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5 Useful Tips On How To Increase Your Life Efficiency

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

by Irene Chooi |

There are 2 types of people in this world: the ones who go to bed happy with how they’ve used every minute of their day, and the ones who lay awake at night staring at the ceiling wondering if they could have done more. If you are of the latter, welcome to the club!

The vast majority of people struggle with how to be more efficient, but it's not that hard! All it takes are a few conscious and minor adjustments to your life.

1. Establish a Routine

Having a routine is the easiest way to maximise your day and be as productive as possible. Having a rough idea of what’s going to happen each day decreases the number of decisions you have to make, that means you have more focus in doing things that matter; as well as putting more mental energy into carrying out your tasks rather than making decisions.

Even if you can’t control every element of your day, something as simple as setting an alarm to wake up to in the morning and making your bed every day is good enough to get you started. All you have to do is make one decision (like waking up at 7 am every day, or not stretching once you get up) and you’re on your way to having a solid routine.

2. Write It Down

Bullet Journaling is a hot trend for a reason; it helps you organise your life and makes it much harder to forget a task. Even if you’re not interested in starting a #Bujo, having a to-do list is also a great way to become more efficient.

It allows you to have all your tasks on hand right in front of you so you can tackle them in order and never miss a thing. Personally, I also find the act of crossing out a task or checking a box extremely satisfying.

You can either use pen and paper for your to-do list or just use the Notes function on your phone. This is also a great way to break seemingly mountainous tasks into bite-sized pieces. Renovating your study space might sound daunting, but it becomes easier to tackle when you split it up into smaller steps such as cleaning your drawers first, then throwing out the unwanted items, followed by arranging the items on your desk and finally decorating it.

3. Break it Down

Technological advancements have conditioned us to expect things to happen immediately. That unrealistic expectation has a side effect: we’ve lost our ability to concentrate. How do you combat that? Break it down!

If a task takes 30 minutes to complete, but you know you can’t sit still for that long, split it up by inserting a short 2-minute break right down the middle! In fact, I’ve found that 15 minutes is the best amount of time to fully concentrate on a task. From meal prep to replying tedious emails, knowing that you only have to work for 15 minutes at a time subconsciously makes you much more efficient than usual. An important reminder though, don’t procrastinate. Be sure to jump back into your tasks after the short break, or else you will still end up feeling dissatisfied and unaccomplished.

4. Say Goodbye to Clutter

Studies have shown that clutter can reduce productivity and growth, with the number 1 menace being paper clutter! So the first step to becoming more efficient is to file your papers. Make it a rule to only have one notebook or some post-its on your table and put everything else away. All the loose papers have to go, if they’re important documents, keep them in a binder or file them away.

An even better idea would be to go digital. Take a picture of every piece of paper with important information and store it in the cloud or a hard drive. It’s tedious now, but it’ll make your life easier and much more efficient in the long run without having to scour through the stacks of papers.

5. Pause Social Media

Is it just me or do you find yourself spending hour upon hour just scrolling through social media? Mindless scrolling is damaging productivity worldwide, so much so that Instagram has a function that will warn you to stop if you’ve been scrolling for too long.

Allocate social media downtime for yourself every day. You can either make it a rule to only access your Instagram and TikTok after a certain hour or if you know you have a task on hand, close all the social media tabs on your computer and put your phone on silent (or better still: in a separate room) so you’re not tempted to check your notifications.

If you lack self-control, the last-ditch effort would be to uninstall the app on your phone completely. It might sound brutal, but trust me, it works.

After all, is said and done, while it is important to live an efficient life, always take time out of your day for a little me time. Make a Dalgona coffee if it makes you happy or take a 10-minute power nap if you’re feeling drained. Just remember to get back to it when you’re fully charged.

You can learn more about the writer on Instagram.

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