Having so many things to do can be overwhelming sometimes especially if you don’t know what to handle first or how you’re gonna get through all of them. We know how inexplicably hard it is to keep your cool when you’re already neck-deep in your to-dos. How nice would it be if we could all have the strategic mind and attention to detail of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Amy Santiago, right? So aside from the famous Pomodoro Timer, here are five other productivity methods for organizing your thoughts and tasks just like Amy:
Best Productivity Methods for Studying
1. Time Blocking
This time management method is designed to use time as the basis for doing your tasks. This way, you wouldn’t have to miss a thing on your list, making you more committed to accomplishing them on or before the allotted time. Scheduling is so important so we can keep track of what we need to do. More so when our workload keeps piling up! With a time-controlled system, urgent tasks get done faster.
2. Personal Kanban
This technique is a great visualizer for tracking your progress with the tasks you’re handling. All you have to do is make a three-column list. One for all the tasks that need to be get done, one for those you’re currently putting together, and also one for those you’ve already finished. You can label each column as to-dos, doing, and done! With this, you’ll be able to see what’s still left on your list and at the same time, feel a sense of accomplishment by seeing what you’ve already checked off.
Sometimes when the load is heavy, we tend to get more intimated by it. With this method, you can turn your tasks into smaller and more attainable chunks. Sometimes, we’re so used to keeping multiple tabs open for different assignments but chunking will teach us to focus on just one task at a time for maximum efficiency. This helps us give our best in each of the things we have to do!
4. Must, Should, Want
This is a great way to strategically categorize your agendas by prioritization. Your daily to-do list has to be formatted with:
“I must…,” which are the tasks you classify as most important and urgent out of everything.
“I should…,” which are tasks that have a relation with your long-term goals.
“I want…,” which are the ones that don't make you dread looking at your list because this category is just for things you actually want to do or experience.
Jay Shirley, the creator of The Daily Practice app, designed this method with the idea of the ‘want’ part as a sanity-keeper because you’ll get to make some room for the things you love to do outside of studying and work. It wouldn’t make your days just all about the grind but also the play!
5. 1-3-5 Rule
The 1-3-5 method is a to-do list with a hierarchical twist. You list one major task to accomplish at the beginning of the day, three average tasks to attend to after, and five minor tasks to take care of. With this system, you’ll be able to distinguish what’s on top of your list. Starting with the most challenging one helps you later on because you wouldn’t be worrying so much about it while doing the other things you’ll have to work on.
If you’re reading through your study materials and feel yourself snoozing off, you might want to try annotating. You can add your notes about the topic you’re reading and connect ideas from other sources by writing them on the side of your material. Highlighting and underlining keywords by classification might also help put a mental emphasis on the concepts you need to remember. You can also annotate digitally with websites and apps such as PDFelement or even Google Docs.