If you want to be successful in Civil Services Examination and the examination of life, one thing you must surely invest in is, increasing your productivity.
What do you think about productivity?
Is it when you make an ambitious plan filled with diverse tasks to be completed in one day? Or, is it when you consistently go one completing few tasks regularly?
Now, you might fall in any one or maybe both the categories! But, intelligent work involves the latter perspective more closely. So let’s say for example, you schedule paper-reading, answer-writing, GS reading all stacked in one day. Now, if you are already too focussed and understand how you work, then you might be able to finish these in the day and also carry the same routine consistently. But, if you are amongst the majority of us, who find it difficult to switch from one task to another frequently and loading your plate with so many dishes that ultimately you end up tasting only few, then you might to want to work on your appetite of productivity!
First things first! Get the definition of productivity correctly.
Productivity is not ‘being busy’ doing five things at one time, but productivity is doing merely two-three tasks effectively and consistently!
How can you be effective and consistent?
- Understand your energy-work requirement: Sometimes, it so happens that you can only study better say may be during the night when everyone else is asleep. In such a case, you must realize that your concentration hours are more during the night than during the hustle & bustle of the day. Assigning yourself work according to your different energy levels during the day is one way in which you can maintain your effectiveness.
- Declutter your mind with the Eisenhower Decision Matrix :
Whether you are a full time preparing aspirant or a working aspirant, you can apply this decision making matrix to categorize your goals into Important-Urgent like reading newspaper, Important-not-so-urgent like watching videos on certain topics, Not Important-Urgent like completing a presentation and Not Important-Not urgent like watching random videos.
This is a tested and highly effective tool which will enable you to create more space for your studies, which is the priority. So, instead of getting bogged down by the plethora of books you have to read, you can work out your strategy using this box and get things done one at a time.
- Stick to your schedule, no matter what: It might happen on some days that, say, instead of completing 50 pages of the book you are reading; you’ll only be able to do only 20. DO IT! This is a means to maintain your habit of being consistent. When you train yourself to stick to your routine no matter what, it automatically gives you a boost and maintains your productivity in other parts of the day too!
- Pomodoro Technique: The methodology is simple. When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called “Pomodoro”) that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes.
You work in short sprints , which makes sure you’re consistently productive. You also get to take regular breaks that bolster your motivation and keep you creative (lifehacker).
This technique will first require you to work out your monthly goals, weekly goals and then daily goals of studying a subject. Then working out the Pomodoro technique with the daily study targets can help you achieve your goals and maintain consistency.
These are some of the most effective techniques which have been employed by the highly productive people through times. But, one requires to realize the importance of ‘productivity’; otherwise there are several aspirants who work hard! There are only few who work smart.
This examination requires one to show up with full grit and energy. You need the effective disposal of time, energy. You can only be productive; when you know that you need to do which task at what time and how! Thus, being productive is a matter of choice and practise.
So next time your phone beeps while you are studying, before checking it, ask yourself, ARE YOU BEING PRODUCTIVE?