red and orange petal flowers

The Cost To Be Productive

It’s a never ending effort, by the way.

I am always wondering how to utilise my time to be more useful. More productive, so I won’t be more redundant in my actions. Unfortunately there are moments when I feel I am just not that productive, and I am quite relentlessly trying to improve it despite the challenges. It is apparently costly and take time.

The Places

There are times when I think that the best place to do -for instance my papers is in the library. But after all the efforts including riding bicycles/ or commuting, and arriving in the library, I feel like it is not the suitable place to do it, too many people, and blah blah blah… Those are a few of many of excuses I have.

Then I start to think that probably, going back to my room I can be more productive.

However, after arriving in my room, open the laptop, read the journals and stuff, I just think that I don’t want to do it yet. Too complex and stuff, I feel like my adrenaline hits its peak, but without any excitement. It was a pure anxiety that somehow scared me to proceed reading the materials.

I turn on the music, browse social medias, watch some youtube videos, get tired and at the end of the day, I realised that I haven’t done anything significant beside wasted my precious time before the deadlines.

That’s what we call procrastination. And I am not immune to that.

I had some extra assignments months ago that required me to read a bunch of scientific journals, books, etc. I thought that it was like studying again in repeat. I was not a noob in doing those kind of things, but still I procrastinated at some points. Though not as “acute” as before.

The thing was, I did not have that much of time to waste as I work full time as well. So there’s no other choice but to be….

More productive.

I didn’t write the logs of which strategy was the best to achieve that level of productivity, because apparently I didn’t have any specific one.

I was just deciding that I needed to work on the assignments in another place but my room.

So I went to some coffee shops.

Again, place can somehow gives the vibe that I think makes feel the urgency to be more productive.

It works somehow.

Despite the crowds in the coffee shop, which I wasn’t sure that I could have stayed for more than an hour there, turned out I stayed until it was closed.

It was noisy, full of people most of the time, but surprisingly, I didn’t care about all those things.

I just let myself ignore all the distractions, converted all those things to be my focus energy. Screw all their games and conversations, my goal was to work on the assignments, make some progress and go home.

To challenge myself to be around the crowds, minding my own business, works apparently. Although it was quite costly, because I had to spend more money buying snacks and drinks. And I did it for many days.

I thought that spending for that thing was not my nature actually, but again… For the sake of productivity, why not.

The Tools

It is not only for doing school job, but generally we do need tools to support us doing the tasks.

Hardware, software, you name it.

Finding the right tools can actually be a trap. You begin to wonder what tools to use, based on other people’s experiences that could boost your productivity.

You google it, read articles, watch youtube videos about the reviews, pros and cons, browse the app store, install it on your device(s), find other alternatives, compare it to the others, and then you realise that it is actually wasting more of your time.

But forget about it, you might want to “acquire” some hardware as well. Then you buy newer phones, cameras, peripherals, and stuff because you thought it would make your workflow quicker.

Actually you won’t use those devices like you intended it to (hopefully I am wrong).

I bought an iPad because I needed the OCR scan feature to convert book page photos to texts so I wouldn’t need to type all the texts manually. Was it worth it? Good news: Yes it was.

It sped up my workflow doing the assignments actually.

The iPad was worth it, though I think I should have bought the wifi only version.

The Methods

As a stubborn myself, it is always be so challenging to me to find which specific method that can work for me in order to achieve that holy level of productivity. As it is very difficult to me to follow all those beautiful suggestions.

SMART (defining specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound), Eisenhower box, Pomodoro technique, or other sophisticated ones work well for other people. However, for me it was not really the case.

Probably it is just me that cannot really focus whenever it is needed (mostly). I have to blame myself, so that challenges me to prove myself wrong, that actually I can also be more productive.

It is a war between me and myself most of the time actually.

The 5,4,3,2,1 or whatever it is method

I once was down in a rabbit hole of the never ending overcoming procrastination contents on youtube, and found the 5,4,3,2,1 or 3,2,1, countdown method that could be an alternative to “cure” that habit.

The way it work is just by counting down from let’s say 3 to 1, and then immediately do the work.

I think it is one of the best ways to be jumping right away into the “doing the job.”

No wasting time, no bullshit, you just do whatever the plan you have in your mind.

It works best for people who have a little or no emotion at all, I suppose.

Or just pretend that you’re trying to be that type of person. At least you finish the work, right?

For the sake of productivity.

I know I probably have missed many things on this topic, because actually it’s been like a few years of thinking of writing this, but you know… Procrastination is the root of unproductiveness.

And I have always been hesitating writing it, despite having some points to write about it.

Now I just did.

Thank you for reading, dear me.


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Rizqi Fahma
Rizqi Fahma

I read, I write, I bike, I swim, but I don't smoke.

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