An Oxford Student's Tips on Boosting Productivity

Oxford

Sam Bogie

Going from one of Oxford’s jam-packed eight-week terms to a six-week vacation always feels a bit odd, but now the feeling is only amplified due to our current lockdown situation. Something I struggle with is the need to constantly feel productive, and as Oxford students who are used to 10-hour library days, I feel this is likely something that unites the majority of us. If you’re one of those people who are able to just have duvet day after duvet day and re-watch all ten seasons of Friends – great! (Honestly, I envy you right now…) If not, here are some tips to help boost your productivity during this lockdown period.

  1. To-do lists and bullet journaling.

Admittedly, I love a good to-do list. They’re just great; because who doesn’t want all their tasks laid out in front of them to be ticked off one by one? Since having so much free time, I decided to start bullet-journaling during this lockdown, because productivity and creativity are just the perfect combo. It’s nice to be able to wind down by doodling and decorating my bullet journal spreads (and it gives me some well-needed time away from my phone/tv/laptop screen), and equally it’s great to be motivated by the list of tasks inside. Whether you just want to keep it simple with a to-do list, or jazz it up with a bullet journal, both are sure to boost your productivity!


2. Structure your day.

It’s amazing how much more productive you feel by just having a good routine. Whilst it’s very tempting right now to lie-in until 11am and then proceed to stay in your pyjamas all day, I always feel so much worse for it. Getting up at a reasonable time and getting dressed out of your PJs emulates normality (at least to some extent) and genuinely helps to put you into a productive mood. Setting aside times of the day for exercise, work and fun is equally important to give your day structure – having a routine will help to put you in the same productive mindset you’re in whilst at university or school.


3. Ease yourself back into your academic work.

I’m slowly starting to get back into my academic work now that Oxford have (kind of) confirmed the arrangements for next term. With Oxford’s intense terms, it’s important not to burn yourself out over the vac, so definitely take it easy if you are going to jump back into your studies. Doing academic work is a sure-fire way to feel more productive, but make sure to ease yourself into it! I find that having a good cup of tea or coffee with me while I work always boosts my productivity, along with a nice lo-fi playlist.


4. Start working on a new project.

Before this lockdown started, I joked about ‘penning my novel’ during quarantine, but at this point it doesn’t even look like a bad idea. If there’s a big project you’ve always wanted to undertake, a new skill you’ve wanted to learn, or a new hobby you wanted to take up, now is the perfect time to do so! Learning something new is a great way to feel more productive and also a great use of your time – so why not do that thing you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time for? This lockdown is the perfect opportunity for you!

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