Time is yours! – a quick guide to productivity

If only there were 30 hours in a day…. fitting everything into a schedule where one deadline follows another, days of work blend into nights out and excitement of travel just won’t let you stay in one place for more than a couple days can prove to be close to impossible. There is, however, a way to meet all obligations, while maintaining a satisfying social life and not go crazy! And take it from the girl who spends unhealthy amount of time on social media – I’m not talking about limiting your precious screen time (though it could for sure be helpful). My golden rule of time management is BALANCE. How to achieve it? In no particular order here are 10 tips that I hope you will find helpful:

1.Commit to what you’re doing!

There is nothing worse than writing your physics paper WHILE biting into greasy take-away burger WHILE catching up with the Kardashians on E!… Doing one thing at the time means that the quality of work is much better and it will usually get done faster.

2. Take breaks

That being said you will not get anything done if you attempt to do it at one go. Sitting in one place for hours there is no way you will be able to focus all your attention on what you’re doing. 15min break for Facebook? 40min break for new Suits episode? .. or two… take as long as you need but…

3. Be wise

Ok, take as long breaks as you need but keep in mind that one-season-long Game of Thrones nighttime marathon does not count as “a break”. In the end it is up to you to decide where a reasonable time for rest ends and procrastination begins (you will probably notice somewhere between third snack-trip to the fridge and typing “funny cats” into your youtube search..)

4. Step back

Ok, so your breaks shouldn’t be spend only siting in front of the computer. When the work is just not going right – switch it up. Go outside, take a walk, go to the gym. Those things are as important as actual “work”.

Taken on a sunny day at my amazing University of Twente

5. Stay healthy

Everything goes better if you feel good. Make it your priority to prepare healthy, quality food that will fuel your mind and body instead of only silencing your hunger. Make sure to exercise and keep your blood flowing – it will supply oxygen to your brain and spike up your endorphins levels. You will end up happier and more productive, so time spend on being healthy is for sure not a time wasted!

6. Sleep

Ok, that is a part of staying healthy but the most important part for me. Being sleep deprived is not doing anyone any good. Not getting enough sleep will mean that you study less efficiently, can’t fully enjoy your trips and can’t give your entire attention to  friends and family. Even if you have plenty of work, don’t stay up all night! It is better to spend less time on it when you are rested – about the same amount of work will probably get  done and you will be way happier.

7. Make a list! … and don’t stick to it


Lists are helpful way to see what you actually have to do during the day. Create time sloths for each activity and see how much time you still have left. That being said, DON’T STRESS YOURSELF OUT! The list is supposed to help you, not give you anxiety. It should be just the estimation of your time to help you keep track of how well you divide it.

8. Be realistic 

Setting yourself high goals is good, but you need to recognize that sometimes you will have to let some things go. Whether it means doing an assignment “just to pass it” instead of giving it your all, or missing out on a party because you are just too tired. An it’s totally ok! We are not robots, so don’t push yourself to always be perfect. Think about what is the worst case scenario, accept it might happen and then try giving it your best anyways 🙂

9. Live in the moment

In the world full of technology, where everyone is rushing and has somewhere important to be or something important to do it is easy to lose yourself and fail to enjoy the moment. When you go out with friends give them your undivided attention – don’t go on your phone to see if grades from latest exam are already in, don’t stress about the assignment you could be writing right now. You are HERE! As in point 1. – if you do something, do it well and give it all! It will also help you manage your time better. Make sure to always make time for friends and family because in the end they are the only thing that really matters 🙂

The best friends in the entire word – the ones who I’ll always have time for!

10. Recharge your batteries & don’t forget to have fun!

As I mentioned before, giving yourself a break is crucial step to high productivity, but sometimes you need a complete reset. That was part of the reason why I went to Spain recently – I knew that if I just forget about everything for a while and have fun I will come back with more energy and motivation. I missed a couple of classes and have to work extra hard right now to make it up – but I honestly don’t mind since I am well rested and ready to work 🙂 Don’t let yourself get so caught up that life passes you by..

Last word of advice? Take it easy, sit back and enjoy the ride 🙂 Learning how to keep balance between hard work, fun and rest might be hard at first but simply trust your gut and everything will fall into its place!



Author: paullajna

I'm a 22 year old biomedical engineering & IT student from Poland trying to live life to the fullest! I believe that balance is a way to finding true happiness. Focusing on fitness, healthy pesto-vegetarian diet and exploring the world. Join me on my journey!

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