As a graduate student I sometimes feel like my to-do list is never ending. The thing is, regardless of how much work I have to do, I often find myself scrolling through Instagram, texting, or craving Netflix when I should studying or finishing homework. Sometimes I think, “Oh, I’ll just take a quick break and watch one show.” Then, before I know it, I fall into the downward spiral of “one more episode” and I’ve wasted 3 hours.
I’ve been working hard to alter my habits. I want to better maintain focus and finish what I need to do before binge watching shows or mindlessly exploring the Internet. Here are the top 3 tips that have helped me the most!
1. Put your cellphone away!
This has been the most helpful for me. I find that if I have my cellphone next to me when I am studying, I will constantly have the urge to check it. When I leave it in my room or even in my backpack, I don’t think about it as much and focus on my work. If I am ever worried about the time, I just bring my watch.
2. Get Sleep and Eat!
Studies have shown that hunger and lack of sleep both drain your attention. When you are tired, as many of us know, all you want to do is go back to bed and this slows down your efficiency. When you are hungry, you are distracted by it and think about those snacks you have waiting for you. Everyone is different, but I always try my hardest to get around 8 hours of sleep and avoid skipping meals so that I am not wasting time thinking about either.
3. Make a List!
Ever since high school I have lived by lists! I always have a running to-do list and get a huge amount of satisfaction from checking something off of it. I feel like this is something that has continued to help me keep up with what I have to do. When you have a list of things to do, it is easier to prioritize and keep track of it all. I swear by it!
I hope these help and remember, you’re gonna make it!