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How Or Not to be - "Productive"


Don’t make it a form of self sabotage

                                     - Sanika Deshmukh XthB
Being productive is something which many desire to have as a quality. Currently, “productivity” is used as a way of gaining attention and proving one’s own self-worth. Hundreds of people are making videos on the internet mostly with titles like -
“How to be productive”
“Why are you NOT productive”
“Get Productive and Stop wasting Time”
Well, I will be honest. Some videos DO really help by giving many tips that a person my find applicable in their own life. Many people do learn a lot from these videos and so did I! 

But there is one problem that these internet “gurus” do not tell the viewers. Productivity does not mean that you HAVE to be doing SOMETHING every other moment and humanely, we all know how stressful that would be. They always recommend you to make to-do lists or schedule your whole day and work accordingly. 

There is nothing wrong with to-do lists or scheduling every hour of the day but the fact that these tips are pretty generalized is what makes them feel like self-sabotage to many when they use these methods and end up frustrated when they don’t get at least 80% checks on the to-do list or get their “perfect” schedule broken. And as a result hundreds of people get disappointed with themselves with the thought that “If I cant even follow my schedule without making a dozen changes or if I cant even get full ticks on my to-do check-list, then how on earth will I be ever able to manage my life?”

I’ve had that feeling multiple times especially during examinations. Everybody has been feeding this into the kids’ minds that when exams are around, all you have to do is eat, sleep and study. 

This is what usually happens to me:
I start the day early in morning and schedule EVERY HOUR of the day.
I associate every timestamp with some work usually like study, eat, break, rest
Then of course some tasks take longer or sometimes there are disturbing people around or maybe the pet does something cray and BOOM! The schedule gets ruined. 
I knew at some point that this would take me literally nowhere both in the terms of educational quality or mental satisfaction and would just give me another episode of self-sabotage.

So, if that is the case with you too, here is somethings which helped me get over it without exactly planning for anything. 

I started using Google Calendar 20 days prior to the 2023 ICSE Board Examinations. 
I colour coded my general activities
Yellow - Study (main activity)
Purple - Study Breaks
Green - Random things I did instead of utilizing time
Grey - Un-academic but useful utilization of time
Pink - Meals

Now instead of making a proper to-do list, just roughly plan what you want to get done today. It may take an hour or seven. You never know. Then spend your day like you normally would. At the end of the day, take your device, open google calender and then put the above mentioned activities as per the time. 

Do not avoid the “Random” and “Main activity” part as those are the main focal points of this whole process. After you are done filling for the day, go to the time insights option and you you will be able to see the total of all the activities you did based on your colour code. 

Here is one of mine for reference:
Only trying to fill up your table with impressive amount of work wont get you anywhere. It will just boost your performance anxiety. Try looking at the parts in green and identify if they were actually fun and relaxing (which is a good thing) or were they just useless episodes of procrastination (now that is not good).
Reflecting upon the tasks after the day ends will save tons of hours from procrastinating and will help you be more engaged in your activity. 
I hope this helps!


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