Black | Beyond | 18th January 2022 | Virtual Wire
Ever since the lockdown hit last year figuring out a routine was one of the biggest challenges I faced.
Being stuck indoors meant that not only was I supposed to entertain myself and keep myself sane, but I also had to create and come up with ways to keep myself motivated. During the lockdown, I was working on my Pre Thesis project for my final year in college. While that was enough motivation to keep me somewhat moving forward, with the continuous delays in submissions and deadlines a certain kind of laid back attitude began to set.
For a while, I struggled not just to find the motivation to work and produce my outcomes but to also have a routine that made me feel motivated for the things to come. One major thing I figured out while trying to fix and create a day where I was productive was simply showing up. Even if on a particular day my motivation was past the low point, or if things were not going the way I planned, showing up for a task, no matter how small, made me feel some sense of accomplishment.
Not every day goes by in the same manner, so to keep some sense of uniformity, direction and productivity these are some of the apps and tips I made use of to help me stay productive and keep up with things.
A Bullet Journal
I have been using a bullet journal since the year 2017. I find this form of To-do lists and scheduling to be very flexible and customisable. The bullet journal not only gave me an overview of my month but also allowed me to have pages for different things. I had one page dedicated to a brain dump, I had a few pages dedicated to ideas and questions I wanted to ask my project guide and I had lots and lots of space for my everyday to-do list. This flexibility allowed me to keep my to do’s, my meeting dates with my project guide and my ideas and tasks all in one place, and make sure I got everything done on that particular day!
Is an app that is both available on your laptop and phone. I used mine mainly on my laptop. It is once again a highly customisable platform that suits your kind of method of organising, note-taking, to-do lists and functioning. This is a more recent discovery and tool of mine that I use once again to stay on top of things. Since I spend most of my time on my laptop doing my research and work, I find it much simpler to create notes and save links on a document that is online.
A notion is a great tool for this. Not only do I have the freedom to create different tabs for each topic, be it research or links related to a certain topic. I can also make it look aesthetic by adding a cover image and an icon to represent that tab. I can add a calendar and organise my monthly and weekly schedules. I can also make to-do lists on it and have tabs and pages for different kinds of lists, be it a movie list or a book bucket list. This is a digital bullet journal, note-taking and organising app that is great to have on the go when your laptop is all you have.
I found that this app was a great way to narrow down my digital distractions. This app makes you set a timer for the duration of your task and helps you grow a virtual tree in that time. While the tree is growing you cannot exit the app or else the tree will die. The idea behind this is that you don’t access other apps that might distract you. It does have a feature where sites that you might require while working are allowed but it will wither or kill your tree if you go to any other site. Using this app every day allows you to grow a tree within your specified timer, and encourages you to cultivate your forest with trees. This is also available on your phone or laptop.
This is another app for the desktop/laptop I discovered during my last year of college. It is a Lo-fi music player with different gifs and different stations to play different kinds of music to have in the background while you work. While there are similar channels on YouTube that have long hours of Lofi music for concentration and studying, some of them have ads and they can be quite disturbing. The website Lo-fi is just continuous streaming with pleasant sounds and aesthetic mesmerising gifs that can be changed just like their song stations.
On-Call with a Friend
Picture -Free Victor
This is a bit of a tricky one since the chances of getting distracted are high, but it can also be a great way to keep yourself motivated. When I was working on my college project, while doing my research or working on my physical outcome, I would get on a call with a friend. Since it was also lockdown, working with a friend made it easier to deal with the loneliness and also keep me accountable.
Study with me’s on Youtube
YouTube is a great place to find study motivation, music and live study with me’s. These videos follow the Promodoro technique where you work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break. The good thing about this is that you space out your work and take quick short breaks that help you keep a fresh mind. These are just a few tips and apps that helped me and continue to be my staples when I am working and trying to have a productive day. While I am not always productive every day, and some days some tasks don’t get ticked off my to-do list, just showing up to my tasks and trying my best is also a great accomplishment!