If you were able to improve your productivity to the point where you are effective and efficient 90% of the time, what would that mean for your studying and results?
In this post I’m going to teach you how to improve your productivity by giving you the solution to overcoming a biggg hurdle in your studying – procrastination.
Productivity is the measure of how efficient a person (or machine) is in converting inputs into useful outputs. For students that means the tasks you complete in the time you have.
Unproductive students study for hours and don’t achieve much, whereas productive students study for hours and tick off all their important study tasks.
There’s a whole heap of reasons why you might be unproductive:
- responding to distractions
- task is too hard
- task is boring
- don’t know what to do next
- afraid of failing
But all of these can be grouped together into one big monster of a productivity problem – procrastination.
Procrastination is defined as the act of delaying or postponing something but I prefer writer Tim Urban’s definition, “the action of ruining your life for no apparent reason.”
Get your emotions in check to improve your productivity
Wanting to become more productive and knowing some strategies you can use are great first steps. But, as leadership and motivation expert Mel Robbins explains, our emotions play a huge role in our productivity too.
How often do you think, “I need to study this evening but I don’t feel like it”? Or, “I really need to start my essay today but I don’t feel like staying indoors.”
Mel explains that, when there’s a fight between what we know and what we feel, our emotions will win. Procrastination happens in that gap. In the few seconds it takes our brain to go from wanting to do the good, helpful, productive thing, to then realising that it would be easier, more fun, more satisfying to sack it off and procrastinate instead.
When we leave a gap between deciding to do something and actually doing it, our feelings and excuses will rush to fill the gap.
If you decide you don’t feel like going for a run, then you probably won’t.
If you decide you don’t feel like studying, you’ll probably procrastinate instead.
Studying takes a long-ass time
Studying for a degree or similar qualification takes a longgg time which means you have to choose productivity and ditch procrastination every time you study which could be hundreds, if not thousands of times.
Learn some tools to improve your productivity and every single study session in the future will be more efficient, positive and kickass. If every single one of your study session is improved, what’s that gonna do to your results?
**I’ll give you a hint…it'll flipping skyrocket them!**
Improve your productivity with the 5 second rule
Mel Robbins created the 5 second rule to force herself to take action even when she didn’t want to. Often we think we should wait until we feel motivated to do something, but as I explained in this blog post, this is a big, fat myth.
Motivation to study is unlikely to strike when you’re lying on the sofa in a chocolate and Netflix coma.
Instead, take action first, start studying, make some progress, and then motivation will follow.
Mel explains in her book, The 5 Second Rule, “if you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain (and your feelings) will kill the idea.”
When you decide to start studying, immediately count down from 5 out loud and then get up and start. If you’re on the sofa and you decide you want to start studying, say “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” out loud and then immediately stand up and walk to your desk to study. Use the 5 second rule and your brain won’t have a chance to come up with an excuse.
If your alarm goes off and you want to get out of bed first time, say “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and then immediately get up. Doing this will stop your brain from deciding you don’t feel like getting up.
This rule to improve your productivity almost sounds too simple, right? But often it’s the simple things in life that work.
Want to run a marathon? Start running.
Want to up your hydration? Drink water.
Want to improve your productivity? Use the 5 second rule.
The key to succeeding in your studies is to take action. Choose action over procrastination in each of your study sessions and you’ll quickly see massive improvements in your productivity and results.