t always possible. Like most, I’m also a procrastinator when I have to do something I don’t necessarily want to do, but then I definitely try to be efficient so that I can finish as quickly as possible! When I’m working on something, I like to do it to the best of my ability but not spend ages on it, and that is the power of efficiency. In order to be efficient, you must be focused, able to plan, and determined (none of which are very easy)! So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite ways to be as efficient as possible when trying to complete something. 1.Plan based on your focusing ability
When taking something like a project on, the first step to being efficient is setting a realistic. Set a plan or schedule that you don’t think you can follow, but once you know you can follow. Here is an example; you have an exam coming up in a week and you need to do really well, but you also dislike the subject so you want to be the most efficient you can be. First think about how long you can focus on, 1 hour, 5 hours, or 20 min? Depending on what you answered, set up a schedule based on that answer. I, for example, cannot focus longer than 2 hours so when planning out my schedule I plan to do 2-3 blocks (depends on the difficulty of the task) of studying that are spaced apart throughout the day. In the morning, I would study as soon as I wake for about 2 hours, then I would have time to do anything I please for the whole day until I study for a period of time in the evening and then I can relax during the night. The key to this technique is that you start your task early enough so that you have to space out your working blocks and so that you don’t have to cram.
2. Find out when you are most efficient
This is a very important tip because different people are most clear-minded at different times. When I say clear-minded, I mean when is your mental clarity at its best, what is the time of day that you feel sharp, not sleepy or in a haze. I know that sometimes, especially during long, cold, winter months, you may feel like a zombie 24/7 (I know I do)! But everyone has a certain time of day where more often than not, they feel a spike of energy and their mind clears. Some people are night owls and can stay up until 3 working on something whereas some, like me, cannot concentrate at all after 8 pm. If that is the case with you, try waking up early. Lately, I have been waking up at 5 am every day (except weekends, I usually wake up around 7 then) because it is so peaceful at that time and my mind is crystal clear. Or perhaps you are at your best in the middle of the day. Whatever your most clear time of day is, find it, and stop wasting your time trying to study when it isn’t that time and you are in a haze
3. Find your zone
Discover which environment you work best in. Some people can only work well when they are behind closed doors with no distractions. Whereas some love the stimuli that certain environments (a park, library, a friends house) give them and that actually boosts their efficiency! Try out both work environments and see which one agrees with you more. Also, usually whether you are an introvert or extrovert can determine where it is better for you to work. Introverts tend to like peace and quiet so an ideal place to study would be their home. Extroverts, on the other hand, thrive in environments that have stimuli all around them, so while an introvert might cringe at the idea of working in a busy park, extroverts would do really well.
4. Don’t multitask
It’s a myth that efficient people are good at multitasking. It is actually very rare for anyone to actually be a good multitasker. Multitasking leads to divided attention and not fully concentrating on a task which usually means the end result is poor quality. True efficient people know that it is much better to fully engage and concentrate on one subject at a time and finish it quickly. This way, while you are working on something, you are working on only that and can really get in the zone as that is the only thing you are working on. If you are multitasking, your work most likely won’t be as in-depth and thorough as it could have been as your mind is not fully concentrating on that one thing.
5.Don’t waste time doing anything not related to your task
This is one thing that I am sure we are all guilty of, usually because of distractions on my phone. I talked about working in blocks of time but what I used to do was after completing 1 math question, I would go on my phone for around 10 min. I think you can see why that was very ineffective, I spent more time on my phone than my task at hand! Another thing I would do is go and make a meal in the middle of one of my study sessions. This would take a lot of time out of my study session so I wouldn’t finish my work and would have to make the studying period longer, skewing my entire schedule for the day. What I’m trying to explain through these examples is that when you set off time for studying or working, try to do only that. Do anything else in between will not only take time away from your designated study/work period, but it will keep you from reaching your zone of mental clarity.
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