The Chemist: How to be More Productive

Hey Everyone! I hope you're having an amazing week so far. I'm about to head to a conference next week and am trying to get a lot of things done beforehand so this post is right on time! This week, we're giving a few personal tips on how to increase your productivity. Here are a few of mine.

1. Organization is key!

You all should know by now that I'm Type A and that being organized will 10 times out of 10 always be a tip I give. For me, it's hard to be productive if my work is cluttered, so I make sure that all of the projects I'm working on are organized. I have folders inside of folders on my laptop for each project, I have different sections of notebooks for each thing, I even color code my emails. My head works in mini folders so the color association works really well for me. I also am I huge fan of my calendar! Right now, I have 3 calendars on my phone/Outlook: one for NOBCChE, one for my personal life, and one for teaching. Separating everything by project helps me tackle one thing at a time, even though I'm always working on at least 2 things at a time.

2. Accountability partners are God-sent!

Another tip I have is to get an accountability partner. This should be a person that you'll actually listen to and that can motivate you to getting your work done. I have multiple accountability partners, I have one for all things graduate school related and another for personal goals. Having them check up on me and my progress keeps me honest on what I've actually done/what I need to get done.

3. Don't forget to take breaks.

Being productive only works if you're in the right mental space. Yes, we all want to get things done quickly, but if you're tired that won't happen. Be honest with yourself and listen to your body, you don't want to work yourself too hard and you burn out. Set aside actual time to rest, whether you work for 2 hours then take a 30 minute break, find out what works best for you and stick to it. Being consistent is half the battle.

4. I tend to work better listening to music.

This may or may not work for you, but listening to music while I work helps keep me focused. I tend to turn the volume up just over the volume of my surroundings so I'm not distracted by them. The type of music I listen to while I work mainly depends on my mood and what I'm working on. In college, Wale was my go to study music. I was able to just tune everyone out, vibe out, and study to his entire discography (DMV born and raised). Currently, as I type this post, I'm listening to Lucky Daye and he'll most likely be what I listen to while I'm in lab today. I listen to a wide range of music so I can always find something to play that does the trick.

What are some of the things you do that keep you productive? Tweet me some responses!

-The Chemist


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