There are thousands of tips and tricks about how to “seize your day” and maximize your productivity. What these tips miss is the fact that, to be productive, you need to balance downtime with work-time. No one can be on from the moment their alarm sounds in the morning to the moment their head hits the pillow at night. So, instead of focusing on using every available moment for work, our tips teach you how to portion your day so that you can do everything you need to while preventing burnout.
1. Determine your priorities and your “nonarguables.”
Take the time to analyze how you currently organize your day. What do you always make time for? What do you drop when you get too busy? These types of questions about your daily routines and activities help you determine what your priorities are. If you go to the gym for an hour every morning no matter how late you stayed up the night before, then that is one of your priorities. If you like to journal, but you do not do it when you have already written an essay that day, then it is not a priority for you.Do realize that there are “nonarguables” included in your priorities. Eating three meals a day and getting eight hours of sleep per night are not up for debate, so be prepared to allocate time for those.
While it is somewhat counterintuitive to take time away from your commitments to evaluate the time your commitments take, it is incredibly important. Without planning out your days to ensure that you have enough time to get all your work done, you run the risk of overload and burnout. With a good plan, however, even one that does not follow this method, you can do everything you want to do. You do not have to be crazy and sleep-deprived to accomplish everything; you just need to be smart about managing your time.