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How to Make Your Afternoons Productive?

Making your morning productive is something that you would have been advised to do. We are at times even advised to get all the important tasks done during the morning, as that is believed to be the time that we are most productive or efficient. But something that I feel that is often neglected is that no matter how rested you are and how enthusiastic you are, you will not be able to get all your work done in the morning. A problem that we all face is that, as the day passes by, we lose our energy and we normally find it hard to stay productive. So here are some things I do to keep myself productive throughout the afternoon.

  1. Move around

It is common for you to feel sleepy after your lunch. One of the easiest way though which I have been able to have a more productive afternoon is by moving around. I have seen that if I take some time after my lunch to move around and stay active, that wakes me up and I no longer feel sleepy or lazy. You can either do this by taking a short walk, or cleaning up around your house/room.

  1. Micro Naps If Necessary

Naps are tricky for most people. If you are like me, then naps can end up being a 5 hour sleep or more. But a small nap when you’re feeling tired and exhausted is the way to go if you want to get things done after your lunch time. So because of the benefits of a nap, I do try to take naps around noon time if I feel the need for it. What I have been doing that has helped me is to take a nap right before my lunch. For some reason I have seen that this makes me wake up as my alarm goes off and there are less chances that I hit the snooze button.

  1. Work on easier tasks

As you have just eaten, and your body is using most of it’s energy on digesting the food that you ate, it might be hard for you to do a task where you would have to think too much. Having easier tasks to go by that do not appear burdensome or require much concentration is another way though which I have been able to be productive during my afternoons. 

  1. Eat a modest portion

This is a very important factor. After a meal where you have eaten till you cannot move, you most likely feel lazy or sleepy. So, even through you have a large appetite at lunch time, try to eat a moderate portion and have a snack in an hour or two if you still feel hungry. This will definitely have an impact on your productivity in the afternoon


Tips to Stay on Track Part- 5

     Be accountable

Some have a natural talent at getting things done on time. Still for some others there is a chance that we might get a little over confident and lose track. This is completely normal. Having an accountability partner will motivate us to get things done. The person you chose as your accountability partner is up to you. But this should be a person you meet at least on a weekly basis. Once you select your accountability partner, you have to allow them to question you if you fail to meet your deadline. That is you owe them an answer if you fail to keep up with your task. You have to explain your task to them and also inform them about your deadlines. Ask them to check on you at least twice a week prior to the deadline. It is good if you can also ask them to check on your work as that will force you to have something done at least to show them in case you feel lazy.

 

 


Tips to Stay on Track Part- 4

Turn off your mind

Our brain and body is not designed to be able to function without any rest. Thus even though you might have a long to-do list, you have to give your mind some rest. This rest will help you to rejuvenate yourself and also help you to be more productive and effective in every task you take part in.

Sleep is the best way to turn off your brain. During sleep your brain doesn’t shut down but it helps to consolidate everything you have previously learnt or read and thus making you more effective. But rest does not always have to be sleep. Your rest can comprise of doing something that you enjoy. This could be swimming, running, reading, cleaning your cluttered room, going for a walk, etc,. All this will help to relieve you of the stress you are feeling at the moment and make you more energetic, creative and fruitful.

If you don’t give your mind some rest then there is a great chance that you would get worked up and be unable to do any work at all. So in your to-do list add some activity or task that will help you turn off your mind and thereby helping you to rest yourself.


Tips to Stay on Track Part- 3

Review

It is easy to set goals. It is also easy to prioritize each goal by finding reasons. Still there is a chance that you would fall behind on the task. So it is necessary that you review your progress throughout the day or week.

If you fail to stay on track with the goals that you have set then you are going back to square one. So look through your to-do list several times throughout the day. If you are falling behind you might have to come up with a strategy to complete those tasks. But do not spend a lot of time making plans or you would have a great plan and literally no time to complete it. If you decide to do your review weekly, then you might have a little more time to come up with a strategy but I would still recommend that you take less time.

If you are unable stay on track and you see that you have other important tasks waiting for your attention, make a strategy that would help you save time. In a scenario where you have a whole lot of laundry to do and also a long list of people to call, what you could do is to put the clothes for laundry and then you could start calling those people. Most probably you would be able to complete them both at the same time, or you would be able to finish a whole lot of calling appointments. This was you could save time.


Tips to Stay on Track Part- 2

Prioritize

If you have decided to do something new, there is a possibility that after some time you might lose interest or fall behind in the task. One trick is to make the task a priority to you. Find out reasons of why you do something you do. You could come up with these reasons by yourself or ask someone else who does those same tasks. These reasons could help you get motivated when you feel otherwise.

Everything you do in this world has an impact on those around you, even something like brushing your teeth. If you brush your teeth you can have a conversation with another person without worry about your bad breath or the irritation you are causing to that person. Well I think we can find a good reason for the tasks we are supposed to do or tasks that we chose to do. Finding these reasons and pondering on them when you do not feel motivated will help you to stay on track.Thus making them a priority will help you stay on track.


Love Like Jesus

The pursuit to become like Jesus is something that every Christian is encouraged to do.  My current devotion is on loving like Jesus. When I first started it I thought ‘I’m perfect in this area but I’ll just meditate on this as a reminder’. Turns out I’m not perfect in this area.  Loving like Jesus is just a piece of cake for some but for others it’s not so easy. Here are a few things to practice in this process.

  1. Put others first

This doesn’t mean that you have to forget about yourself and only think about others and what you could do for them. This is more of not being selfish when it comes to helping others. At times we are so comfortable in our place that even though we clearly see that someone is in need we refuse to acknowledge that we saw it. Whenever Jesus saw that someone needs help he stopped and helped them no matter what he was doing and where he was going. This speaks love.

2. Love the unlovable

There is an old saying that “hurt people hurt people.” Wounded people wound others and in the process become the unlovable. It’s is very hard to love those people who have hurt you even if it is someone you care about. Just the thought of what they did could boil your blood. Well if we have to be like Jesus we have to love these people.  The key here is to focus on the person rather than the things they do. There is  some good in everyone, It’s just that some things people do are unacceptable. It is easy to love a good person but hard to love someone who doesn’t really deserve it. Like someone who is always rude, someone who never give a thought for you. Jesus loved the people who were rude to him and has asked us to love such people.

Love and be loved.

 


Staying Motivated

After 10 minutes into my study, I am reminded of things I need to do or can do. This takes away my interest to study.

Many of us lose interest in studies after certain period of time. It’s quite natural.  However to stay focused and motivated in studies is a vital task of a student. Here are few simple methods which can help you to stay motivated.

1. Make a checklist to track progress.

Making a checklist for ves ourselves will help us to stay in track of our accomplishments. As we finish each task we could cross it out of the check list. Keep this checklist next to our study desk, or a place where we are bound to look.

2. Do the task in small chunks.

Trying to study for a test in one day may not be successful. It is easier to get discouraged by the size of the task. Instead of trying to finish our task in a short time, take few days to finish it. And each day when we come back to finish one portion, revise what we studied the previous day.

3. Take breaks in between.

Taking breaks and doing something recreational or different is important during long study hours. Divide the task and after completing each take a break. Taking a break away from books and other study materials can help to refresh our mind. During break we could do some light physical activities like cleaning our room, or taking a walk in the garden or plucking out some weeds from the pots, or drinking some water and so on. This will rejuvenate our mind. And help us to stay motivated. It is better to avoid watching a movie during short break as our mind may wander around the story which can hinder motivation to study.

4. Exercise (before or in between).

Exercise can affect our mood in a positive way, it will give you a sense of refreshment and alertness. Even stretching exercises will help you. Going for a short run, jogging skipping will also help us. Before we exercise set a time limit (say 10 mins) and exercise accordingly.  

5. Reward ourselves

This is an easy and agreeable way to keep ourselves ves motivated. If we are trying to study a chapter for a test, or to write an assignment or any of that sort, divide the task into chunks. And after completing each chunk of task make sure to reward ourselves.

Some tips for rewarding is to eat a favorite candy, or to play a short game, or to get yourself a coffee, or to go for a walk outside, or to visit a certain place, and the list could go on.

Mixing and matching these methods are important because if we keep following one method there won’t be positive result after few days.


Study Tips Pt.2

Note Taking


Have you ever had times when your teacher and your parents asked you to take notes in class because they think it will help you to study better? Well I have. At times I wondered- what it actually meant to take notes, How I would know which is important and which is not and so on.
From different people’s suggestions over the years I’ve developed my own way of taking notes.


A. Taking notes in class
Some teachers dictate notes and others expect students to write lecture notes. Either way it is good to write notes in class. So how do we do it?


1. Write down those words or phrases that the teacher repeats more than once.
These words are useful as you can use them in your answers, which could fetch you a little grace from the teacher. Also note down all that the  teacher writes on the  board.


2. Copy the diagrams that the teacher draws.
These diagrams will help you to remember what was taught in class.


3. Paraphrase what the teacher says in class.
If you try to write down every single word the teacher says then you might not understand what the teacher is teaching and at the end of the class you might end up with a bunch of sentences which you cannot understand. So try to write them in your own words.


4. Write down outlines that are given.
These outlines are important as it will help you to remember things more clearly and in an organized way.


B. Revising your notes
Rewriting these notes in a more organized and attractive way is important. After you reach your home or hostel  compare you notes with some reference books and rewrite it. Rewriting will help you to clear any mistakes that you have made. Some might say this is a waste of time, but it’s a kind of revision session. While you rewrite the notes be creative: draw diagrams, use different ink pens, use post-its, and so on. All this will help you to remember the notes when you read them at a later time.


1. Make your notes more organized.
Organizing your notes is useful as it will help you to understand it even after few days.  While you were in class you would have just written down everything you felt that was important. You would not have had enough time to think and write the notes, so it is in a way a mess. Rewriting the notes brings clarity.


2. Compare with your textbook.
It is possible that you would have made a spelling mistake or written a wrong definition or so other mistake, this is one of the reason why it is good to compare your notes from class with your textbook. The other reason is it will give you a more concrete understanding of the particular topic as the book will have some creative way of explaining it, which will help you to understand it better.

3. Use the Internet for more information.
While making notes of each topic you could refer to the internet which will give you a broad knowledge of the topic. Also this is useful because if you find it difficult to understand the reference books there are lots of websites that will has different ways of explaining a topic.


I hope this is helpful to you and will help you in your studies. 


Study Tips Pt.1

ENVIRONMENT

We all sat in class with eagerness and anxiousness building up inside of us. We were waiting for the teacher to walk in with the results from the previous test. When she walked in, the loud noise turned to whispers.

I felt pretty good as I did well on my test. As the teacher gave out our answer papers there were smiles that came on people’s faces and some heads went down. I was part of those whose head went down. After a few such happenings I started to wonder what went wrong and why it kept going wrong.  

A few things that we should take care of while studying is our environmentnote taking and study method.

In this post I’m going to talk about our studying environment.

1) Adjust the Lighting and Ventilation

These two factors give a sense of refreshment to our brain and helps us to think effectively.

2) Cool the Colours

Colours play a very big role in the active functioning of our brain. Studies show that colours like green or blue will keep you inspired and focused. Bright colours like yellow orange, etc can easily irritate you.

3) Organize the Room

This actually saves you a lot of time because you wouldn’t have to spend time finding the books you need for studying. Keeping your room organized will help to keep your mind alert.

 4) Cut the Disturbance

It’s good if you can study in an environment where there is not much disturbance (by disturbance I mean music, texting, etc.) because no matter how much you try, at some point our attention will switch to what is happening in your surroundings. And if the things around you is much more pleasing than the book in front of you, then you will have a hard time bringing your attention back.


Forget Being Fake

Have you noticed when others try to trick you by hiding their true self?  Or may be you have tried to fake others for acceptance.  What if someone already knows your true color  and behaves as if they are ignorant of that or be still accepting of you?

Jews in the first century considered tax collectors as their enemies.  They were known for their unfair practices. Levi was a tax collector, but still Jesus asked Levi to follow Him. While Jesus was dining at Levi’s house, people criticized him.

Jesus knew who Levi was and his practices.  And he knew that the community hated him, but still he told Levi to follow Him.  Knowing who Levi was why did Jesus dine with him?

The answer is in Jesus words, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”  Or in other words the reason why Jesus came is to save the sinners.

We might try to put our best self forward with others, but we don’t have to fake it with Jesus. Actually there is no use trying to fake it,  Jesus knows us inside out! The good news is the same Jesus extends His invitation to us,  “Follow me.”